When San Holo took the dance music world by storm with his breakthrough hit “Light,” the Dutch producer had everyone remixing the track from Crankdat to Bassnectar. It was a time when future bass was making it’s full foray into the hearts and minds of the dance music mainstream. But make no mistake, San Holo is much more than “future” or “bass.”
After the launch of his own independent imprint bitbird in 2014, San Holo has gone onto release music on every major dance music record label from Spinnin‘ and OWSLA to Columbia and Monstercat. Yet, even after releasing four successful EPs, San Holo has been in no rush to release his debut album. At long last, the bitbird label head would surprise fans back in January with a succinctly-worded tweet that hinted at an impending debut album:
Turns out, bitbird’s turn to the experimental side of bass might also be indicative of San Holo himself looking for his idyllic sound stamp outside of the “plastic, polished sound of commercial dance.” And it works, he tells Billboard in a recent interview on finding his new voice, “it works because what you hear on the radio is very homogenized. I don’t want to be that. That doesn’t move me.”
Now, Sander van Dijck (the man behind the moniker) brings fans two refreshingly organic indie dance tracks arriving on his long-awaited debut LP, album1. The first track, “worthy,” draws musical inspiration from the 90s/early 2000s fusion of post-rock and electronica with it’s sad-tinged guitar riffs, scenic strings, and chiming synths. The song is a snapshot into a previous personal relationship of his where the producer began questioning his worth — which can be seen in the vocoded lyric, “tell me, am I worth it?” played on repeat.
San Holo turns to the more anthemic in “lift me off the ground,” which spotlights the soft and airy vocals of Sofie Winterson. The song conjures up an uplifting, ethereal vibe with it’s use of soaring synths and San Holo’s signature rumbling bass lines and acoustic guitar riffs.