Digging through the catalogue of one of Techno’s most idiosyncratic and gifted talents – Orlando Voorn
Any self respecting collector of techno or house music will have at some point stumbled across a record or two bearing one of the many production aliases of Orlando Voorn.
As one of the first musicians hailing from the Netherlands to establish a vital connection between Detroit and Amsterdam in the early 90s, Voorn has long been recognized and celebrated as one of the Netherland’s most original and ingenious electronic music pioneers. He began DJing at the tender age of 12 years old, quickly identifying with the enthralling world of Hip Hop and Scratch mixing. He went on to enter and win his first competition at Amsterdam’s “Club Flora Palace” a few years later – ironically using records lent to him by a friend. Continuing to practice his demon edged routines, he found himself entering more competitions and was discovered by Dutch Radio host “Robin Albers” who was in charge of the DMC mixing Championships in the Netherlands. Noticing his potential, he encourage Voorn to enter and he took them by storm, winning 1st place in the national Dutch competition in 1986 and 1987. This afforded him the opportunity to compete at the world championships twice in the United Kingdom, where he finished in 3rd and 5th place: spinning his characteristic whirlwind blend of hip hop and electro.
Voorn acquired his first sequencer and turned his hand to producing during this era and his first project came out under the alias “Fixomatic”. He then made a name for himself with the alias “Frequency”, releasing his take on the emerging rave fuelled sounds on Lower East Side Records with titles such as “Where is Your Evidence”, “Kiss the Sky” and “Industrial Metal”. Around the time, a friend introduced him to Juan Atkins and the pair soon started to collaborate and produce at Voorn’s home studio. The mix of the two worked extraordinarily well and Juan taught Orlando how to merge sounds, as well as push the standards of conventional production.
Joining forces led them to produce the instant Techno classic “Game One”, which was released on Metroplex. Around the same era, Voorn also met Blake Baxter and they collaborated and released on the infamous ESP Records and under the alias “The Ghetto Brothers”: making 2 timeless classics “Ghetto Disco” and” Ghetto Blues”. As things evolved, he also recorded for Kevin Saunderson’s “KMS” imprint using yet another alias known as “Fix”: sampling George Clinton and creating the instant dance floor destroyer “Flash”, which remains in many DJs crates to this day. A hit in the Detroit clubs first before the record broke out internationally, his history of working with Detroit’s originators includes records for Derrick May.
Coming from the true school, Voorn has never limited himself to one particular alias or style. You’ll find his discography packed with pseudonyms such as: Balance, Baruka, Basic Bastard, Complex, Defence, Dope Dog, Fix, Fixomatic, Format, Frequency, Galaxy, The Judge, Limited Edition, Living Room, Maniax Traxxx, Mute, The Nighttripper, PB 2000, Playboy, Progress, Solar, The Stalker, Tank, Trigger, Ultra, Urban Nature, X-It.
He’s still going strong in 2020, having been rightly supported by the mighty Rush Hour over the last few years. Bearing all this in mind, we couldn’t help but dig a little deeper to compile some of his hidden gems from the last 3 decades: