Switched On: Feiertag – Dive (Sonar Kollektiv)

by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

Dive is the second album from Dutch producer and drummer Joris Feiertag for Sonar Kollektiv. It finds him concentrating more on synth-based grooves than the upbeat, vocal-led tracks of previous album Time To Recover.

What’s the music like?

Once again Feiertag hits the sweet spot between poolside listening and a more immersive experience. His instrumentals are beautifully layered, especially the heat soaked Cala, with its urgent beats and liquid keyboard lines, and then Descend, also employing the chopped up approach with some nicely twisted percussion.

Opener Living In Slow is a clever piece of work, speeding up the vocals but squashing some of the beats to make a glitchy, sultry groove that works really well. It also has some of the urgency that courses through a track like Nocturnality, a quicker groove with flitting melodic figures that really gets going. Deep house with an edge.

Feiertag also writes fluid techno in the Detroit style with How U Do It, which is generally good save for a spoken word vocal that will be too crude for some tastes.

Does it all work?

Yes. Feiertag’s approach has a good deal of light and shade, and is really well constructed. This is music that sounds excellent on big speakers and headphones.

Is it recommended?

It is – a fine sequel and a sign that on the whole Feiertag is growing as an artist.

Listen & Buy

Switched On – Feiertag: Time To Recover (Sonar Kollektiv)


reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

Dutch musician Joris Feiertag has a number of impressive disciplines on his CV, from drumming and production, but until now he had not delivered a long player. Time To Recover puts that right, released on Jazzanova’s Sonar Kollektiv label, and on the evidence of the music artist and imprint are an ideal match.

The 50-minute album has 16 tracks, three of which are cinematic interludes showing off Feiertag’s musical versatility. This extends to the songs themselves, a mixture of instrumental and vocal numbers. Guests include Tessa Rose Jackson, Oli Hannaford, Pete Josef and James Alexander Bright.

What’s the music like?

Cool and summery – ideal for a poolside soundtrack but never in danger of sinking into the background. That is because Feiertag’s songwriting and structures are tight, with plenty of riffs to hang on to and some bright, airy textures. The breezy It’s Alright is a lovely pop-infused number, an ideal match of James Alexander Bright’s vocals and the airy production. Yearn, meanwhile, is a softly affecting song where Tessa Rose Jackson and Oli Hannaford team up to pull the heartstrings. Jackson also features on Follow, a really nice bit of low-slung electro funk.

The instrumental Pretend shows off Feiertag’s ability to get a lovely blend of outdoor, blue sky vibes and intimate, indoor club music. There is a twist of jazz, too, a technique the excellent Saccharine uses more explicitly, constructing a sound and an approach Bonobo would be proud of.

The interludes are good but could easily be used as fully-fledged tracks themselves, especially the satisfying thrum of the flamenco guitar on Bilbao.

Does it all work?

Yes. Time To Recover doesn’t have any tracks worth skipping, the album hanging together logically and beautifully. Its hot weather vibes pull the listener in, while the vocal tracks are presented as meaningful songs. Only the interludes could do with extending further – which is a compliment in itself, as it is rare for a review to ask for a longer album!

Is it recommended?

Yes. Time To Recover is a summery album with a good deal of class.