HigherFrequency  DJ Interview


Chris Liebing

Frankfurt-based Chris Liebing has caught attention through his prolific career and German Dance Awards nominations and wins. He releases on his own highly acclaimed label, CLR as well as other great techno labels such as Novamute.

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HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : It's been 6 months since you came to Japan last time. How do you feel now?

Chris Liebing (Chris) : I'm very good. I just had a holiday in Switzerland, skiing in the Alps and I'm super fit and super ready to go for this year.

HRFQ : You made quite significant movement in DJ Magazine Top 100, confirming 65 steps ahead. And you are the highest climber it's ever seen. What is the biggest elements that contributed to this?

Chris : I think our season on Ibiza that I've done with Maro Pacatto, we had it every Wed at Privilege. It was sort of a risk to do it in the beginning because we didn't know how it would be accepted or how people would turn out. For some reason we had an amazing time, a really good turn out of people and really good parties every time with guests like Ben Simms and Henry B. We had a good selection of Techno Djs and it was working quite well and I think a lot of people weren't into Techno but were coming because of Maro and because he's got a big name from his years as a Trance DJ. And people who were coming for my music didn't really know what Maro was doing, as he transformed into like a Techno DJ as well. So the combination went well and we had a good party behind the decks which transferred to the crowd. We had a really good season. And a lot of people came in and that helped more of an international crowd come to know my name.

HRFQ : Also, we just heard the good news that you were once again nominated for two German Dance Awards ; Best DJ and best Techno Artist. We know how great this is, as there are so many great techno talents in Germany. How do you see the chance to win this year?

Chris : Since in 2003 I won the best DJ award, I don't really think this year my chances are very big. They will maybe give it to someone else this year. I already think being nominated is a great thing. I did so much last year and I've been working on more of an international scale, a little less energy into the German market - I play less in Germany because I have to take dates to play outside of Germany. So it is already really nice to be nominated again. People recognize and see what I am still doing therefore I think it would quite OK for someone else to win this time.

HRFQ : Talking about your label CLR, what is your strategy in 2005? Are there any good new artists you're presenting through this label this year?

Chris : My strategy first of all is to get some records out. It's been like two years since I've released on CLR and I've released other artists like a German artist called Eric Sneo who has done really nice things. And Hardcell from Sweden and for this year, I'm looking forward to releasing my own material a little more. I want to keep going with the Stigmata releases. I've had some problems with distribution in the last few years because all of the distributors I've been working with are having problems and going bankrupt all the time. I did have some problems in that respect, so I did put the label side a little bit back, but I was producing more with Speedy J and I've put a lot of time into this project. So releasing on other labels like Novamute, for example.

Chris Liebing Interview

HRFQ : Can you tell about this a bit?

Chris : I'm working with Speedy J together on an album which we will be releasing on Novamute in October. We look forward to finishing it in April and we're already quite far. As soon as I get back from this trip, we're going to meet up for another week. It's so good to work with him. I learn very much. It seems to be a very good combination. We both have our directions and he has a big variety of music he does for a long time. In the Ambient direction and in the Techno direction. We've had a lot of fun in the studio and I hope that this will be heard on the album. It's a very exciting project and I'm looking very forward to it. We're also going to tour together for it. We've already done some gigs for it and the idea is that it will be more like a concert. We will be playing together all night long. It's not like he plays live and I DJ - we'll do everything together the whole night long. We'll have a lot of equipment on the stage so there will be a lot of things to do.

HRFQ : When are you going to release your next original album following "Evolution" in 2003? If so, what will it be like?

Chris : I think my next artist album as Chris Liebing, I will release in 2006. Which will take another year which I'll start on this year. I'm already thinking about it and collecting loops and sounds, that I've basically done the last half year. So I'm starting a second studio that is closer to my house and my production times will be a bit more. As soon as I get back in the studio, because I have so much raw material, it's going to go down hopefully in a flow.

HRFQ : I think you just signed endorsement deals with Final Scratch 2. If so, can you endorse it for Japanese DJs?

Chris : I've been working with Final Scratch 1 for already three years now. Of course every new piece of technology has some problems in some respect, but we've been working on that quite a long time. All this work we've been collecting the problem findings and solutions and so that has all gone into Final Scratch 2 - the research from the last three years. Not only me but other people who are beta testing the software. And Final Scratch 2 is basically where everything comes together. And also a much better sound quality and system of the soundcard and better quality of every piece of equipment involved. So I think this is the beginning of Final Scratch. I think it was at the practice level where you look at it and this now is the beginning of the whole of digital Djing. And I'm very excited to be a part of it and contribute to it. This is with the software company Native Instruments and the hardware company Stanton and I think this is going to be one of the biggest things they are doing. And promoting it is playing it. And I can only promote something which I believe in myself otherwise it wouldn't work.

HRFQ : What kind of gear and software do you use for your studio production?

Chris : I used to work a lot with Logic but now Logic Pro is out but I haven't really touched it because I've gotten really into working with Ableton Live. And the fourth version which they just released a few months ago and the midi elements is almost an unbeatable software for producing anything. It's fantastic. You can include all sorts of other software. I keep getting back to Native Instruments, but it is a really intelligent company and they have software like Battery, Kontact, all these things that you can include working with Ableton Live. There are so many possibilities that it's unbelievable. And I tend to work with not only one piece of software but I'm using bits of different software, even work with analogue equipment and then throw it into Ableton Live and go for it. It's great to see how technology advances and how more creativity is possible and putting it into finished products.

Chris Liebing Interview

HRFQ : How do you see the future of techno?

Chris : I think we are still very much at the beginning of things. I think the last ten years has been a little like kids starting to work with a new toy, which is basically electronic equipment. And only now computers start to be so powerful that you can do things with them that even one year ago wasn't possible. I think within the next year there is so much power behind CPUs. The software is always a little bit ahead of the computer. The software can do more than the computer is capable to do with its hardware. Now we've come to a level where they are sort of equal and the computers are becoming so strong that there are so many possibilities. And once you have these possibilities, Techno will be able to include more styles of music. There is going to be a lot more fusion going on, and not only audio-wise but video-wise as well. In 10-15 years, there will be Djing and video controls, so people who go to a club will have a full-on experience. Video and sound will go much more together. It will be a much bigger experience for all the senses.

End of the interview

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