Chris Liebing is no stranger to an LWE party, with the most recent appearance from CLR’s head-honcho being a memorable 6 hour set at the infamous Sidings Warehouse in SE1. Before that it was his CLR party at the same venue with the likes of Emerson and a few other friends. This summer we are teaming up with Chris and his team to bring you a day of techno fueled fun, at the LWE vs. CLR stage at Eastern Electrics.
Rivalling any other electronic music festival in the country, this year’s festival is a true reflection of the diverse musical landscape that the UK house and techno scene has to offer. Our third birthday on the 6th July will mark the official launch party for this event, where you can catch a few other artists who are playing on the main festival bill.
Chris is an artist fully absorbed in the music, always looking to experiment with a wide range of sonic possibilities, that complement his tastes. As a performer he was one of the first to embrace the new realms that technologies such as Traktor have given to recording artists across the globe. Still releasing only the best and purist techno on the label, his success has been in allowing the sound to evolve whist sticking firmly to his roots.
Can you remember the first song that got you into making electronic music?
Yes, I guess it was a song I heard way before I started to make electronic music myself, but it kind of haunted me. It was Jaydee “Plastic Dreams”, which was such an amazing track back in the days and it still is. It was the first song I heard that made me want to get more and more into electronic music and electronic music production.
What artists gave you the biggest inspirations on your own creative style when you first started out?
I would say Dave Gahan and Martin Gore, two parts of Depeche Mode. Dave Gahan for his presence on the stage and his absolutely amazing energy in everything he does, and Martin Gore basically for his incredible songwriting skills. Not that I would consider myself a songwriter at all, but still I find it very inspiring to see someone come up with all of these great songs for more than 30 years. I really think that this guy must have been an inspiration to basically any living musician.
You can definitely here some influences from more industrial and grunge sounds, do you listen to much of this music, or have you just given them a place in techno?
Oh, I have been growing up with Industrial, Grunge and Rock music, and all of those genres have a certain dark, driving or sometimes melancholic energy about them. It can be found in all kinds of musical styles and is not restricted to electronic music or Techno at all. I still really like to listen to The Cure, very old Gary Numan records or some Industrial stuff. I also still like to listen to Pearl Jam or old Nirvana stuff. There is just such an amazing energy behind this music and I somehow really connect to that, that´s probably why this certain feeling can by sensed in my music as well.
What’s your favorite track to drop at 6 in the morning?
Right now I would not mention just one track, as there are loads of tracks by for example Max Cooper or Dense & Pika. This is just amazing music to drop at 6 in the morning. But then again, what you feel like playing at 6 in the morning really depends on where you are actually playing, as the schedules of the clubs can be so different from each other, and the same time might require different moods in different places. Still I know what you mean by 6 in the morning, so I would stick to Max Cooper and Dense & Pika.
This might be a hard one, but what vinyl in your collection has the most value to you?
There are loads of great albums, but I do believe that the very first vinyl I bought has the most value to me. And now don´t laugh, it was “Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor, actually the whole album, and remember, I was very young back then.
Your performances now make use of the modern technology that comes with DJing these days, but do you ever dust off the technics and play some records at home?
I still have a record player here in my studio and I also still buy some vinyls. The last time I mixed with vinyl was just recently when I visited Danny Tenaglia in his loft in New York. He had this amazing sound system standing in the room with a dj booth and I just started to dj with the records that were lying around. It was like being back into mixing mode, with no headphones, so it was quite challenging but also loads of fun. It made me remember the good old days of mixing vinyl, but it still did not want me to go back, as I have so many more possibilities with the technology I am using in my current setup. I can do so many wild things I could never do if I was just using two Technics.
Do you think that the internet has made the music of today more throwaway than it was ten of fifteen years ago?
No I don´t think that at all. I do understand that some people may think that way, but I still believe that very precious and incredibly nice pieces of music will be valued and appreciated no matter on which format they come – an mp3, a golden CD or a 250 g vinyl – it does not really matter to me. What matters to me is the feeling it gives me when I listen to it. Since the music is available on the internet I have a much more direct and fast access to new music and incredible stuff, which would have taken much more effort and time to find before. I think that this is ultimately a great thing. Obviously there is also a lot of crappy music around, but there always was, and this kind of crappy music will never have a very long lifetime, with or without the internet.
We saw that you have just done something like 55 hours of flying 5 days, what do you do to try and stay healthy when touring?!
Before a tour like that, like for example my recent Australia tour, with four cities in three days and 55 hours of flight time, I try to have enough sleep, and sometimes a sleeping pill on a flight can help. I eat light, I am a vegan, which helps very, very much and I can only recommend everyone to try the vegan lifestyle. Sleep and food and exercise, those are kind of the key factors to take care of leading a healthy lifestyle.