One of the techno masters explains his process and setup in great detail.
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Chris Liebing Philosophy and Live Methods Interview
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Swedish DJ Avicii, one of the world's biggest dance music stars, has died in Oman at the age of 28.
Avicii's club anthems include Wake Me Up, Levels, and recently, Lonely Together with Rita Ora.
His representative said in a statement: "It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii.
"The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time."
No cause of death was announced, and Avicii's representative said no further statements would be issued.
The superstar DJ behind some of the decade's biggest hits The electronic dance music (EDM) star, who reportedly made $250,000 (£180,000) a night on tour, had struggled with some health issues in the past, having his gall bladder and appendix removed in 2014.
He announced his retirement from touring in 2016, partly because of the health problems.
"I know I am blessed to be able to travel all around the world and perform, but I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist," he said at the time.
Avicii's Wake Me Up breaks a million Avicii sixth on DJ rich list Avicii recovering after an operation
Who was Avicii?
One of the biggest names in dance music of the last 10 years, he had a catalogue full of pumping, uplifting, house smashes He started his career when he won a production competition held by Pete Tong in 2008 He went on to notch up 11 billion streams on Spotify and was the first EDM DJ to stage a worldwide arena tour He was nominated for two Grammy Awards and had nine UK top 10 singles, including two number ones He suffered from health problems including acute pancreatitis, in part due to excessive drinking
He later announced a return to the studio, and released a new self-titled EP in 2017.
The EP, Avĩci (01), was nominated for a Billboard music award for top electronic album just days before his death.
As well as working with the likes of Aloe Blacc and Rita Ora, Avicii collaborated with artists including Madonna and Coldplay.
Former Radio 1 DJ Judge Jules, who often performed alongside him, said his biggest achievement was being the first electronic dance star to break America.
"He was the first huge commercial star," Judge Jules told the BBC. "He really became someone who couldn't go out on the street, he was so heavily recognised."
Other leading electronic artists wrote tributes to Bergling after the news of his death.
Singer Dua Lipa tweeted: "Such sad news to hear about Avicii passing. Too young and way too soon. My condolences go out to his family, friends and fans."
US band Imagine Dragons tweeted: "Working with him was one of my favourite collaborative moments. Far too young. The world was a happier and fuller place with his presence and art."
"No words can describe the sadness I'm feeling right now, hearing about Avicii passing away," offered DJ Zedd, while singer Adam Lambert, who collaborated on the track Lay Me Down, called him "a brilliant composer and a gentle spirit."
An enchanting artist
Analysis by Mark Savage, BBC Music reporter
At Avicii's last ever show in August 2016, one crazed fan climbed a 100ft-high (30m) scaffolding tower, just to get a better view.
That's not something that happens that often during a DJ set (who needs to see the stage anyway?) but it was a testament to Avicii's ability to enchant an audience.
Confetti cannons and bass drops aside, his shows encapsulated the inclusive, everyone-welcome philosophy that led him to collaborate with Coldplay, Nile Rodgers and Antony Hegarty as well as bluegrass and metal musicians in the studio.
That final show, at Ushuaia Ibiza, was a two-hour greatest hits set, featuring crowd pleasers like Levels and Wake Me Up alongside his remixes of Robyn and Dizzee Rascal.
But the DJ, who famously let the cat out of the bag when he revealed most major DJs pre-programmed their sets (comments he later walked back), was also known for dropping unexpected, whimsical tracks into his performances. A bit of Smokey Robinson here; a dash of Chicago there.
He approached it all with an energy and optimism that permeated his own recordings. It's no surprise he was one of the most beloved DJs on the circuit.
More about Avicii on BBC Music
Avicii in his own words
To Billboard Magazine in 2016: "When I look back on my life, I think: whoa, did I do that? It was the best time of my life in a sense. It came with a price - a lot of stress, a lot of anxiety for me - but it was the best journey of my life" Post-retirement on his website: "[Creating music], that is what I live for, what I feel I was born to do... The next stage will be all about my love of making music to you guys. It is the beginning of something new." Prelude to music video for hit The Nights: "When I was 16, my father said, 'You can do anything you want with your life, you just have to be willing to work hard to get it.' That's when I decided when I die, I want to be remembered for the life I live, not the money I make."
Every March, the spotlight shines on Miami. The Winter Music Conference (WMC) & Miami Music Week is on now, followed by Ultra Music Festival (this year celebrating its 20th Anniversary – kicking off from tomorrow at 6am AEDT via livestream: ultramusicfestival.com Sat/Sun/Mon). With the ‘who’s who’ of the Dance Music industry embarking on the Florida Beach Music Capital, it also features the annual ‘International Dance Music Awards’ (IDMAs in its 32nd Year). This year’s winners included:
Best Male Artist (Mainstream) – Armin van Buuren
Best Male Artist (Underground) – Carl Cox
Best Song – ‘More Than You Know’ – Axwell /\ Ingrosso
Best Music Event – ‘A State of Trance’
Best Label (USA) – ‘Ultra Music’
Best Streaming Service – ‘Spotify’
Best Female Artist (Mainstream) – NERVO
Best Podcast / Radio Show – ‘A State of Trance’
Best Music Festival – ‘ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL’
Best Label (Global) – ARMADA
We in Australia are fortunate to host some of the biggest Artists, Events & Festivals from across the globe. We recently were introduced to the ‘ULTRA Music Festival’ family (‘Road to Ultra’ held in Melbourne) which was a huge success and over the next few months, we’re super excited to host some of the biggest Artists in the scene!!
Armin van Buuren is currently playing LIVE at ‘Armin & Friends Pool Party’ at the SLS Hotel – South Beach, Miami. Next up is Australia’s MaRLo watch here: https://www.facebook.com/arminvanbuuren/videos/10155429810793316.
PURE 2018 - CARL COX, PACO OSUNA, NASTIA, FABIO NEURAL & ERIC POWELL
Friday 20 April - Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland
Saturday 21 April - Festival Hall, Melbourne
Tuesday 24 April - Metro City, Perth (Anzac Day Eve)
Friday 27 April - Family, Brisbane
Saturday 28 April - Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Plus Locals: Sydney: Nick Reverse // Spektrum DJs // Wild Fox
Melbourne: Josh Wain & Paul Lynch (Autosea) // Leighboy & Handsdown
ISTORIA 2018 MELBOURNE - ARMIN VAN BUUREN, ØRJAN NILSEN, RUBEN DE RONDE, WILL ATKINSON
Friday 20th April, 2018 – Festival Hall – Melbourne
A STATE OF TRANCE 850 SYDNEY - ARMIN VAN BUUREN, GAIA, MARLO, ØRJAN NILSEN, RUBEN DE RONDE, WILL ATKINSON
Saturday 21st April, 2018 – Sydney Showground
CARL COX AND ERIC POWELL'S MOBILE DISCO
Saturday 19th May 2018 - ULU Cliffhouse, Bali
(Many Aussies are travelling for this one)
ABOVE & BEYOND ‘COMMON GROUND’ AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES:
Friday 8th June – Hisense Arena, Melbourne
Saturday 9th June – Exhibition Halls, Sydney Showground
WILD NIGHTS TOUR – CASCADA, DJ SASH!, DJ ALIGATOR, N-TRANCE, LOVE INC. (featuring vocalist Simone Denny)
+ Special Guests: Nick Skitz + MC Kidd Kaos
Friday 15 June – Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane
Saturday 16 June – Big Top Luna Park, Sydney
Thursday 21 June – HQ Complex, Adelaide
Friday 22 June – Trak Lounge, Melbourne
Saturday 23 June – Metro City, Perth
So, as the dust has settled on our recent Attic event headlined by Laurence Guy—our fourth instalment—I am making available my recorded set from the evening.
I opened up shop for the first hour on this occasion, so, accordingly; this is very much a lower, slower effort—105 BPM upwards—though, in doing so, I did my best to retain a lot of the melodic elements that make up our "Attic sound".
I really enjoyed putting this one together and kicking off the night in a method that I saw fit—and what an evening it turned out to be!
I hope you enjoy this one, all the same.
Comments and feedback—and if you really enjoy it, bookings—are always welcome!
'till next time!
01 : Voodoo Whiskey - 'Poolside' (Original Mix) [Midnight Riot]
02 : Atjazz - 'Open A Window' (Original Mix) [Atjazz Record Company]
03 : Shur-I-Kan - 'Remember' (Original Mix) [Dark Energy Recordings]
04 : Ben La Desh & Plan d'Aqua - 'Crackstate' (Original Mix) [Ism Recordings]
05 : Ethyène - 'Rains Over Occident' (Original Mix) [Editorial Records]
06 : Saine - 'You Can Count On Me' (Original Mix) [Masterworks Music]
07 : Deephope - 'Transition' (Original Mix) [Deep Site Digital]
08 : Luvless - 'Down With You Baby' (Original Mix) [Tsuba]
09 : Kolja Gerstenberg - 'Mmmh Jaaazz' (Original Mix) [Smile For A While]
10 : Ethyène ft. Folamour - 'Why My Love' (Original Mix) [Better Listen Records]
11 : Tour-maubourg - 'Hang On' (Original Mix) [FHUO Records]
12 : Closed Paradise - 'Secrets' (Original Mix) [Better Listen Records]
13 : Daniel Leseman - 'On My Mind' (Original Mix) [Outplay]
In the lead up to their Australian tour and the release of their new album, Cut The Strings, Ozclubbers' @GALLEON chats with Booka Shade about their music, the album, and just life in general!
We warmly welcome you both Arno & Walter back to Australia for your run of dates in March. You have frequented our shores regularly in the last 10 years. What is it that keeps bringing you back down under?
Ever since we first came in 2007, we have found an enthusiastic and loyal fanbase who not only cherishes the classic tracks, but also embraces more recent songs such as LOVE INC .
We played some of the biggest festivals such as big day out, future fest etc, but also enjoy the headline club shows, like Melbourne last weekend and the ones coming up in Brisbane, Auckland and Adelaide (during fringe festival) .
As the new album is only coming out in a couple of weeks, we play a lot of unreleased album songs in Australia, and it´s great to see the reaction of the crowd.
Your previous live shows have never disappointed and always left the listener wanting more. Can you let us in on a few secrets as to what we might experience this time around?
I guess it´s not really a secret when I say that we simply LOVE performing on a stage. that´s what we are really good at (together with producing music I hope) .
And on this tour, also because the sound of the album is more ´back to the club´, our setup is very condensed , we have all channels for synthesizers, effects, drums under control on stage, we can react quickly and can interact more spontaneously , which gives the set great energy .
With your last album Galvany Street, you took a different approach to your previous albums, which included the use of more hardware and featured various collaborations. Does Cut The Strings have any similarities to Galvany Street or have you gone back to a predominantly club approach?
After our 2013 album EVE we had the feeling that we had said everything in terms of bass lines and riffs. we had the feeling we would only repeat ourselves if we continued in our ´usual´ way, and as artists, we definitely always want to progress, evolve, not repeat.
Which sounds risky, because we have a career we could perhaps simply continue for years and years.
But that would be too easy …. :-)
So on GALVANY STREET, we made an unusual step and produced an album outside of the techno box, no techno 4/4 beats , no ´booka synth riffs´ , a lot of vocals, even pop song writing.
Most of the vocal tracks are together with Craig Walker, former member of the UK band ARCHIVE. btw he´s got a new project coming up called THEM THERE.
We also collaborated with Fritz Hilpert from KRAFTWERK on a Dolby atmos mix of the entire album which was released as Blu-ray disc and is part of the Box Set we released.
We needed this time out to recharge our club batteries and indeed, we found new inspiration for club music !
And now, with this new enthusiasm for the club, comes CUT THE STRINGS .
After the galvany street the only guideline we had was that we wanna go back to more clubbier music and that we don‘t wanna work so crazy long on tracks as we did in the past.it should be more spontaneous and open minded.
You have worked with Troels Abrahamsen (vocalist on Kolsch 'All That Matters') on your latest single and title track, Cut The Strings. How did you get to know Troels?
We actually contacted him years ago, shortly after ´all that matters´, and recorded a first version of what would later become CUT THE STRINGS.
But then the GALVANY STREET project came in between and we put the song aside for a while, and picked up work in the autumn of last year.
One of the novelties of the album CUT THE STRINGS is that we worked much more spontaneous and finished the production process quicker.
On previous albums we easily worked for 2, even 3 years on an album. Again, that´s something we wanted to change in 2018.
With your latest live show, do you individually have specific functions within the show or do you collaborate on all aspects?
The work spaces are clearly defined since we first started: Walter plays keyboards, vocoder, sequences, Arno plays the drums and whenever we play longer sets, he does a DJ part in the middle of the set.
When writing Cut The Strings, did you find any tried and tested production techniques useful?
We used some instruments that we didn‘t use for a long time , for example an old EMS vocoder which we bought from Ian Stanley a former member of the 80‘s group tears for fears.
You can hear it on tyrell and of course EMS love.this little box has a very special sound.
How much do you find your methods of producing music evolve with the vast amount of software and plugins available?
Even if it is so easy nowadays to do a good sound with all the plug inns which are out there ,we‘re always looking for new sounds with a character which can help to improve the trademark sound of Booka Shade.
Not easy but it‘s worth it.
It‘s all about challenging yourself and not be stuck in a formula.
How do you both remain resilient and at the top of your game while touring given the long hours and continual amount of work needing to be done to make your performances so memorable?
We have a pretty good time management, considering we both have families and a lot of obligations aside of music. also, we live a rather healthy lifestyle lately, and it´s incredible how much you can get done in a day and how much more energy you can have even with little sleep.
Looking into your back catalogue, you both have an extensive history as producers under various aliases and in several groups stretching back to the better part of 30 years. Would you ever consider reviving any of the older projects you both worked on together (for example Superstring)?
Ha ha, you´re digging deep …… well not everything was gold , but having said that, most of the rights from the 90´s should have long fallen back to us, so you never know…. go listen to old demos and releases every now and then and then look for sounds and sequences on old hard drives. you can imagine, there are dozens of old computers and hard drives ...
In the last few years you have set up Blaufield Music. Tell us a little about your label and its functions.
We had founded the label Get Physical together with our friends M.A.N.D.Y. , DJ T. and Peter Hayo in the early 2000´s and left in 2008, so we needed a new outlet for our music. and every now and then we release songs from friends of ours, for example fellow berliner CHI THANH, who has produced a magnificent remix for Body Language btw).
Could be that after the summer we´ll release a project of friends of ours from Melbourne.
Within the music industry, you as individuals and collectively as Booka Shade are known for having a great reputation and being highly professional while always remaining humble. Are these qualities you would recommend any DJ, producer or musician should withhold in order to maintain longevity in the scene?
Absolutely. most people who have been successful over a longer period of time (not just two summers) are very professional, work hard and stay grounded.
Who would you say has inspired you the most musically over the last 30 years?
Depeche mode, The Cure, New Order, Sven Vath
Do you have any tips as to who is about to blow up in the next couple of years?
ARTBAT from Ukraine are having a good run atm, look out for them.
Finally, feel free to tell us a fun fact that we wouldn't know about Booka Shade.
We love gardening in our free time.
Album Pre-order: https://sweatitout.lnk.to/CutTheStrings
Booka Shade – Australian Tour Dates
Friday 9th March: Pitch Music & Arts Festival, Mafeking Victoria
Saturday 10th March: Days Like This, Victoria Park, Sydney
Sunday 11th March: Prince Bandroom, Melbourne
Friday 16th March: The Met, Brisbane
Saturday 17th March: Powerstation, Auckland NZ
Sunday 18th March: Royal Croquet Club, Adelaide Fringe Festival
Ozclubbers video review by Louise Lou Lou & Mc Wormie from the Lu-Lu & Wormie Breaky Show on 97.1 Sweet FM & Marizma Snips aka MC Mj (Music Promoter)
Metroplane - Word of mouth
Alex Preston - Feel It