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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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
DJ/Producer Dennis White aka Latroit won a Grammy for his remix of Depeche Mode’s track ‘You Move’ at this year’s 60th Grammy Awards, at Madison Square Gardens, New York.
His current release ‘Feather’ with Lliam Taylor & Aussie vocalist Charlz is currently being played on radio across Australia.
When Ozclubbers spoke to Latroit, he had just returned home to LA from New York and was decompressing from an intense week. He talks about the surrealness of winning a Grammy and how he came to work on the Depeche Mode classic “You Move”.
How did you come to work with Depeche Mode?
I was approached to remix the song and when I heard the vocal I like the way you move I just thought it was such a great vocal for a dance remix. I couldn’t get it out of my head and I had the entire remix done in my brain pretty quickly after hearing the vocal.
It was really natural, it came to me really quickly. Maybe just one day of prep. It has taken me 5 or 6 days previously to do a remix, but that is usually when I was overthinking things. Sometimes it’s just best to embrace the notion that your first idea is your best idea”.
You recently worked with Aussie vocalist Charlz on the track Feather. Can you tell us about how you and Charlz linked up?
I have been a fan of hers for a long time, I was familiar with her voice, we were linked up by a friend of mine. Charlz is the greatest undiscovered talent in the world, she’s my favourite vocalist, I love her work on Feather and I’m excited to see how her career evolves.
What advice would you give up and coming producers given the amount of music being released on a weekly basis (estimated 30,000 tracks on Beatport).
My advice is always the same for up and coming producers. Listen to what everyone else is doing, and then do the total opposite. Find a way to stand out from the crowd because you are far more likely to be ignored doing what everyone else is doing, than you are if you’re doing something that’s different and unique.
So, my two bits of advice are always the same, be good at your craft, be good! Put in the time, don’t fuck around on twitter and Instagram so much, get in there and be good at your craft. Just be conscious of doing something that’s unique that is natural to you. It’s so tempting when you hear something popular to want to do something that will fit but be unique.
How long does it take you to make professional tracks?
Sometimes a day but I’ve worked on songs for 6 months, if I’m not feeling it, I’ll shelf it and come back to it. There are songs I’ve let lay around for a few years. But try to find a balance and move on.
What's your favourite synth?
I have a Roland Juno 6 that I brought in 84’. It’s my favourite synth because I saved up to buy it. It was the first thing I played around with and that’s how I fell in love with electronic music. I still have it in my studio and I use it in some of my songs.
What’s it like winning a Grammy? – It’s a surreal experience at first. You’re asked - what’s it feel like when you hear your name? Well it doesn’t feel like anything, but your like, I heard my name and I was like oh shit! I didn’t prepare a speech because I wasn’t going to win this thing. So I had like about 15 seconds between this seat and that stage to figure out what the hell I’m going do in front of a room full of people. I really went straight to focusing on that and then there’s a bunch of stuff that happens backstage after that. There isn’t really a lot of time for it to sink in. Dave Chappelle won best comedy album and his speech summed it up perfectly, he said - I’d like to thank my wife, my dad etc etc and at the end he says “see you on Monday” and that’s exactly what it’s like. You arrive home and your back to taking out the garbage and doing your laundry.
Listen to Dennis’ incredible Grammy speech: Here
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