TF Archives

Chris Liebing: The Dark Prince Of Techno

Author: Mark Burton
Monday, February 7, 2005
German techno don Chris Liebing is a very busy man, not only does the DJ and producer spend the usual time touring and in the studio, but he's also heavily involved with developing DJ technology with Stanton and Final Scratch 2.

When I spoke with him he was enjoying a snow-boarding holiday in Switzerland. "Right now I'm on holiday so I'm not doing much music right now!" confesses Chris. "You've actually just caught me in Switzerland where it's beautiful, snowing outside right now!"

Aside from getting climatically prepared for his forthcoming trip to Melbourne, Chris has more productions on the go with Dutch techno-boffin Speedy J. "I'm producing together with Speedy J", he confides. "We're basically sitting in the studio working on an album, we're meeting in the studio like every other month and by April we want to have an album finished which is supposed to be released on Novamute in October. We currently have two singles out already, the Collabs 300 and the Collabs 301 I think it is going to be within the next week, so these are my current releases, and then I have some other remixes out right now."

There's an interesting tale behind the making of Collabs 301: "Yeah! It was done during the European Soccer Championsip, we were simultaneously watching the television in the studio whilst producing the record and it's always very interesting when I go to Rotterdam to visit Speedy J's studio. He's got an amazing studio and we always come up with new things and at that time it happened to be the European Championships and we're doing two things parallel at once which was quite fun!"

The duo performed together for the first time in 2004 in Detroit. "That's another thing which turned out to be quite interesting", confirms Chris. "We were booked on the same event in Detroit for the electronic music conference and while we're sitting in the studio we were thinking 'Hmmm we've been playing together before, Johan was playing live and I DJed after him or before him and what we've done always was like we've done transitions' Like I was mixing into his live set that's what we've done like before already and then we thought 'Hmm we'll play a whole night in Detroit together, why don't we try to play the whole night and not just me DJing, you play your live set (for) one hour and then I keep on DJing. We'll do the whole thing together' and we didn't think much about what to do, we just got together two hours before the event and set up all our equipment, which together, is quite a lot! We hooked it up the way we thought it would make sense and we basically started off playing the whole night together. It was amazing and while we did this we found out there's so many more things you can do if you're two people on the stage, such as manipulating each others signal and do weird stuff, really go down, go up. To us it seemed like a concert. We wanna work on that set-up more and for our release of the album, then we wanna do a whole tour just doing this together and with a lot of other features as well within that set so it's quite exciting because it's a new style to bring the music across. You can't really call it completely live and you can't call it a DJ set, it's like all mixed up and I think you shouldn't call it anything, it's just like music coming out of the speakers!!"

He's no longer so concerned about going 100% live himself. "Because I incorporate into my sets quite a big live element already, it's getting bigger and bigger and I believe I would limit myself if I should go and put the records away or other tracks from other artists. I think more like I don't wanna 100% only DJ, it should be like a mixed up thing all the time you know. It's just like I don't wanna even define's just like trying to get enough good beats out of whatever I'm using yeah and not limiting myself by saying I gotta do it only this way or only this way!"

A large proportion of his live element is through Final Scratch, something he's<