TF Archives

Christopher Lawrence - Unhooked

Author: Mark Burton
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
If ever there was proof of Christopher Lawrence's emergence as America's first global DJ, then clinching last year's number seven spot in the prestigious DJ Mag poll was it. The US Trancelord has recently been down under as part of the promotional touring for his debut artist album 'All or Nothing', and following hot on the heels is his second artist album, 'Un-Hooked' - a retrospective of his work for Hook Recordings which was released in America late last year.

Incredibly, 'All or Nothing' got criticised by sections of Lawrence's support, and a so-called music journalist jumped on the bandwagon, all for a very odd reason; the fact that it was unmixed! 'Yeah it's true!' confirms Christopher with a chuckle. 'If you listen to the album, there's actually sound effects or fillers...there are things that lead from one song to the other, it's not dead air between the tracks and yet there was a person that said 'for someone who's supposed to be one of the premium DJs in the world, he's the worst mixer I've ever heard!

'I can't believe how bad the mixes are on this album...'

'It's quite obvious that it's not supposed to be like a mixed CD. It's one track and then another track'. This all seems very misinformed, considering artist albums usually are unmixed. 'Exactly yes!' agrees Lawrence assertively. 'And the reason for that... even when I took out on some of the tracks that were previously released as dancefloor tracks, I cut out the intros and the outros so that the songs just begin as opposed to being DJ friendly, because this is supposed to be just listenable for the album. But yeah, and there were people that came up to me at events and they complain. They go 'Yeah all your other albums have been mixed' and I said well the other ones aren't albums they're compilation CDs which are souvenirs of a night out or a snapshot in a period of time, this is an artist album so yeah I was really surprised.

'So then on my second artist album that I just put out that one is mixed. I bowed down to my fans, I figure they're the ones that put me there I guess I better mix it for 'em!'

Last year, Christopher had a rather unfortunate encounter of a different kind with a confused fan whilst touring South America. 'Yeah it was in Costa Rica,' he confirms with a nervous giggle... 'and um there were a couple guys that had been enjoying themselves, partying quite hard, one of them fell off the table at a bar, got hurt and he was taken out of the club. The remaining guy saw his friend being carried out and thought his friend had died and decided it was up to him to save every one else at the party and he ran on stage, hit me on the side of the head and before I knew it he'd broken one of the turntables and next I know security's got him and since I didn't speak Spanish I didn't know what'd happened. So I'm standing there whilst dead air...I'm looking out at like a thousand people, kind of shrugging my shoulders, and it wasn't til later that they explained to me what had happened!'

On a more serious note, last year's personal success was tempered somewhat by the re-election of old adversary 'Dubya' to the Oval Office, something which caught Lawrence completely by surprise. 'I was gutted,' he concedes. 'I was actually quite surprised that he could be re-elected. I honestly believed that Kerry would win - I thought that there were enough people that felt like I did and would not support him.'

Returning to the main topic for the interview, Lawrence first 'hooked' up with Chris Cowie in the mid nineties. 'I had been playing everything that had come out on the Hook label at that time, I just picked up on them really early and just saw that the productions coming out on it were at the forefront of anything else being done at the time and I'd done a couple releases of my own over in the US and I got a call one day from Chris was him on the phone. I just thought he was the greatest producer in the world and here he was calling