Chris Liebing: The Techno Alchemist | Native Instruments


My goal has always been like, “Come on
the dance floor. Just lose yourself and forget about everything else.” And I hope
to create the musical background for you to be able to forget about everything
else, so that you don’t have to suddenly think like, “Oh, what’s this now? Do
I want to stay here, or don’t I want to stay here?” No, just forget about that.
Just stay there. Just let me take charge. For me personally, it started out, I would
say, ’94, ’95. Electronic music became more and more popular. There was more
and more techno music available. It was just phenomenal to be able to have
tracks that would be running for three minutes at the end where just the beat
was running and some sound, and you could layer something. Everybody
felt like, “Wow, there’s a new way to go. There’s a new way of also experiencing
the music.” Not only track by track, “Oh, this is a great track.
Let’s go on the dance floor.” No, let’s not go on the dance floor
because it’s a great track. Let’s go on the dance floor because
there is a great vibe going on. Let’s see how long we can keep that vibe.” With techno, it suddenly became possible
to really create a different attitude, a different vibe. You really had the
possibility to find tracks that nobody ever heard before and to make something
out of it, and to take your time and that was a really important thing, to
create these layers of sound, this kind of carpet that
creates a certain vibe. It’s not about your instant gratification,
your instant hit on the dance floor. It’s about you spend three, four hours on
the dance floor, and you just remember like, “What happened? Wow, I was just so
lost in the groove.” And you want to find, grab people who are maybe out
to find that instant gratification. “Oh, here’s the next drop, and this
is happening.” Of course, I’ve nothing against drops and good moments.
But you want to get them into such a different world that they forget where
they are. They forget what they wanted. They forget the motivation why they wanted
to go out anyways in the first place. And they find themselves like, “What just
happened? What was that?” They’re just like, “I had a fantastic night. I just
grooved to the music for hours and hours.” The tools to create a night like this,
there’s loads of different ways to DJ today, which is great. For me, it’s more
important what comes out of the speaker. The beat matching thing is not really
essentially…like for a turntablist, it’s creative thing. For me, it
was never really creative thing. It was kind of a thing that I had
to do. So, when I got rid of this, I used this time to be more
creative in different ways. I always thought, “When it comes to me,
people never really realize that you’re beat matching until you f— up.” It’s
like, okay, and I have everything automatically beat matched. I can use
this time to add a little bit of this, a little bit of this,” and then the
Maschine came in. Perfect. Good timing. So, there’s a million different
combinations that I can do in that moment. The better you know your system and your
set up, the more fluently you work with it, obviously. The better you know your
instrument…I mean, look at great guitar players. They just know fu–ing their
instrument. It’s kind of that way. Only a little bit different, because this
instrument is customizable to exactly what you…to your needs. Exactly how you want
to play with it, how you want to work with it. I want to enjoy what I’m doing, and this
is why I’m always looking for something new to incorporate and to do differently,
because I think I can only excite other people as long as I’m excited about what
I’m doing myself. If I’m bored with what I’m doing, then probably the people who are
listening to me are bored as well. It’s about excitement. It’s about trying
to find new ways. It’s about always evolving to the next step, to the
next step, to the next step. Some might say, “Well, other people still
play fantastic sets with two turntables and a mixer still today.” And I say, “Hey, great. These are real big
talents doing that. I don’t have that talent. I need technology and equipment in
order to do what I want to do.” And I’m not ashamed of that. I think it’s great.