Interview with Cristoph - My Ibiza

Interview with Cristoph

We recently caught up with Newcastle-born Cristoph and discussed the debut edition of Hot Since 82’s new album series titled “8-track” and what we can expect from his contribution to it, his summer plans in Ibiza with Knee Deep In Ibiza, Solid Grooves and Warriors and the difficult in an artist keeping the balance between remaining true to their underground roots whilst becoming a mainstream success.

First things first Cristoph, you originate from the North of England in Newcastle. In terms of nightlife, what does Newcastle have to offer to the house and techno music scenes?

Newcastle is predominantly a party city. A lot of the trade relies on students and stag and hen parties really. However, it still hosts some amazing house and techno nights. The likes of Loop and Motion attract some great DJs and their nights are always full. The real stand out event for me is Shindig. It’s been running for 24 years now and still they put on some of the greatest parties I’ve ever attended. Shindig is the night I grew up on and it introduced me to some of the best DJ’s on the planet.

Your DJ sets and productions vary from deep house to tech house to techno beats. Which genre of music do you enjoy playing the most and what appeals to you the most about this particular genre of music?

I enjoy music and sets which go on a journey. I tend to get bored if I listen to one specific genre for too long. If I had to choose an actual genre that I preferred, the most I would probably say Progressive House. Progressive House how I know it isn’t what’s under the Beatport banner. I love the trip each track takes me on, all the melodies, breakdowns, bass lines etc, they really get a grip on me. The likes of Sasha and John Digweed nail this sound in both their productions and their sets.

Speaking of sounds, you will be the first artist to showcase the inaugural edition of Hot Since 82’s new album series titled “8-track”. What is the story behind Daley’s new concept and what can we expect from your particular edition on this new album series?

First of all, I would like to say it’s been an honour to do the first, in what will no doubt be a very successful series. Daley and his Knee Deep In Sound crew came up with the idea and it’s basically a conceptual album project. They select an artist to produce eight brand new tracks from scratch and make a mini set out of them. As soon as I was approached, I found it a really interesting proposition and jumped at the chance of doing it. I’ve always wanted to write my own album(s) and I saw this as a chance to start to get to understand that side of production.

Granted my edition is a lot more up tempo and dance floor friendly than some tracks I would write for a complete album, but the whole approach is a lot different to writing individual tracks to be released as singles or an EP. My 8-track tries to take you on a journey slowly building as it moves through each track then ending with quite a euphoric track – pretty much how like my sets are structured. I’ve tried to show quite a bit of variety in my productions and I’m hoping the listeners grasp that and enjoy what I’ve made.

One of the tracks from your inaugural edition of this new album series titled “8-track” is called “Perplexity”. Can you tell us about the production that went into this particular record and what aspect you enjoy about it the most?

My aim for “Perplexity” was for it to be a peak time track. When it came to writing the track, I already knew where I wanted it to sit in the mix so an idea came to me pretty quickly. I enjoy looping vocals in some of my tracks – I find it can help give the track quite a bit of drive. I looped a vocal to lie underneath certain elements of the track then looped another more prominent one which I wanted to filter in and out of the track and slightly pan around. From there, I wanted a short bass line pattern consisting of a few notes – once again to help give the track some drive. There are quite a lot of atmospheric bits going on in the background to help fill that space, along with quite an industrial sounding stab at the forefront. My favourite element of the track is the high synth which starts around 3 minutes 35 seconds in. I’m really into darker, weird synth sounds and love to use them in my productions when I can. This one here was made using a piece of software called Pro-53 by Native Instruments.

What are your thoughts on Hot Since 82 as an artist? What kind of an impact do you think his three-date Knee Deep In Ibiza residency will have on the party capital?

I’ve been a huge fan of Hot Since 82 ever since hearing his remix of “Spanish Pantalones” by Los Suruba back in 2012. He really is someone I look up to and admire in this industry. Daley is an amazing DJ and I feel that his productions have raised the bar on the standards people try to achieve massively. On top of all that, he’s a real sound, genuine lad too. The Knee Deep In Pacha shows will undoubtedly be rammed. They seem to be selling out world wide. They just keep going from strength to strength. I think they will be really suited in Pacha and I’m sure they will create their own cool decor for it too.

You will of course be gracing the decks for his residency at Pacha Ibiza on Friday 5th August. What are you most looking forward to about this performance and why?

Playing Pacha will be a dream come true for me. I used to love heading down there to catch Erick Morillo playing his Subliminal nights and I used to always dream of playing there myself. Knee Deep In Sound shows always have an amazing atmosphere so I’m hoping August the 5th will be no different.

Solid Grooves have also invited you to grace the Vista Club with them on Thursday 18th August. What do you think makes Solid Grooves so unique to any other event on the island and what aspect do you love most about the Vista Club?

From what I have seen, Solid Grooves seem to be booking a wide variety of artists who cover quite a few genres of music, making each event different to the next. This is always refreshing to see and will no doubt appeal to people who want a break from the norm or who are in Ibiza for an extended period of time.

I don’t think I have ever been to the Vista Club so I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s all about. I saw some videos from the Do Not Sleep parties there last summer and it looks awesome when the sun starts to rise.

Warriors will also welcome you to perform at Sankeys Ibiza on Sunday 25th September for their grand closing party this summer. The brand has now entered its fifth season in the party capital, what do you think is the key to their success and what has made it such a popular and well established brand?

Steve Lawler is a legend in this industry so it doesn’t surprise me at all that the night does and is still doing so well. They keep their line-ups fresh and the Viva team seem to have a great relationship with the punters across the Island. I can’t wait to get there for the closing, will be a great party for sure.

Tell us about some of your favourite Warriors memories from over the years and why they are so special to you…

One which really sticks out in my mind was shortly after I signed my track “Guffaz” to DFTD. My friend Pepsi and I always used to go to Ibiza for 5 days in September and back in 2013, we were at Warriors when Steve played the track to a rammed out Basement. It was such a surreal moment hearing a world renowned DJ play one of my records, this is something that will definitely stick with me throughout my life.

Finally, we noticed on your biography that MK was one of the names who cemented your interest in dance music. Of course, after receiving mainstream success, Marc hit the big time and his music has become a little less underground since taking such a big spotlight. How difficult is it for an artist to remain true to their underground roots as well as keeping that balance of maintaining an international audience when on the verge of breaking out mainstream? What are your thoughts on this?

The MK Dub Mix of Masters At Work – “I Can’t Get No Sleep” is one of my favourite records ever. I just love the piano in it. I first heard that when I was a little lad and have always enjoyed Marc’s productions since. I don’t necessarily think all artists who get mainstream success actually set out to achieve that. I think sometimes commercialism finds an artist rather than the other way round. Marc’s remix of Storm Queen just grabbed so many people’s attention that everyone started to follow him and his music – hence why it went to number one.

If this mainstream success comes about, I bet it’s really hard for the artist to get the balance of keeping everyone happy right? I’ve never put too much thought into it as it’s not really an option I would look at or consider, but none of it ever bothers me. If there’s good music being released and people are happy and enjoying it, then that’s all that should matter in my eyes.

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