For the fabric family Cari Lekebusch will need no introduction and the projects we discuss in our latest interview with the H Productions label boss ahead of his Room Two DJ set this weekend will be sure to melt your minds. Not only has he just completed his twentieth studio album ‘You Are A Hybrid Too’ – from which the track ‘Out of Nowhere’ we’re offering up to you today for download – but he’s also mid journey through his new Archeology Excavations mix series and about to unleash the latest long player from The Advent.
‘You Are A Hybrid Too’ carries on Lekebush’s legacy of ingenuity driven by his unrelenting passion and what is almost an addiction to music production. Throw this in with the added dimension of the challenge of a concept to work to has made his work develop and progress over his 20 album legacy. You can listen to yourself as we ask the Swedish born technoist to select 5 tracks the he personally finds significant in this journey against the very latest part of the Cari Lekebush story in the player below.
It’s been a year since we last spoke, you were just embarking on a H-Productions tour – how did that go?
Yes, that must have been around March last year when we had just launched the H-Productions events concept. In the last year we did quite a few parties including shows at Berghain in Berlin, Melkweg in Amsterdam, Komplex in Zurich, Berns in Stockholm, Tresor in Berlin and of course fabric in London. We also did a two week tour of South America where we played a series of shows in Colombia and Venezuela. All the label events last year were great fun and lots of the venues have asked us back for 2012 so I guess that means we’re doing something right?
But the idea for the label is to have the tours go all year round and over with the production projects and help get the word out about them. For example, I just did 2 months of touring for my Archeology mix compilation, and now I am starting out on my "Your Are A Hybrid Too" album tour starts which starts this weekend at fabric!
You mentioned the Archeology Excavations series of compilations – can you tell me more about the ideas behind this?
The whole concept of that series is to retrace the steps that led to the current musical alignment of the label’s core artists and producers. Myself and some of the crew at H-Productions have put together an eight part series of compilations that will explore the techno archeology of each of us as individual artists . Each collection will delve deep into the artist’s back catalogue, unearthing long-forgotten and undiscovered examples of their work and tracks from other producers that were landmarks within their own evolution. The series will describe the story of how each producer made their journey from then to now; documenting the tracks each artist feels were instrumental in shaping their own history within techno music. You can actually listen to a teaser of my contribution for free here.
There’s an overall theme of concepts being a big part of H-Productions mantra. Would you say it’s a really important aspect of your creativity?
Yes there are many conceptual connecting points in the various releases we do and all the artists we work with enjoy working in this way. As a group of people we are all of course creative because of what we do but you only have to spend some time with people like The Advent, Alexi Delano, Tony Rohr, Jesper Dahlback to realize that they are very ‘human’ individuals who enjoy life and enjoy telling stories in a way that illuminates the facts a little beyond the bare factual bones.
For me, this is why we work so well as a group because I am the same way too. I would much rather make an extra effort with how what I produce is presented in order to make it more interesting to the listener. For this reason, I see all the concepts that we create as being part of a bigger story that is playing out in an unique dimension, and I would say it’s easy to feel and see that this approach can bring about inspiration in others by the way our artists have bought into the concepts and how our fans have received them. It’s like when you serve food and make an effort with its presentation on the plate – make it look that bit better. Many people find this little extra effort makes the food taste better – it’s a psychological thing that also applies to the experience of listening to music too.
You’ve just announce your 20th studio album - “You Are A Hybrid Too. What a landmark! Can you tell us more about the ‘one bar’ concept used on this album was this something specific just to this one?
Yes the "one bar" term is a little abstract but that is a keyword in the album as well. Part of the concept which I stuck by with all the album tracks was to keep it simple, but still to have the same interesting musical ‘story’ you might get with more complex structures. Essentially, what this meant, in terms of making the tracks, is that if an element was not needed to make the fire keep on burning, I just left it out. In addition, when I was evaluating if I needed to bring something else into the mix, rather than presenting a new sound element into the track I chose to use what ever I had running already and apply effects that would bring the required variations. All the tracks on the album are knitted from 1 bar measures, 16 steps on general sequencers (that’s 4 bassdrums).
I tried to avoid computer grids and complex arrangements and I recorded much of the album as live takes where the maximum I could control was whatever I could do with my own two hands. I also tried to resist the temptation to change things by editing afterwards so that I could keep the basic essence of the tracks being simple and ‘live’. I think what came out was a very DJ friendly result, with a touch of what i was doing back in 1995.
Why do you think you’ve managed to achieve the release of so many studio albums? It’s not something many people can say that they’ve achieved...
Well, for me it is the most natural thing to make music and I do not believe I am alone in feeling like that. I can name quite a few artists I know, that like me, just have to make music in order to feel good about themselves. To put the feeling in simple terms, it is like if you don’t go to the toilet for a few weeks! That’s how I feel when not having made some music. The way I am programmed means that my music just has to come out! So the fact that I have made so many albums is not really something that I reflect upon. It is something that has just happened because of who I am as a person.
What I will say though, is that after so many albums, I have made my mistakes which I’ve been able to then learn from; it has also allowed me to think freely about the music I want to make as I have gotten a lot of ideas and thoughts out of my system already. I think this was an important aspect for me in making this album. It is an album made by me, for me. If you happen to like it, play it, groove with it then great, but I am already highly satisfied by the result as it turned out just how I wanted it to.
What’s been the biggest change for you in the way you make music today?
That is an interesting question and something which is hard to pin down to just one thing as I think the way any producers works over time will evolve and different things start as challenges but are then overcome and mastered before you naturally move on to the next challenge and go through the learning process once again. However, to give you some kind of boiled down answer I would say that the hardest part for me was to learn how to use the computer for making music. I started out making music only with analog machines and the whole technique of recording sounds and eventually tracks by using outboard processors, mixers and effects etc. This is of course quite different from working with computers and digital software but as a producer it was impossible for me to stand still and not look to embrace the new technology. Analog and digital ways of making music both have their upsides and downsides so my approach was to try to use both of the upsides in combination in combination with each other. I think the perfect symbiosis of classic and new technology can result in an organic, live feeling and sound from the analog machines combined with the control and precision of digital tools which I think is really important when it comes to upholding modern production values.
What else do you have in the pipeline this year?
Well, as I mentioned above I am generally in the studio 24/7 - just can’t get enough of it – so there is plenty of new material already in production. As a label, H-Productions will release two or three more Archeology Excavation compilations, there will also be artist albums from The Advent and Alexi Delano plus another various artists compilation made by all the core artists on H-Productions. Personally, I have many new tracks myself, and I am currently working in distributing them to labels. I have made some tracks for my buddy Jesper Dahlback to release on his label ISLR (International Sound Laboratory) and I am also working on some new music to send to Luke Slater's Mote Evolver. My aim is to try to release something every month, but we want to make it all neat and tidy, so sometimes there is not enough time. Then it is better to wait, to be able to make it fully properly extraordinary. So for the final juicy details you will just have to wait and see...
We had heard whispers of a new Advent album coming on H-Productions. How’s that sounding?
I am making a special trip back to UK very soon to catch up with Cisco and to get my first sneak peeks of the album material. So sorry, I wish I could give you some more details but I don’t know anything really beyond that we are planning to release the album this summer and of course, it will be awesome!
And finally, it’d be great to take this landmark as an opportunity to look back over your 20 albums. Can pick us 5 tracks that have a special meaning for you?
WOW... it is hard to just choose 5, but let’s see ....here we go, in no particular order:
Cari Lekebusch – ‘Unite’ (H Productions 2004)
Cari Lekebusch – ‘Shaded’ (Truesoul 2004)
Cari Lekebusch aka Ph Rhythm Dr (psydonym) - ‘Mad Poet’ (Hybrid Sound Architectures 1997)
Mr James Barth (psydonym)- ‘For The Lords’ (Svek 2008)
Fred (psydonym) - "Nightshade" (Missile Records 1994)