There are few people so actively living the techno life as Cari Lekebush; from the studio to the airport his schedule is as unrelenting as the energy of his beats. It’s been one wholeeventful year since we’ve last had Cari here on the blog so we took a few to catch up with the H Productions stalwart to find out what’s been keeping him inspired despite the often draining demands of touring and being 20 albums deep into his recording career.
He’s also recorded us a new and exclusive promo mix, sharing some of his latest studio offerings alongside the output of some of his favourite upcoming producers who we can surely look forward to hearing more of over the coming months, ahead of his return to Room Two on Saturday.
It’s been a year since we last spoke –what’ve been your highlights of the last 12 months?
I have to say that I really enjoyed 2012. If the Mayans had been right and the world had ended then I guess I would have been fairly satisfied with the timing! Seriously though, the last time I was at fabric I was just starting the tour for my 'You Are A Hybrid Too' album. That was a crazy few months with loads of great gigs and I was really happy with the reaction to the music, both from fans and the media. It was my twentieth studio album and I can safely say that it never gets easier to predict how people will react to a new project so I was very pleased with all the positivity that I received.
One of the unexpected bonuses of touring and promoting the album was that I got to travel to some amazing places for the first time including Argentina and Colombia. It was really inspiring and rewarding to visit new countries and to make some new friends but what really stuck in my mind was that everywhere I went the Techno scene was so strong and well-supported. This was very pleasing to see, and I took a lot of energy from experiencing such global support for our sound. It’s funny, even after twenty albums and many years of touring I am feeling more inspired and energized about my music right now than I had done for a long time so long may that continue!
How’s this year been so far, I see you’ve been busying yourself in Miami?
2013 is disappearing fast! I took some time off in January to enjoy a long vacation so my year didn't really start until February. I spent three weeks in Mexico which was amazing. It was great to get away straight after all the NYE/NYD madness and I spent my time mostly just relaxing on the beach or taking some tours to some of the amazing Aztec ruins and historical sites. It was very moving and humbling to be in the presence of such ancient history and it made for a great holiday to combine deep relaxation with some cultural discoveries.
February and March I came back to reality with a bump as I got back to work with some great gigs around Europe at Soenda Festival Utrecht; A38 Budapest; Grounded Theory Berlin; Pfingstweide Zurich; as well as two amazing shows here in UK at Jaded London and Soundcontrol Manchester but yeah, one of the highlights was for sure Miami. I have never been to the Winter Music Conference before so I went in with my eyes wide open and despite not knowing what to expect I feel like it was a worthwhile experience. For sure it was great to escape the European winter for some Florida sunshine but it wasn’t all fun and games and I spent a really productive and fun week hanging out with my management, going to some great parties and meeting some really interesting and talented people. WMC really is a gathering of the whole electronic music community from all over the globe so it was great to be a part of that and to see just how popular electronic music is becoming in North America right now.
What do the next few months look like for you? Are you crazy busy with festivals or do you think you’ll still find some precious studio time?
The next few months are really busy for me with loads of great club shows in the build up to summer and then some exciting festivals from July onwards. So far this summer I will be playing Fusion Festival and Nation Of Gondwana in Germany; Welcome To The Future and Have A Nice Day festivals in Holland; La Nuit Rouge Festival, Marseilles; and a crazy festival in California called Lightening In A Bottle. All that said, I am a total studio freak so I will be sure to lock myself away in the darkness whenever the opportunity arises. I am not the sort of artist who can for example only write music in the winter then spend all summer partying. I need to be writing almost constantly throughout the year. I find I get kind of out of sorts with myself if I go too long without letting myself loose in the studio so regardless of how busy the summer becomes you can be sure to find me in my studio!
What’s coming up on H Productions this year?
The label has had a slow start to 2013 (just like me!) but that was very deliberate. 2012 was the busiest year ever for H-Productions with artist albums from The Advent and myself plus a number of various artist and mix compilations that featured all the guys from the roster. As such I felt we needed a short break to re-evaluate and collect ourselves. We are now in full swing though with the first release of the year being from myself - ‘Malachite’/’Obsidian’ - and the next release is out this week - a two track single from Londoner Jason Fernandes who I am sure is well know to fabric people. After that there will be a collaboration EP between Jesper Dahlbäck and myself and then we will go into the summer with a remix package from The Advent's album.
Can you tell us about the track selection on your mix and how it was recorded?
The mix was recorded just a few days ago in my studio in Stockholm with two CDJ2000 players and my Allen & Heath Xone 92 mixer. I like to do maybe two promo mixes a month and plan them around the important gigs or projects I have scheduled. I spent the day going through my promos and tidying up the playlist folders from my previous weekends gigs so that I familiarize myself with all the tracks that I feel I want to showcase in the mix. Typically, I will then just press record and start jamming. I like to do mixes in a similar style to how I would play in a club so I like to keep it natural and flowing and see where the music takes me.
Some tracks to look out for in the mix would be three of the remixes of Ben Sim’s Drumcode album by Adam Beyer, Joseph Capriati and Jerome Sydenham plus new music from some amazing new-ish producers like Nima Khak, Taster Peter, ON/OFF as well as the two most recent releases from my H-Productions label – my single ‘Malachite’ and Jason Fernandes’ track ‘Heatseeker’ which has been a real bomb track for me over the last couple of months.
Nima Khak - Empire Over Matter
Gary Beck - Video Siren
Taster Peter - Set Your Noise
Akasha FX - Hole
Quell - The Regular
Timmo - Mole (ON/OFF remix)
Cari Lekebusch - Malachite
Timmo - Slave
Ben Sims - The Afterparty (Adam Beyer remix)
Jewel Kid - House Of Lies
Ben SIms - Smoke and Mirrors (Jerome Sydenham's Carbon Dub)
Mark Broom - Two
Jason Fernandes - Heatseeker
Ben Sims - Can You feel It (Joseph Capriati remix)
Samuel L Session - Down With Dexter