After catching his opening set for Eric Prydz we got the chance to chat with Newcastle’s finest, Cristoph.
‘Perfect nights’ are few and far between but last week we got a taste of what it’s like to live through one. It was one of the most anticipated weekends in New York City: the man, myth, and legend – Eric Prydz – was to play an extremely rare two-night headline show at the popular Brooklyn warehouse, Depot 52. The fact that Teksupport, the up-and-coming promotion company that has been dominating the techno scene by throwing some of the most incredible parties in the past year, would be organizing the event got fans even more excited. The weekend was bound to be an unforgettable one from the get-go. Teksupport announced the addition of Newcastle’s Cristoph to the line-up, which immediately prompted prospective attendees to wonder who the mysterious producer worthy enough to open for the Prydz really was. Scroll down to read The Knockturnal’s exclusive interview with Cristoph.
Born and raised in Newcastle, England, Cristoph has made his mark on the scene by releasing entrancing and continuously unique records on Truesoul, Yoshi Toshi, and Selador. Most recently, he was the first artist to release an EP on Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep in Sound 8-track series (which you can check out here). His popular record, ‘Alone’, has gained support from the likes of Markus Schulz, Nora en Pure, and John Digweed. It’s easy to see why, given the serenity invoked by the vocals juxtaposed with the dark, haunting instrumental.
We needed nothing more than to see him work his magic on the decks to understand why Prydz decided to take him on-board. The first thing I noticed was how much passion Cristoph has for his craft. His track selection was mostly comprised of a careful curation of smooth deep house/techno records, which prepped and primed the crowd for energy-packed night. He hit us with a series of new tracks that he’s been hiding up his sleeve including ‘Make Out’, a rework of ‘Alone’, and a massive collaboration with Jeremy Olander titled ‘Flemynn’, but the magic didn’t stop there. About three quarters into his set he mixed in a slowed down version of Oxia’s staple track, ‘Domino’, a sure-fire way to get the audience moving. Cristoph’s demeanor and track-list progression drew many parallels with the groove of a classic Solomun set. This came as no surprise after we found out that the prolific deep house producer is one of Cristoph’s main inspirations.
We’re excited to see what the future holds for a talent like Cristoph’s. He will be opening for Boris Werner at Schimanski on March 31st. Trust us on this one, you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to see him live in an intimate setting. Tickets available here.
TK: What made you decide to go into production? Do you play any instruments at all?
C: I’ve always been interested in the production side of music ever since I was a little boy but it wasn’t until much later when I started. For a while I was quite content just DJ’ing around my hometown, being a resident in a few clubs on a weekend and also midweek. However, deep inside I knew it wasn’t giving me the satisfaction I wanted, it wasn’t helping me get anywhere near reaching my goals and I basically wanted more out of life. Then one of my close friends sadly passed away out of the blue and my perception on everything completely changed. I decided in order to try and fulfill my dreams I needed to get in to production so I stopped socializing, saved up all my money and went out and bought a small setup to begin to learn. I taught myself everything I know and can honestly admit I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I do. I can’t play any instruments properly, I just tend to write the music in on the piano roll on Ableton.
TK: Did you always know what type of electronic music you wanted to create?
C: To be honest I write all sorts of music, most of which nobody will ever hear. I just love writing music. However, I have always had a plan on how I would infiltrate the scene and what music I would write at first to help me build and lead on to exactly where I want to be. My head is completely in the melodic world – all the emotion that comes with it just really grabs hold of me – and that’s where my music is beginning to settle now, more down the progressive route.
TK: Do you prefer the act of DJ’ing for a live crowd or producing at the studio? Was there a particular artist or track that made you want to try your hand at production?
C: I’m really torn on this. I love DJ’ing and playing in front of a live crowd but I equally enjoy sitting in the studio writing music to play at these gigs. Seeing a crowd react to one of your tracks is such a great feeling. As is a crowd simply enjoying themselves to the music you are playing. There’s been many artists who’s music has helped push me towards wanting to produce music, none more so than Eric Prydz.
TK: Going off that, which artists would you say have had the greatest impact in shaping your music?
C: I would say the biggest influences on the music I produce are the likes of Eric Prydz, Hot Since 82, Jeremy Olander, Sasha, Solomun, Maceo Plex, Guy J etc.
TK: How do you feel about opening for living legend, Eric Prydz? How did that come to be?
C: It really is an honour to be opening for Eric. Anybody who knows me knows how much of a fan I am and how much of an inspiration and hero he is to me, so to be sharing a stage with him is quite surreal for me. I warmed up for him in LA in December at the shows he put on for James Lillo and I got on well with his team and I think it’s all went from there. I don’t know much, I have left it all down to my management and agency.
TK:What is one record you couldn’t get enough of while you were growing up? Currently?
C:I used to love ‘Sabrina Johnston – Satisfy My Love (Johnny Boy’s Monday Full-On Remix)’ growing up. Nowadays there’s so much great music around, one track I do really like is ‘Pryda – Mirage’.
TK: Dream B2B?
C: Eric Prydz haha.
TK: What do you usually start with when preparing for a set?
C: I don’t really have any preparation rules before I play. I just aim to go to the show and express myself as an artist and make the crowd enjoy themselves. I do like to get to clubs early so I can feel the atmosphere and see what music is working and plan mentally what way I will build my set.
TK:What has been your favorite venue to play thus far? Are there any venues that you aspire to play at one day?
C: Warung in Brazil for sure. It’s absolutely amazing. I would love to play Stereo in Montreal, DC10 in Ibiza, Fabric in London, Womb in Tokyo the list is endless. I really am just grateful for playing each weekend no matter where it is though.
TK: Finally, summer is quickly approaching. Do you have any big plans this summer, festival and touring wise?
C: My diary for the summer is starting to fill up now. So far I’m at Creamfields and SW4 festival wise. Touring I’m all over the place, I have a tours in both North and South America and I’m all around Europe with 5 shows confirmed in Ibiza and hopefully more being sorted soon.