Fabrice Lig Biography
Fabrice Lig is considered by his peers & techno fans around the globe as a world class producer. He is well known for his particularly funky use of Roland’s SH101 analog synth, and for his particularly emotional and personal melodies and harmonies.
There is no doubt that after more than 10 years of teaching himself production processes, complex midi programming and harmonies, Fabrice’s sound is unique and recognisable among the thousands of weekly techno releases.
Demonstrations of these skills appear on the crème de la crème of techno labels such as KMS (Kevin Saunderson) & 7th City Records (Dan Bell) from Detroit, F-Communications (Laurent Garnier) from Paris, Raygun Records from Hamburg, Playhouse Records from Offenbach and most recently on the finest Berlin-based label, Kanzleramt (Heiko Laux).
It was in 1988 that Fabrice was touched by his first dance music shock – "I was 15, on the dance floor of a Belgian club, when I heard Big Fun by Kevin Sauderson’s Innercity project. It was an shock, I’d never felt such overpowering emotion before. The day after, a friend who used to work for a radio station told me that it was called Techno music. It was my first contact with Detroit electronic music".
By the end of 1998, after his first DJ and production experiences, under the Interwaves and Bug Orchestra nicknames, Fabrice was elevated to the ranks of the Detroit musical elite by Mad Mike himself, thanks to his classic remix of E-Dancer’s Banjo track on KMS: "Fabrice is a part of Detroit music’s history by being the first white producer to record on KMS, and the first double groove recording from NSC".
Since then, Fabrice’s career regularly draws the attention of the international Techno community, thanks to a series of critically acclaimed releases: From his classic "Justice", "Escape from Nowhere" or "Galapagos" tracks on Raygun Records to the "Even Deeper EP" with his peer Titonton Duvanté on Detroit’s 7th City Records, from the "Greed" remix for Laurent Garnier to his acclaimed first album for his Soul Designer project on F-Communications and dozens of other productions and remixes, Fabrice has built a solid discography and reputation, confirmed by his reknowned appearances at the world’s best clubs & festival line ups. Fabric – London, Womb – Tokyo, Detroit Fuse-In Festival, Fuse – Brussels, Loft – Barcelona, Sub Club – Glasgow, The End – London, Famous Respect ! Parisian parties, Sonar Festival, world famous official Montreux Jazz Festival, Bourges festival (On stage with Jean-Michel Jarre), plus tours in US, Canada, Japan and the whole of Asia)
Highlights of 2003 are the already classic "Meet you in Brooklyn" EP on Playhouse Records, the "Universal Tech" & "Los Picaros" EPs on the world class techno label, Kanzleramt.
The 2003 releases could almost be considered as teasers when compared to the new album released on Kanzleramt in 2004 "My 4 Stars" is already seen as a new step in melodic techno history. It is certainly the richest and most personal album from Fabrice. With live percussion, straight vocal harmonies and saxophone recordings – the result is a combination of the best of analogue old school gear and the incredible new computer possibilities of the present day. 2004 is also the year of "Soul Designer" come back on F-Com, with a new EP called "the Mother Funky Beat". Fabrice is just coming back from a big tour to support the last album; from Fabric – London to Rex Club – Paris… China (where he played for the Jean Paul Gaultier official after show), Australia, Japan… To finish on the Main Stage of the famous Fuse-In Detroit Festival 2005. Where he was voted by Detroit Free press as the best DJ Set of 2005′s Festival.
2005 is the year of a compilation of his best tracks for Technorient Label from Hong-Kong’ s Technasia. The project will hit Asia in the mid november 2005 and the rest of the world in the late december 2005. He is also lauching his own label in September 2005, called Melodika…
2006, always on the road but also in the studio to record some new remixes (Third Ear Records, Mental Groove Records).
2007: Fabrice just also finished a track with Ken Ishii for the Japanese superstar new album "Sunriser", their track "Organised Green" is already a classic on Ken’s new album. But the 2005/2006 and early 2007 were also some hard studio works to prepare the new releases for Fabrice.
Be ready for 2007 and 2008…want some info ?… Fabrice just released a new acclaimed "Mauler" on Trapez limited, to push the Detroit roots into a new modern mental & emotional sound. Into the classic Detroit sound, Fabrice is coming with 2 new e.ps in collaboration with DJ 3000 (UR) on his imprint: Motech. A new e.p is coming on Versatile from Paris, a new e.p, digging into the classic deep sound of Detroit and into the Future funk sound to rock the dancefloor. And finaly, thousand hours spent into the studio to delivery a new step into the Techno-Soul music for his classic "Soul Designer" project…"Evolutionism", the new Soul Designer LP will touch the world soon on the already classic UK/Japan label: Third Ear Recordings. Later, Fabrice will bring back his SH 101 on the road for a new Soul Designer World tour Live.
Interview with Fabrice Lig by Kazuumi Ishii
Why did you choose Le Coliseum for Les Musiques Synthetiques ? Can you tell us about that parties in Charleroi ?
At first, I wanted to do something around my hometown. Charleroi my hometown, and we can compare his reputation with Detroit in U.S; post industrial city, high rate of unemployment, some kind of criminality…But finally its a good town. There is not so much criminality…its just sometimes looking as a ghostown, but a lot of people like electronic music…and they have to go to Brussels or Gent, Antwerpen (the north of Belgium) to listen to some good electronic music.
Why I choose the "Coliseum", because its a special place, built in 20′s, was a cabaret, then a cinema in the 70′s, then a club in 90′s and now a concert hall. So, the place has a strong history, its beautiful (some "Art Deco" architecture and decoration/style).
How do you choose guest DJs for your parties ?
Some artist I know and appreciate… Marco Passarani, Ken Ishii, Aril Brikha, The Youngsters, DJ 3000, S2, Llorca, Gene Farris, Dan Bell, Spirit Catcher…
Do you and your wife go clubbing together ? If so, what events have been good of late ?
Not so often, as we have two daughters, so its not easy to do it…And finally I think, its not really funny for my wife to follow me, a DJ day/night is not really exciting…except for the DJ freaks girls… ;-)…We sometimes trying to arrange some holidays with the family in the summer when I play in some interesting places…last time was Nice in France or Barcelona…
Do you have kids ?
Yes, 2 daughters (5 and 7)
Later this year your new album "Evolutionism" will be released. What can you tell us about this project ?
I think its the album I worked the most on it…Almost 3 years…lot of time in the studio, but also lot of time to find the right direction artistically.
I really wanted to go further into the melodic side of techno. But not a "Detroit music" copy or so. A real Fabrice Lig/Soul Designer sound, with a real and strong identity. And I wanted to include all my music roots inside. Mainly black music; Funk, P-Funk, Jazz, Blues, Detroit & Chicago house/techno…so it was a big deal to mix & merge all that sounds to make something new, personal and beautiful . So it has a lot of different sounds…some housy tracks, pure techno, jazzy techno…
I think it’s been quite while since your last album and it is your debuting album from Third Ear. Can you tell us what’s happening behind these things ?
Its the usual story of my projects…I work on it, finish the project/album…and then, I sit down and think about the best label to release it…I sent it to 2 or 3 labels I was into their sound…and Third Ear was the more enthusiastic, I really felt they were the best to do it ! Speacialy as I’m totally into their sound and back catalogue.
How easy do you find it writing lyrics, what kind of topics are you discussing ?
I just writing lyrics when I have a good idea, something special, some problems or topics I want to talk about…on this album, there is a vocal track (featuring Cleo), about the people living into the cities…but I can’t give you more info ;-). I like some kind of Universal stories…some things than everybody can understand, transpose to their own life…Not just talking about me ;-).
Do you feel any sense of exposing yourself through lyrics ?
Like I said, I don’t really expose myself…sometimes some of my opinions, its of course, inspired by my own experience, but it has to be an universal topic, something than anybody could write too.
Looking back at your previous albums "Walking On A Little Cloud", "Roots Of The Future", "My 4 Stars", and now "Evolutionism", for you as the artist is there any logical progression there ?
Oh, Yes, its even a problem, cause I like to progress everytime I write a new album, and for this one, I think I really work beyond my limits (musically, production side), so I’m afraid about what I’ll do for the next one ;-) !
But, the title is exactly the answer to your question…Its an "Evolution", thats one of the reason why I called the album "Evolutionism".
You’ve done a lot of work with Jean Vanesse and you’ve also teamed up with Ken Ishii, who’s a really nice guy…
Ah ! I only work with nice guys…Its mainly the reason why I want to work with some people…Of course, at first because I like their music, but I need to work with nice people…I couldn’t work with someone I love the music if he is (or she is) not a nice people.
Working on a solo project is obviously different, how do you think the creativity energy works between you and Ken Ishii and with Jean Vanesse ?
It gives you the opportunity to do something different than usually, join our energy to create something nice and different. You’re always learning a lot with that kind of collaboration, cause everybody is working differently in the studio and everybody has some interestings ways to work. With Jean, its a pleasure cause he is a sound wizard…he can do anything in the studio, just think about something and he will find the sound, the shape, the texture you need. With Ken, was more a collaboration on some parts, as I’m a fan of his way of programming drums, so we started with some Ken’s drums and it inspired me some bassline/melodies…then we worked on the other parts…I think and we are inspiring eachother and its the best way to make some good things…
So many art forms have evolved because of surrounding circumstances – political unrest or injustice, and I think the struggle has been a huge aspect of the evolution of techno sound too. Do you agree that struggle creates stronger or more influential art, etc ?
I think art can be created in a lot of different circumstances, thats why its so exciting. So, its sure struggle is always a source of inspiration…(Blues music is the best example). Art coming from Struggle is just the one who’s coming deeply from the soul.
What is your general feeling about the recent development of studio technology ? Do you think it’s made you easier for doing production or has it brought other type of difficulty on your sound production ?
No doubt, its easier, faster… Sometimes I need a day to create or mix a sound into a track with my analog equipment. If I have to do it with a VSTi, it takes few minutes…There is more possibilities with the computer, thats why I’m not against computer music. But I need to work on analog equipment too…its my way of working. I just try to use both, and it goes well like this.
You’re usually using Final Scratch on your DJ sets now, is that correct ? Are you using any other new technologies ?
Stopped to use FS. It works really well, but I had too much bad experiences with bad club set-ups… Bad decks / needles / connections. So now, I’m using vinyl and CDs for the promos and new tracks. But I’m aware about all new technologies to play files…new remote controls etc…
You’re a DJ and your productions have appeared on compilations like Carl Craig’s "The Workout" and Ken Ishii’s "Play, Pause And Play". Are you going to do a mix CD/DVD yourself someday ?
Hmmm…Not easy, I was about to release some mix CDs in the past, but each time some records company promised me to be able to choose all the tracks, how to mix it, but at the end, there was always a problems: too much tracks, too expensive licences etc… You know, I want to release a mix cd with no compromise…And its not easy.
About a DVD…Really would like to release a DVD with some live acts…but I don’t know if a lot of people would like to buy that kind of DVD… I can’t really buy some Live DVD as I prefer to see that for real instead of on a TV screen.
As well as DJing and producing, you’re also running Melodika, how does that work on a day-to-day basis ?
Its hard ! Melodika is my label artistically. But on the financial side, I was working with a company from Brussels. And regarding the market nowadays, they decided to stop all the vinyl productions…so Melodika is on stand by… I have too much work to prepare the release of "Evolutionism" nowadays, but after that I’ll manage to find a new financial partner…maybe in Japan ? ;-) , could be cool hey…
So many people out there dream of having their own label then find it tougher when they actually set one up…
Yeah, sure its quiet hard…specifically for the distribution side…its one of the main problem to run a label. Find a good distributor who believes into your sound and push it. But a lot of people/artist have a lot of problem to find a label to release their own music, so they have to create their own label. And for the new artists, its often easier to create their own label than to find a label.
How easy is it to stay motivated year after year ?
On the business side its sometimes really hard, you need to be motivated and believe into the future, specially if you want to be true and don’t want to compromise yourself. But the pleasure I have when I make music is my motivation.
What are you working on at the moment ?
I’m preparing the live act for the "Evolutionism" world tour. In the meantime working on some new tracks for a more dancefloor project, but I’ll probably include few tracks of that new project into the live act too…
It takes a lot of time !!!…first dates of the tour will happen in Japan…probably before the end of this year…more info soon on myspace…
- Marijan – Raver 1995, 12"
Melodika 001 (2005)
- Fluo – Highway, 12"
Melodika 002 (2006)
- Brian Price – Seven Cymurai, 12"
Melodika 003 (2006)
- Pedro Cali – Secrets EP Part 1, 12"
Melodika 004 (2007)
- Matt Chester – Broken Shores EP, 12"
Melodika 005 (2007)
- Pedro Cali – Secrets EP Part 2, 12"
- Erell Ranson – The Beginning, 12"
- South Union – Drums United EP, 12"
Motech (July 2007)
- Fabrice Lig – X-Slaves EP, 12"
Versatile (September 2007)
- Soul Designer – Evolutionism, CD
Third Ear (October 2007)
- Chymera – Hundulu (Soul Designer rework)
Hundulu EP, Delsin (2007)