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fabrice lig aka soul designer interview

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Fabrice Lig Biography

A Soul Designer’s essence is undeniably connected to the principles of ART – which means human activities concerning esthetic manifestations in order to stimulate the senses, bring emotions and ideas, rather than looking for commercial results. These are the purposes that always guided the life of Fabrice Lig, a talented electronic artist that is today a huge example of forward-thinking mind to all the new generations of computer software producers.

Born about fifty km from Brussels, in the city of Charleroi, Fabrice Ligny used to be a History and Geography teacher, but the music brought him to the forefront of the electronic scene of his Country since his early artistic steps. Owner of a respected background, he has constantly been pushing things forward and bringing quality music under a personal and unique perspective. He started to buy records and then began to produce still young, with the help of a broad musical background that pointed to the many periods of Underground music he has been through on the last twenty five years. From the Break Dance era when he was still a teenager to the raise of the House scene of Chicago, the alternative electronic scene from Europe and the Techno from Detroit, Fabrice absorbed very rich elements that made of him a complete artist with a holistic perspective. For its Sci-Fi Soul essence, Detroit Techno would become his strongest influence; melted to the others, it would give him an eclectic ensemble that would make the difference in the future.

Detroit Techno’s principles brought Fabrice Lig close to the idea of making something Soul-Aesthetic and at the same time pointed to the future, just like the standards of Science Fiction’s books & movies. This esthetic may explain the large use of sophisticated atmospheres, seductive melodies, chords and rhythms on a perspective of beauty similar to the ones of the Motor-City artists. His natural attraction to these atmospheric ambiances brought him closer to Kevin Saunderson in particular, for which he made a version for a track of Kevin’s tune called "Banjo" as E Dancer. (1999) That feeling of intellectual proximity and desire for beauty had approached Fabrice Lig to that scene to the point that he finally was considered "part of the Detroit musical culture itself" according to the words of Underground Resistance’s leader Mad Mike, and with that release, the Belgian artist became the first white European to release through a Detroit Techno label : KMS.

Fabrice Lig’s production career included releases on very conceptual labels such as Kevin Saunderson’s KMS, Laurent Garnier’s F Communications, and also Raygun Records, 7th City, Kanzleramt, Motech, Delsin, and more recently Third Ear Recordings and Versatile Records through where ‘Evolutionism Promo Single’ and ‘X-Slaves EP’ came out; he also had the opportunity to have some of his tunes included on quality compilations as well. Fabrice also collaborated with Japan superstar Ken Ishii on his last album ‘Sunriser’ (released on 70 Drums, Japan), and they collaborated once again on the new Soul Designer’s album to come.

Also known as the Soul Designer, Fabrice is someone really committed to essence of his artistic Soul. As a natural consequence of his way to perceive, play and conceive Music with no frontiers or limitations, he received constant invitations to play and perform live on acclaimed festivals and events such as Montreux Jazz Festival, Sonar in Barcelone, Detroit Fuse-In Festival (voted best dj performance of 2005 by Detroit free press), I Love Techno from Belgium, Printemps de Bourges Festival from France (With Jean-Michel Jarre on stage), among other important ones, and also countless clubs of respect. After the release of his “Evolutionism Promo Single” on late 2007, Fabrice’s new homonym album as Soul Designer is coming out in 2008 together with an international tour called ‘Evolutionism World Live Tour’ that just started this February with brilliant Fabrice Lig’s live performances in Brazil & Japan.

Remember: "Where Techno Soul Meets Futuristic Funk, you will find the Fabrice Lig’s Music".

Interview with Fabrice Lig by Kazuumi Ishii

First things first: how would you describe the sound and message on Evolutionism ?

The Sound…Its post Detroit techno, post funk & soul… Or if you prefer: Techno Soul & Futuristic Funk ;-). I like to explore the melodies, harmonies, the funk, atmosphere…inject soulful atmosphere into the techno music.

There’s a really retro feel to some of the tracks on the album. Do you feel that techno has lost its way, and needs reminding of that original techno ethic ?

Hmm, I have to say I still work with the roots of early techno from Detroit…dancefloor, Soul, Funk, but I try to bring it on a next step, more live elements (bass guitar/percussion), new music techniques…so I try to develop my own sound and going forward… And yes, I feel, electronic music lost a lot of his original soul and roots… Once again its more a question of state of mind than the music itself… But fortunately we still have enough good producers to make it right !

The new album focuses on the (Charles Darwin’s) theory of evolution to it. But you provide the message in smaller dosages. Is this jazzier and more accessible approach an attempt to reach more people and therefore create a bigger effect ?

No, not really. I feel really concerned by science, nature, human behaviour… Evolutionism, Darwin theory was a chance to get all these things together, compare with whats happening around us nowadays… So I talk about nature, for sure, but also about human behaviour and ask some questions about why the people are sometimes acting so bad…with other humans, with nature, we are living in a really colplex world, world of good and bad excess…

Now, the music approach is just a natural thing… I love harmonies,and melodies… I wanted to dig into that…so it maybe sounds more Jazzy ? To be honnest I’m not a musician, so when I build melodies, chords, harmonies, I don’t think about Jazz or anything…I just build some music I feel deep inside…I really made it like a challenge to myself…without any music skill, trying to make real music, so I work a lot on composing process, thats why I took a lot of time to do it…

Does it reach more people ? I don’t know ? Is it your feeling ? Its funny cause when I sent the album to Ken Ishii, he told me he felt a real crossover potential into it ? I’m not sure, but anyway, it was not my purpose. And if we sell 1 million CDs, It won’t be a problem, the album is exactly what I wanted to do, to hear… But, ah ! ah ! it won’t be a Million seller ! ah ! ah !

You send out a very clear message about social togetherness… Do you think that electronic music has a responsibility to do this ?

No only electronic music… Everybody has to deliver a social message, in his live, his acts, words… My best media to express myself is music, so I use music. Now, I don’t think than electronic music is made to deliver a social message, but when 1000 people are dancing in a club together in a friendly atmosphere, its the best social message you can deliver…

So, you have recently become a father who has three daughters. Congratulations ! How has that impacted on your music career ?

Thanks ! ;-)…Evolutionism is the result… I’m more aware about what I see around me everywhere in the world, and how everything I see can touch now, or later my family, my children… I have to say I’m afraid about the future for my children regarding how the world is getting more and more crazy ! So it has a deep impact on what I’m doing, how I organise my life too… Music now is just a part of my life, important, for sure, but not as much as it used to be… Maybe its good cause I just see music for what it is…a passion, a job too…but children and family is the most important…

Was the track "Children Of Galapagos" made with your daughters in mind ?

No, in fact it comes from a TV program I’ve seen with some children of Galapagos who have meetings every week, and talk about nature, about animals, about the planet…it really impressed me how some 4 to 12 years old children knew so much things about nature. They are also talking to the tourist about their Island, how its beautiful and how its important to save the planet. It also shows me how its important for the children to know the planet their are living on. You know, its probably not easier for a child from New York or Tokyo to realize how nature is beautiful and important… I think unfortunately lot of people don’t care about nature cause they don’t really know it…

Tell us about your current Evolutionism tour. I saw you in Japan, at Air club and Mado Lounge, both parties were really great, especially the party at Air club was absolutely fantastic. We were surprised that Ken Ishii joined you on the stage and played the last track "Organised Green".

Its just started in November in Japan, and yes Air Club was amazing ! The club, the party is amazing, but japanese people are amazing…its strange, when I play, I feel they totaly understand and enjoy my music, its a real strong feeling between us ?!!!!! And of course people were so surprise to see their star, Mr Ken Ishii showing up on stage to play the last track "Organised Green" together, was amazing ! By the way, Ken will bring that "Live" version out on a remix project to come on CD soon in Japan ! My first live recording on a CD…

After that I went to Brazil for 4 dates, and I have to say it was great too ! Really nice crowd and feedbacks, nice clubs… I played in Russia too where it was great once again, Slovenia, amazing people…and now in June we are starting the European tour, some gigs are planned at Glastonbury Festival in UK…talking about a live gig at Fabric, London, Tresor, Berlin, so it seems than a nice tour is coming in Europe too !

Soul Designer feat Ken Ishii at Standard 9 Tokyo 07

So what was one of high points of the tour so far ?

Air Club, Standard party, Tokyo so far !!!!

Standard 9 Tokyo with Soul Designer/Ken Ishii/Jazztronic

Galaxy 2 Galaxy/Universe 2 Universe have been touring as a live band. Judging on your sound, which I would consider incredibly warm, and sometimes very human, are you playing with the idea to tour with live musicians as well ?

I would like to do that at some point, but I would like to do really special things like some live gigs with a jazz band or funk band playing versions of my track…but totaly Jazz or Funk… To see if my compositions are working outside the electro environement… If you know a Jazz band who would like to do that…call them ! ah ! ah ! Look at the Christian Prommer last CD on Sonar Kollektiv (Drum Lesson), its amazing how some classic electro tracks are sounding good in hands of jazzmen… I recommend the version of Mr Finger / Derrick May ! Classics.

Let’s talk a bit about the collaborations. You seem to enjoying the collaboration experience. Is there one person in particular you would love to sit down with in a studio and create music ?

Oh, you know, I’m not really into collaboration, mainly because I can’t come really fast with melodies, chords etc…and when you are collaboring with someone you have to be fast… Also, collaboring means compromise, and I don’t know that… Of course, I had the chance to collaborate to some people I don’t feel to do compromise or pressure… Ken Ishii, Titonton, Gerald Mitchell, Jean Vanesse… So when I do collaboration it means than it works together…

Your collaboration with Gerald Mitchell for Tokem ‘Uncontrollable’ was one of my favourite tracks this year, will we see a continued collaboration in regards to future releases ?

We never know… Music is not predictable…it depends of a lot of things, mainly or schedule… We all have our own project we want to develop, so collaboration is just bonus… And something I can say is collaboration is first for me a human experience, with people I like, I appreciate and respect…thats maybe why it works. (thanks for the kind words, I really like the track we made too). Gerald is probably one of the best keyboard player into electronic scene, the most soulful guy ! I have a huge respect for him !

Tell us about your releases on Versatile. How do you put it in a P-Funk context ? Now you seem to have been more influenced by P-Funk…

Its a long time I’m influenced by P-Funk, Funk, and all the black music scene… But was not easy to transpose it into techno, electro…so I was not sure before to come with great track with that P-Funk spirit… I really wanted these tracks to sound like real techno music, not just a copy of original P-Funk… Thats really difficult to do ! I also needed to keep my own personality into these tracks… And to be honnest, there are a lot of track with all these influence into my discography but it was not so easy to hear it…its also a state of mind, a state of Funk !!!

Do you see yourself slowing down on the studio work/touring ? Does it effect your daily life with any major stresses involved ?

Yeah, like I said, with my big family, I have to make some choice into my schedule and organisation here… But what I realise is the fact then everything you do in your life is a source of inspiration into the studio, so all the time you are living outside the studio will be helpful into the studio ! You know, before I started to work on the Evolutionism album, I stop making music for 3/4 months, and it was the better thing I do, and all what I did, listenend during this period inspired me a lot !

Do you have still time for other things, besides your label, production and DJ schedule, what do you do to relax ?

Hmm once again, family time…playing with my daugthers, walking into nature, going to cinema…all these simple things of life but so important…

So what can we expect next ?

Hmm…the second vinyl of Evolutionism will come out in June…same time than the CD in Europe and rest of the world…also Purple Raw 2 and 3 on Versatile (have to finish these stuff)… I also work on some remixes, exciting stuff… I will keep you update when it will be finished… But also we are thinking about great remixers for a special Evolutionism remix e.p. on Third Ear (Sebastien San made a remix of "Soul Is Back")…and also that Tokem Project on Submerge to come out on CD in Europe… I hope on vinyl…

Melodika Recordings is about to come back on digital too ! very soon with Pedro Cali for the first release….

Evolutionism out June

Soul Designer – Evolutionism [Third Ear]

[ XECD1089 ]

Tracklisting:

CD
  • 01. Intro:Species (featuring HKB Finn)
  • 02. Ecosystem
  • 03. Rockit
  • 04. Australow-P-Tek Funk (featuring Ken Ishii)
  • 05. Enter Galapagos (featuring HKB Finn)
  • 06. Evolutionism
  • 07. The Soul Is Back
  • 08. Children Of Galapagos
  • 09. DDNA
  • 10. The Power Of A City (featuring Cléo and HKB Finn)
  • 11. Molecular Song
  • 12. Rice From The Young Ghosts
Vinyl (part one)
  • A1. Evolutionism
  • A2. DDNA
  • B1. The Power Of A City (featuring Cléo and HKB Finn)
  • B2. Rice From The Young Ghosts
  • B3. Intro:Species (acapella) (featuring HKB Finn)
  • B4. The Power Of A City (acapella) (featuring HKB Finn)

Get "Evolutionism" here:

Fabrice Lig Selected Discography

own releases

  • [ MT-010 ]
    Balkan Bridge EP, 12"
    Motech (2007)
  • [ MT-011 ]
    Drums United EP, 12"
    Motech (2007)
  • [ VER055 ]
    X-Slaves EP, 12"
    Versatile (2007)
  • [ 3EEP-084 ]
    The Soul Is Back / Rockit, 12"
    Third Ear (2007)
  • [ VER058 ]
    Purple Raw Part One, 12"
    Versatile (2008)

recent remixes

  • [ 67dsr/chm1 ]
    Chymera – Hundulu (Soul Designer rework)
    Hundulu, Delsin (2007)

contributions

  • [ UGCD-HTF01 ]
    Uncontrollable
    Tokem – A Story In Sound, Hitechfunk (2008)

Related Links

Written by Kazuumi

May 25th, 2008 at 8:15 pm

Posted in Features

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