Talking Tech: Christian Löffler

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A co-owned label under the name Ki records, two albums and multiple EPs have gained Christian Löffler well deserved recognition in both house and techno fields respectively; however whilst his productions to date have strong afflictions to these genres; the german producer confesses not to listen to much dance music.

Following the release of his stunning York EP on 2020 Vision, Christian has been busy touring, playing sets in Europe and now currently across the pond where we expect he is sending dance floor heads into bewitched states of euphoria. We managed to catch few moments with Christian to ask him about his influences and the roles of nature and technology in his expressive music. Find out what else he had to say below.

Both visual and audio sides of your work draw strong parallels to nature. Is the idea of nature something fundamental in everything you do?

Absolutely yes. It’s just something that touches me. I like to be outside, out of everything. For me it’s highly inspiring just being on my own hiking through the woods for instance.

Have natural themes played a role in your latest EP?

Not directly – the EP is not based on a concept. Every song stands for itself. But of course it is something that inspires me daily.

The business of dance and the production of synthetic sounds have been two important features in defining house and techno. Consistently however, your music has conveyed a lot more than these facets.  How would you describe the relationship between technology and the emotive expression in your music?

As I never learned to play the piano or a guitar, the computer has been a tool to express myself musically since I was a teenager. So for me it comes naturally to speak through machines somehow. I guess it’s the same approach I would have just using my voice and a guitar to make music. Of course the music sounds different but the artistic motivation is the same.

What is the most used bit of equipment in your studio, or the piece of equipment you value the most?

I used to have a studio with different gear but I’m not a fan of long sessions sitting in the cave without sunlight constantly working on something. I like the idea of being more flexible and having my favourite plugins on a laptop which enables me to start producing wherever I am. During summer time a quick session somewhere outside is way more productive. Also while touring it’s useful to have everything with me. But I still have a Korg Polysix, Elektron Machinedrum and a Clavia Nordlead 2x. My favourite instrument is probably the tiny Pocket Kalimba.

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Are there any bits of gear you would like to add to your current studio or live setup?

At the moment I’m looking for a piano. That would be a dream coming true. For the live setup I really like to keep things simple but effective. I just bought a Livid Instruments cntrl:r.

How important are the physical surroundings when playing out? Do you find this affects what you play?

I think the place isn’t too important. It’s more about the vibe in general. For example I played a festival and my stage was originally supposed to be outside but got moved into a dark basement due to bad weather. It was in the afternoon and I played mellow, airy set totally in contrast to the venue but people got really into it. It felt like an open air show. That was surprising and deeply satisfying.

What other forms of music do you draw inspiration from?

I’m not listening to a lot of dance music honestly. Music that always inspired me is the more floating, atmospheric sound. I’m totally into soundtracks like The Theory of Everything from Jóhann Jóhannsson.

What’s currently playing on your stereo or in your headphones?

Right now I’m listening mostly to Valgeir Sigurðsson.

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