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Cristoph and all that is mega

Jacob Fritz caught up with the rising star before his opening set for James Zabiela.

2014 was a good year for Cristoph, and 2015 is starting with even more promise. He's been playing regularly, has had some fantastic releases and is gaining more and more plaudits from big names in the industry. His sound is noticeably developing and maturing as can be seen in his excellent new EP Consequences of Society Vol. 1, his second release on Noir. Owing to this, we went to see him play at an also young and incredibly promising nightclub, Switch in Southampton. His set was exceptional: a confident and assured selection of tracks that were wonderfully complimented by the brilliant sound system and lighting that Switch had to offer. Opening up for the brilliant showman and technician James Zabiela could have proved tricky, but his set was fantastic; dynamic enough to get the crowd incredibly pumped for what was to come and a perfect set to open with. I caught up with him before his set to talk music, influences and who he thought was “mega”.

It's been a steady stream of successes for you recently with excellent releases on Defected and Noir, what's next for you musically?

"I'm adapting my sound, that's what I'm doing. I used to use the word changing, but a few people have said 'you're not really changing from Spice girls to bloody techno are you?' I've always loved melodies and a big part of my background was following Eric Prydz and that. At the moment, that whole Tale of Us sound is really amazing to me. The atmosphere they put in, some of that dark melodic stuff... I really like it and it works in nightclubs - especially the type of clubs I want to be playing at - but I just feel it sometimes lacks in energy, so what I'm trying to do is mould some of these dark melodies with my own sound. It's starting to come out - I've got tracks I'm sending out and I've also got a release coming out on Knee Deep in Sound too."

Who would you say are your biggest musical influences, and who do you draw inspiration from in the industry?

"To be fair mate, the only time I don't listen to house or techno is when I go on a drive or something to clear my head, sometimes when you get a bit of writers' block. Over the years I'd say Eric Prydz I find amazing, and Tale of Us are mega at the moment. Maceo Plex, Hot Since 82, and Maya Jane Coles are all incredible too."

"I'm adapting my sound. I used to say changing, but people said 'you're not really changing from Spice girls to bloody techno are you!?'"

Yeah, it seems like you're quite a big fan of Hot Since 82 from listening to your sets…

"Yeah, definitely mate. Daley [Hot Since 82]'s music is just… well when it first came out it made a lot of people realise that there can be a bridge gapped in this progressive sound. Not in the style of Prydz or anyone but with a lot of the synths he uses he makes a really interesting sound. He's a great producer, I think the kid's class, and it's made a lot of people sit up and start producing better music."

I read an article recently comparing you to some of the Berlin based DJs, is that what you're aspiring to?

"To be honest with you, I've heard the German market is a hard one to crack. Some of the clubs are unbelievable so obviously you want to get in there, but aspiring to that sort of sound? I don't know mate, I guess I just go into the studio and make the music I want to make. I just want to try and make a Cristoph sound. I'm being told a lot at the minute that when people hear my songs there is a “Cristoph sound” and that's great to hear you know. I write what I'm feeling, I write music for myself and for my sets. If it gets signed - great, if it doesn't - it doesn't."

What sort of tracks and producers have you been playing a lot in your sets recently, I saw you tweet about Several Definitions for example?

Several Definitions is MEGA. Me and him have done a couple of tracks together, and his EP on Daley's label is incredible. Tell you what else, I dropped this track in Leeds the other week and it's a fair few years old but it went off – Domino by Oxia; I've been smashing it in every set at the moment. Played a house party in Cardiff and dropped Man with the Red Face, went off too.

What labels are impressing you most at the moment?

Life and Death, Innervisions and labels like that all really impress me. They seem to have their own little camp, which I love, but it's tough to get into it. I also really like Dynamic, Solumun's an incredible DJ; I watched his set at BPM, and it was absolutely mega mate. It's just nice, fucking groovy music.

View this feature in the Spotlight Magazine, Issue 011

WORDS | Jacob Fritz

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