We met Lanthan.audio founder Christian Gerlach right before his Los Angeles debut for LA Structures, where he shared the bill with Developer, Ascetic Limited’s Motionen, Symtek, Sarah Strandberg and Jeremy Sena. And what a debut it was, the packed room lapping up every single second of his set, proving once more that LA’s love for techno keeps on growing and knows no boundaries.
Christian’s own releases and that of his label pack a definite punch, forming up the perfect puzzle pieces for techno journeys like the one the packed Los Angeles room got to witness that night. Christian’s relationship with Los Angeles began with his contribution to Ascetic Limited’s second EP outing, a mini-compilation that also included tracks from Dorian Gray, Deepbass and HOBI, and will continue when the LA label’s founders Motionen release on Lanthan.audio in the coming months.
We had the chance to talk to Christian following his set to find out more about his trip in California and his future plans, as his label readies for its milestone 10th release.
Hi Christian, thank you for taking the time to chat! How have you been liking California?
Hi Marco, thank You for the invitation. Oh where to start, it is my first time in the States in general so what I first liked about California was the great weather for sure. Then driving into the city and meeting people I was next surprised that the most people here are very nice and show a lot of respect to each other. After our road trip through California and spending time in many different cities I can finally say that the people are super helpful and open. What I also loved was the change of the landscapes which was beautiful in its diversity.
Anything in particular you enjoyed about your first time in Los Angeles?
Yeah on nearly every corner you can feel that something is happening somehow, but always in a very relaxed way. Also every district has its own history and you can really taste that. In my youth I heard a lot of music which came out of LA… Venice for example, and it was great to experience its origin on my own now.
You played for Structure alongside Developer, Motionen and other talented LA techno artists. Tell us a little about how the night went.
We got picked up by Jeremy of Structures, Carlos and Matt (Motionen) from the Airport and we felt immediately that there was a great connection between us all and that we would have much fun, so the anticipation was big and we were all excited about this night. Quite apart from the super hosting and great welcome, from the beginning everything was right. The location, the visuals and the sound system were just top notch.
I had mixed feelings and expectations about how people would react to my sound but after a top performance from Motionen I felt comfortable from the first minute of my set. Furthermore, it was great to see that the crowd felt the same and their response during and after my set was just very intense. I got so much positive response and had so much fun playing. It was just one of these perfect nights and after my set we enjoyed the show of Developer whose work i respect since my own beginning.
What are your thoughts on the LA techno scene based on this first impression?
Yeah I was pretty impressed honestly. So many open-minded people are up for the techno we played and I play in Germany. I got involved to talk with many people after my set who want to push exactly this sound. I also like the fact that so many backyard-raves get organized to escape the system. The people just want to express themselves, their music and their culture — and they are not stopping!
Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you live?
I grew up in a small town in Germany between Cologne and Frankfurt and for the moment I live in the next bigger city Koblenz. I like it as I can reach both cities in a one our drive and also got my retreat point where I can set my focus on my job, my studio work and my future wife.
You run your own Lanthan.audio label, produce and DJ. Do you do it full time or do you have another career going on at the same time?
I work full time as an architect, so often I just have time to work on my music in the evenings. This means producing, all kind of label work and for sure selecting upcoming gigs.
How do you keep both going at the same time?
I think it’s all about setting your priorities right and about good time management. You should not waste your energy with useless things.
Let’s back track a little: how did you discover techno in the first place?
Friends showed me electronic music around the age of seventeen. From this point on everything went pretty fast and I found out, that I was able to identify myself with techno and its culture. I was just caught.
What prompted you to decide to turn your passion into actual music production and DJing?
I felt a strong relation to the people in the booth while dancing a lot and was inspired how they can develop the night.
It seems like starting your own label is one of the only ways to get music out and exposure in today’s scene. Is that what pushed you to launch Lanthan.audio?
Honestly no, I wanted to represent my very own idea of an label, by combining all three forms of art: music, architecture and photography. I wanted to realize my very own vision of how a label should appear.
Now, as I feel more comfortable with my studio work future appearances won’t be a exception.
The quality of the label’s releases is top-tier, so this may be a hard question: what three tracks would you give someone to listen who hasn’t heard of Lanthan.audio before?
Puh this is really a hard question as I feel such a great tension to every single track that was ever released on Lanthan. But to make it short:
Edit Select – “Hi Line Extraction” (Mike Parker Version)
Jeff Derringer – “Departure” (Shifted Version)
Echologist – “Dead Men Tell No Tales” (Deepbass Version)
You’re about to celebrate the 10th release on Lanthan.audio… congratulations, that’s quite the achievement! Can you talk us through some of the artists and tracks that will be featured?
For the moment I dont want to betray too much about it. But I can say that it will be a big project – for me and for Lanthan. It will be the first Various Artist compilation. The first tracks are coming together slowly and I could not be happier.
Clearly you’ve built a working relationship with Motionen, founders of Ascetic Ltd. You’ve released on their label and now they have music coming out on yours. How did that relationship start?
It all started with simple chatting with these guys. After listening to some demos I just wanted to work with them, as I was really into their sound. It is high quality stuff in my opinion and very “full” on sound and in addition it fits perfect with what Lanthan.audio stands for. Also, and not to forget, the sympathy and connection just felt right – so one thing came to another and I am glad to present this promising duo with two remixes soon.
If you could choose one producer to release music on Lanthen.audio in the future, who would it be?
This is a good question and its hard to answer. I already got the most of my absolute favorites producers on the label and in the future I will keep the circle around these tight and only ask a few more to join.
Where do you see the label going in 5 years from now? Any plans to throw label parties?
As music has no boundaries for myself, I dont want to build another german techno label. My goal is it to deliver and present an international appreciated label, that points with its whole in one concept. We already had label nights in Germany which seemed to be respected, but I would love to increase this. As the label stands for diversity in music and has respected artists from all over the world in its roster, I would be excited if Lanthan.audio could earn more respect, getting more people interested in working with us. But I know and also had to learn that this needs much time and even more patience.