Featuring only live performances from renowned underground dance music acts, Cityfox LIVE will return to its Brooklyn home at East Williamsburg’s Avant Gardner on Saturday, February 29 from 10PM to 6AM, featuring a lineup that includes Gui Boratto, Rodriguez Jr., Christian Löffler, Kate Simko, Robert Owens and more joining the likes of Paul Kalkbrenner, Schwarzmann (Frank Wiedemann & Henrik Schwarz), Mathew Jonson b2b The Mole b2b Sebastian Mullaert, Tim Engerlhardt, Midas 104, and Tim Green b2b Justin Marchacos over the 8-hour event at the multi-room complex.
A novel event concept in the world of dance music, attendees will be treated to a stellar demonstration of live performance craftsmanship with impeccable production turning the stage into the studio.
What does performing ‘LIVE’ mean to you? How is it different than any other musical performance you’ve done?
As I don’t DJ at all, performing LIVE is the only way I can show what I do, face to face to the people. It’s the way I can transpose the content of my productions from the studio to the stage in a very convenient and possible way. Sometimes it’s not really convenient, as I’ve already done a 100% analog live setup bringing more than 200kg on the stage with no laptop.
What does your LIVE setup consist of? Can you draw or tell us more about what makes it rare or special — is there a key product you’re bringing that only you use?
My live setup is always changing. Normally I use a laptop, an audio interface, a drum machine (I’ve been using the Arturia drum brute) and the Pentadrum (the one I developed myself with Arthur Joly), an Akai MPC Live, a Roland TB-303 Devil Fish, the ACDGEN (the smart arpeggiator) from Spektro Audio and the Akai APC-40. This is the basic and compact setup up. Sometimes I improvise and use my Buchla modular or a synthesiser like Moog One or Sub37, or even my machines live, with all analog stuff as mentioned before.
Can you describe how your sound changes or has evolved from playing a pre-programmed set or selection of songs versus when you play LIVE?
That’s a tricky combination and decision. As my music is not one-note bass techno; I have many different harmonies and melodies running on the same song. Normally all the big bass lines come from Ableton (audio material) and my melodies can be generated from my TB, or from another synth. Even if it’s not the exact same timbre, which is nice, and differs from the original recording; and the drums come from my Pentadrum and from my MPC.
Is there a quality or characteristic that defines the types of sound or genres of music you like to play LIVE with versus when you create or record a set? E.G. Maybe you like orchestral sounds because it adds an element of sophistication or diversity to an all electronically made set, etc.
Normally I add different elements, that are naturally created as I’m using different gear compared to the ones I’ve created for the performance.
What is the most gratifying part of playing LIVE?
The best thing is to improvise and have the possibility of making some mistakes which is awesome when you do something unexpected but nice and creative. Sometimes that kind of thing happens and you wish you could record it.
Why do you play LIVE?
As mentioned before, I play live because is the way I can have different approach of my productions on the stage.
What are you looking forward to most about Cityfox LIVE?
I’m really looking forward to playing my new stuff and also check out some other lives, like Frank [Wiedemann] and Henrik [Schwarz] ft. Robert Owens for example.
What acts/performers would be your dream accompaniment and why?
I’ve already opened for Depeche Mode last year and it was mind-blowing! Very inspiring. That was one for the books. I wish I could do something like adding drums and others live instruments, which I did years ago, playing bass and guitar etc. But that’s difficult, as it’s hard to travel with so many musicians, plus the rehearsal, soundcheck, etc. But at the same time, I’m very happy to be alone and have total control of everything.