Ahhhh, after a break from bloggin, Im lucky to return with a post on a producer I'm truly passionate about.
Its rare that a musician comes through, carving his own unique path in the musical landscape. Lorenz Rhode is doing just that, right now, with a throwback sound so authentic yet so fresh, I can safely say I am a devout fan. Lorenz loves his music, you can hear it in every riff. Hes command of the synth, both programing and musically, is profound. His session musicians are breathing life back into live electronica, so I say to all of you now, lets get this guy out to Australia and show us monkey djs how its done!
Lorenz has already dropped releases on reputable labels like Compost and Exploited, and he's still at uni, studying audio engineering and writing a diploma on 'the art of the remix'. So much more to come from this man, I personally cant wait.
I was lucky enough to get in touch with Lorenz, initially to share our love for the talkbox, synths and music in general.
Here is a little chat we had recently....
What was the first instrument you played?
I began learning piano when I was 7, classical music… little later my best friend and I joined the local marching band to play snare drum, which eventually led me to playing drum set. Our band was a mess... the band leader was a Megadeth fan, the bassist and I loved funk -> Deathfunk? Didn't work.
Whats the best song ever made?
You want ONE answer? Phew that's hard. Normally I'd choose a Stevie song, like "I Wish" or "Higher Ground", but I think I need a time-out from listening to his records to make sure I'll never grow tired of them. Same for my favorite dance tune ever, Alan Braxe/Fred Falke's "Rubicon" - haven't listened to it for over a year. That's an outstanding record, how it keeps evolving, and it sounds incredibly good.
ok ok, whats a damn good 80s funk song then??
You must be talking about Zapp - "Heartbreaker".
Your love of synths came from where?
The love of dance music was there first. When my brother bought a SoundBlaster 32 AWE, I started fooling around with Midi and Sampling… trying to figure out how those beats and sounds were made. My first real synth was a Waldorf Microwave XT I bought at their factory; Waldorf is a tiny village about 10 mins from my hometown.
How many colours have you died your hair?
Never dyed… but I had a few funny hair styles, including 10 years of hair-metal length.
You would be your dream colab?
I'd rather take things as they come, because I tend to approach musicians whose style is way too similar to my own. Improbable collaborations can yield results much more interesting.
Whats the best beat for a synth stab?
Depends on what you want. When I'm jamming to a 4/4 house beat, I try to find combinations of basslines and chords that interlock well and form a riff you can keep listening to without getting annoyed. A slower bpm is great for old school synth action, show-offy solos and all that.
When will LR do an album, and who will it contain?
I'm planning to start working on it this year. Looking forward cause I see it as an opportunity to work more "outside the box" than on a single or EP.
Dope! Can you hint at what 'outside the box' might be? acoustic folk? dubstep ;) ?
No way! Acoustic Step & Dubfolk is the shit.
Whats your worst habbit, from which you must refrain?
Getting bored of my work, trashing everything and starting over. A million times.
Aint it! I try to finish a track fast to avoid overlistening. Do you have any tricks to not kill the groove?
When stuck, I think it's a bad idea to listen to the full arrangement all the time, all the layers at once, in a loop... Muting tracks and listening to different combinations of just 3-4 instruments often brings back the memory of what you originally wanted to do.
You reside in Dusseldorf, whats the good & bad?
Well, I came here to study, and to be very honest: The local club scene is not my thing. Still, Duesseldorf does have its place in the history of electronic music, being the hometown to Kraftwerk, D.A.F., Neu! and others.
What/where is your ideal club scene?
Kind of an obvious answer, but Berlin is hot. There's a lot going on all the time, and people are more casual about clubbing... I like that.
Will you ever make a song that makes you feel sad?
Definitely. Maybe not "I hate myself and want to die"-sad, but I actually think there are sad or melancholic elements in my music. I like sneaking in those subtle moments of melancholy a certain chord progression or melody line can evoke, even if the song is a euphoric dance song, overall.
Tell us about your kit, (what you're willing to share...)
Over the years I bought quite a few synths - not a ton, but I think they all complement each other well, so I'm actually using them all on pretty much every song. The Prophet-5 is a great example of how you don't need to add much processing, EQing and whatnot if the raw sound of a synth is so 'alive' and interesting already. My favorite keyboard though is one that costs a small fraction: The Ensoniq ESQ1. Just skip through the presets, and if you have a soft spot for that certain retro-futurism you'll find something inspiring.
Whats Your musical philosophy?
Too wordy to be called a philosophy, but basically I don't consider a track finished unless I stumble across that 'eureka' moment that makes me dance all over the room.
And I avoid listening to any music during working periods, cause it found it to be distracting and confusing.
Coming up for Lorenz Rhode:
There's three finished remixes in the pipeline… one of them is a very retro take on a banging club track I'm sure you've all heard. The idea was a remix pretending to be the unknown mid-80's original. Coming very soon, but I'm not going to reveal it yet.
The latest rmx I just finished is Moullinex - "Come back Superman" for Gomma Records.
And just so you know what Im so crazy about, check this rhapsody of funk...
Lorenz Rhode - Disco Evolution