PLAYY. Mix Series #157: Chris Liebing


Chris Liebing is synonymous with the techno genre, and his impact on it has been enduring. His creative journey is marked by constant evolution. Whether he’s leading a label, curating podcasts, DJing, or producing, Liebing consistently challenges both himself and his audience to explore novel territories within electronic music. His knack for staying ahead of trends is evident, starting from the edgy sound of the 90s that has resurged, through the minimalism of the early 2000s, to his recent albums on Mute, which feature cinematic atmospheres and alternative electronica. In essence, Liebing’s narrative is deeply intertwined with the evolution of techno itself. In 2021, he released his second album through Mute, Another Day. This album showcased Liebing’s exploration of new avenues for expressing his euphoric and melodic sensibilities. His technical prowess and meticulous attention to sonic detail were evident throughout, and he worked with various collaborators including Miles Cooper Seaton and Polly Scattergood. His creative momentum extended into the first half of 2023. He made a comeback to the club scene with his Love Those Who Fight With Passion And Faith EP on his own CLR label and, notably, joined forces with Luke Slater to remix Depeche Mode’s Ghosts Again. We spoke with the global icon about his current chapter, and present an exclusive recording of Liebing’s set from this year’s Lovefest, recorded live in Serbia. 


Set the tone for us. Where did your journey with music begin?

It began in my bedroom when I was just eleven or twelve years old. I had a mono tape recorder and used to record my favourite music from radio shows that I was following. Then I used those tapes to play this music at our first little parties. 


Your approach to techno is unique, and sees you pull from a range of influences. How receptive have people been to your style in spaces that are traditionally for techno purists?

I have always seen myself as a DJ who wants to include everybody and who does not want to exclude anyone who is listening to my music. So in the range of music that I like to play, I always wanted everyone in the room to have the best possible time. When I play at a place like for example Berghain, with a lot of Techno purists in the crowd, I know that I can go much, much deeper and much more into an underground form of very deep, abstract, stripped down Techno. Yet I also feel that when I play at places where there might be many people who are not familiar with this sound, I want to include them, welcome them and give them the opportunity to jump on board to experience what I am trying to do and transmit with my music. 


Tell us about the direction of this mix. How does it speak toward where you currently are creatively? 

This mix is actually a recording from the Lovefest in Serbia where I played on August 4th. It pretty much mirrors what I am trying to do at festivals at the moment. To bring the energy but also stay true to my roots. And that is exactly what I am currently trying, not only as a DJ but also as a producer. 


What’s next? Any upcoming projects that you’re particularly excited about? 

I am super excited about my label CLR, how it is perceived at the moment and about the releases that are out. I have signed a range of amazing artists with such great music, like DEAS, B. Riley and Shlomi Aber, amongst others. I am working on a collaboration with Nicole Moudaber that will soon be released and I am also working together with my partner Ralf Hildenbeutel on my other project for Mute Records, which is more song- and listening oriented. I believe that towards the end of the year, there will be a new EP coming out.



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