12 Questions Episode 389: Criss Source

With Criss Source having new music out now on Balkan Connection we catch up with him for the latest episode of 12 Questions.

1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?

I live in Essen (Germany), I am 38 and I am djing and producing now since more then 20 years.

 2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”

There was a show called “HR3 Clubnight” in the early 90’s and Sven Väth was playing there in a 3 hour show one time a month. And he played so many good and coooool stuff. I remember a show where he played “Energy52 – Café del Mar” for the first time.  And that feeling I had, when I heard it was overwhelming. I remember going to every record store trying to get this masterpiece on EyeQ Records. After 3 or 4 month I finally got it and I was the happiest young man in town ;-). Then I bought every release on EyeQ Records and Harthouse as well.

The point I want to make is that I was really caught by emotional electronic music. The Genre at that time was Trance. Real Trance! – not that kind of Trance that you can buy on Beatport today! Please don’t get me wrong ;-).

There was no particular situation that made me pursue it seriously. The whole thing developed by itself.

3. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?

In the beginning I worked together with different producers, sometimes for many years. However, at that time I’ve not considered myself being an independent producer. Rather to be a Dj who knows how a track has to be arranged to work on the dancefloors. I was lucky to work with people who understood my intentions and who could realize my ideas. And when the personal relation is harmonic it is the perfect symbiosis.

But as often in life relations do part.

For me it was actually more like a restart. I took my time off to regroup in a musical way. The whole process took quite a long time. In the end it was the best decision I could have made. Being independent really feels good 😉

 4. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?

There are days on which you don’t even find the right kick drum. And there are days everything works on its own. To be honest you can have a whole lot of good parts but if they are not well arranged the entire track won’t work. For me the arrangement is one of the most important parts. Even if it’s just a single sound that is introduced at the right moment it can determine the flow of the whole track.

And when I have a creative block I just shut down my mac and call it a day 😉

5. You have a new EP out on Balkan Connection this week, two more progressive techno monsters which follow your ‘Lost’ EP quite nicely. Tell us how you approached writing the tracks, how the ongoing relationship with Balkan Connection began and what’s coming later this year from you?

I really had no concept in mind, when I was writing my current single. I just started with the idea to name one track “GYÖR”. Györ is a wonderful city in Hungary, where I married my wife last year. So it was my personal duty to produce a song about it *hehe

The second track is named “Gravity” and it may be a bit more old school influenced track with a topic theme and a catchy melody which hopefully stays in mind.

I offered Balkan Connection my latest single called “LOST” It was an EP with three tracks. And Milos (The A&R) from BC signed the EP. I had a good feeling right from the beginning and I felt welcome. Besides they work very professional and Milos makes a really good job. So I am happy to be on board.

Furthermore I’ve made a Remix for “Circle Of Life” coming out in April on Beat Boutique.

6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?

My taste of music is quite diversified. From Metallica to Michael Jackson 😉
Outside of electronic music I love to listen to movie themes. Especially to Hans Zimmer compositions (Gladiator, The Dark Knight rises, Inception, Interstellar, etc.)

And yes, sometimes they influence me.

7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc)  piece of music you bought?

Depeche Mode – Spirit (Vinyl LP)

8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?

Hmmm, I play better Tennis then football ;-).

9. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?

Usually I work in the Studio from Monday to Thursday and then I prepare for my Job as a Dj at the weekend listening to promos, checking mails and taking care of my social network activities.

When I am not working on music, me and my wife are enjoying our quality time.

10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?

I am inspired by many artists from different genres. I don’t want to name anyone specific.

However, I am also inspired by movies, the weather or a place. And sometimes it’s just a mood.

11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?

Be patient, stick to it and believe in yourself.

12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?

The Age Of Love (Jam & Spoon mix)

‘GYÖR’ is out now on Balkan Connection, you can purchase the release: here


What do you think?

Rick Pier O'Neil - Ambivalent (Clubsonica Records)

Rick Pier O’Neil – Ambivalent (Clubsonica Records)

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