German born artist Christian Wedekind (D-Nox) is a veteran in the electronic music industry. Regularly performing alongside partner Beckers, the duo are known for the fusion elements of Techno, Tech-House, Progressive House & Progressive Trance. Their broad sound and knowledge have lead them to bookings at even some of the finest psychedelic parties including Boom Festival and Ozora Festival.
Hey Christian! How did you fall in love with music?
To make a long story short, my name is Chris, also known as D-Nox. I have been playing Techno music since 1992, but started out with school disco parties in the late 80’s. I run two labels – Sprout Music, and Plastik Park.
I write music together with my partner Beckers (more commonly known as D-Nox & Beckers). We are both German but live in different cities. I have been living in Berlin since 2007, and whenever I want to write music I have to hit the road and travel 550 kilometers to our studio.
Music became interesting for me in the late 80’s, I started recording music from the radio as there was no vinyl in the country I was living in. I became a collector of music and wanted to share my collection with others. My father had a band in the 70’s and I inherited his equipment, which I later used to run my school parties I mentioned earlier.
After the fall of the German wall, the market for vinyl opened to me and I bought records, which was during the same time Techno hit Germany. I got hooked onto Techno right away, and couldn’t leave from it!
Tell me about your tight relationship with Beckers?
I met Beckers about 12 years ago, he was a respected DJ but playing some sort of Progressive Trance under the alias Space Safari. Well, I liked his grooves and his company. We gave it a try and went to write some music in his studio – this was in 2004. Since then we haven’t stopped and have celebrated more than a decade of creating music together.
We never thought about getting an alias for the project – I guess that’s because we are both to egoistic when it comes to our DJ careers. Beckers is much more of a musician than I am. He knows how to play instruments but often gets stuck on finishing a song, and this is where I jump in. He is the composer and programmer, and I am the guide and the arranger. That would explain what we are in the studio.
As you mentioned you own Sprout Music and Plastik Park. Has the digital age transformed the landscape?
At the start I was running the label with a partner, who quickly exited the music industry due to personal reasons. Since then, I’ve been working with Sally Doolally, who is also our booking agent. She takes care of Plastik Park while I run the other label, Sprout. I also have label management that helps me to do all the administration.
I find the digital age easier to work with since it is easier to do a release. Back then when we started with vinyl, the whole production of a releases was much more difficult. But of course the sales have crashed big time and the win is smaller than it used to be. I run my labels to have a platform for my music or for my friend’s music. I don’t see it as a big business much more but rather as a space for the people I like. I still release only the music I like without looking at the current trends and hypes.
Do you ever see physical releases being phased out?
To be honest, I don’t know. I see that an artist album is a reason for the media to push an artist while an EP doesn’t get big feedback from the media, unless you have a hit EP or release. To receive the most promotion, interviews and such I believe, is better to have an album out.
Are there any added benefits to being a DJ and a label owner?
Yes, I get to play some unreleased track but I don’t think it is essential. The way you play and transmit the music is more important. People need to see that you like what you do and stand behind it. I open myself big time when I play and lose myself during my sets.
I don’t think that there is a benefit between being a DJ and a label owner. But I believe that there is a benefit being a DJ and a producer. If you have a label on top then you even have a platform to release you own music. Probably the three things together make things easier.
What are your thoughts on Techno elements being incorporated into psychedelic progressive?
To be a hundred percent honest, I don’t follow Psyprog at all, because every time I hear it somewhere at a party I think it’s the only music next to Psytrance that hasn’t changed during the last 10 years. I used to follow the music much more, but that was 10 years or more ago. Nowadays I only follow my taste and let the music I like come to me. I am not after names or genres. I see that producers like Maceo Plex are much more psychedelic than any other Psytrance act I saw during the last few years. But I also see a reincarnation of Psyprog. It seams to be the new Full On. People in Brazil love this off bass jump trance aka Neelix or Fabio & Moon. Well that’s good, but as I said its not for me. I prefer things more groovy and deep.
Does your approach differ at indoor or outdoor multi-genre events?
It doesn’t depend if it’s an indoor or outdoor, it depends much more on the audience. I need to check the crowd first to see what they are all about. Then I start and see if I can guide them or they guide me. Then after a while we should be connected and go the way together through my set.
You’ve been down here before. Foes that help, knowing what the crowd might be like? What can the dance floor expect from your set?
No, it doesn’t help since both times were completely different and I have again I have no idea of what to expect. If I get a similar crowd to last time then the party will be an enjoyable blast. I am expecting nothing more than this. I hope South Africa is with me!
Thanks for the interview! Any last words before we finish off?
I hope I get a similar crowd as I had last time. If this is the case than we get first hot and then wet. Ready?