German-born artist Christian Wedekind (D-Nox) is a veteran in the electronic music industry. Regularly performing alongside partner Beckers, the duo is known for the fusion elements of Techno, Tech-House, Progressive House & Progressive Trance. Their broad sound and knowledge have led them to bookings at even some of the finest psychedelic parties including Boom Festival and Ozora Festival.
In April, D-Nox will return to South Africa to perform at Timeless Festival 2024 alongside Vegas, Headroom, Booka Shade, John Digweed, and more.
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 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 on 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 too 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 release 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 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 hype.
Do you ever see physical releases being phased out?
To be honest, I don’t know. I see that an artist’s 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 tracks 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 to being a DJ and a producer. If you have a label on top then you even have a platform to release your 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 have seen during the last few years. But I also see a reincarnation of Psyprog. It seems 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 it’s not for me. I prefer things more groovy and deep.
Does your approach differ for certain events?
It doesn’t depend if it’s 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 if they guide me. After a while, we should be connected and go the right way together through my set.
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 then we get first hot and then wet. Ready?