Evolution in Songs: Chris Liebing

Evolution in Songs: Chris Liebing


Bursting onto the scene in mid 90s, Chris Liebing quickly rose through the ranks of the illustrious Frankfurt scene to become a global electronic music force.

Championing a party-focussed, hypnotically repetitive sound that's easy to get lost in, he has consistently been able to get people dancing like there's no one watching throughout his twenty plus year career.

Like any good artist, Liebing's music has evolved over time, so we thought it'd be interesting to delve into his substantial back catalogue and chart just how his sound has developed.

What's most evident about his musical progression is his shift towards minimalism. As is often the case, when he was starting out, his music was relentlessly high energy. Rarely, if ever, taking his foot off the gas, he pounded his listeners into submission with booming kick drums and metallic drum loops. 

As he matured, he stripped back the layers of effects, instead allowing the interplay between drum beats to propel the music forward. As well, his production style moved away from the abrasive distortion of his youth towards a smoother, more subtle sound. 

But don't take my word for it, check out Chris Liebing's evolution is songs below.


Dandu Groove - 1997

 

The gem of his legendary Fine Audio Recordings era, this aggressive, almost industrial track put Chris Liebing on the map. The incessant, pounding kick drum, distorted percussion loop and total disregard for melody defined Frankfurt techno at the time. 




A1 (Stigmata 01) - 1999

 

Fast-forward a couple of years and he's already made significant changes to his sound. The aggression is still there, but has been noticeably toned down. The kick drum, while still prevalent, has ceded centre stage to a closed synth loop. 



Clr 07 B1 - 2000

 

While always maintaining a propulsive techno feel, Liebing's music started opening up over the years, bringing in influences from other electronic genres. The beat on this track, the B side to his Analogen EP, has an almost jungle quality to it.




Blood Angels (Chris Liebing Mix) - 2002

 

Founding his CLRetry label dedicated to remixes in 2001, Liebing has never been adverse to putting his own spin on someone else's track. Taking John Starlight's oddball single in a darker direction, there's feelings of levity here not found his previous tracks.
 




American Madness - 2003

 

One of his most famous sounds, American Madness sees the German DJ mixing up his patented sound, highlighted by an almost 80s slap style kick drum. This is very much not Chris Liebing circa 1997. 

 


Trikco - 2005

 

Just in case you thought he was going soft, Liebing teamed up with Speedy J for the collaborative album Metalism which showed he could still pull off the harsh sound of his youth. That being said, you can ever truly go back home, so here is a much more minimalistic take on industrial techno. 




Turbular Bell - 2008

 

Clearly displaying his turn towards minimalism, Turbular Bell favours sleak, subtle production over in your face distortion. This one shows a much more cerebral Chris Liebing.



Keep It Low - 2016

 

When you're one of the biggest DJs in the world, releasing new material isn't quite as imperative. But this remix to his collaborative track with Loco Dice depicts where Liebing is at these days. You can still hear where he came from, but his high octane approach has given way to a much more mature, laid back sound. 





 Check out what festivals Chris Liebing is playing here

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