Bank Holiday Sunday was a special one this year in Nation, the home of Cream in Liverpool England. This day marked the second reunion party at one of the most recognized clubs in the world (the first took place on February of this year). From 1992 to 2002, Cream hosted some of the best DJs in the world, such as Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, and Paul van Dyk amongst others. They celebrated their longevity with this big party, which featured vocalist Jan Johnston, Seb Fontaine, Samuel Lamont, and German EDM legend Oliver Lieb. I have chosen to upload Oliver’s set from the night as a throwback because he played stricly old school tunes. All of them were either produced or remixed by Oliver himself, and the tracklist contains a lot of work from many of his popular aliases (LSG, Mindspace, Paragliders, S.O.L.). The theme of this mix is throwback trance, the original form of hypnotic music that actually fits the definition of trance. Tracks such as Dreamstate, Lithium 1, and Hope are all deep and spellbinding. I love getting lost in these classic tunes; it’s something that rarely happens with today’s style of trance. Check out a recent interview with Oliver at the bottom of the post, and there is also a link to Sam Lamont’s closing set from the night if you are interested.
Oliver Lieb – Recorded live at the Cream Reunion (May 29, 2011)
01 Paragliders – Paraglide (Humate Remix)
02 L.S.G. – Sweet Gravity Remix 1
03 Natious – Amber (Oliver Lieb Remix)
04 Humate – Love Stimulation (Oliver Lieb Softmix)
05 L.S.G. – The Hidden Sun Of Venus (Oliver Lieb Remix)
06 L.S.G. – My Time Is Yours
07 Mindspace – In my Eyes
08 Illuminatus – Hope (Oliver Lieb Remix)
09 Kamaya Painters – Far From Over (Oliver Lieb Remix)
10 S.O.L. – Pollenflug
11 Ignacio (Steve Rachmad) – Virton
12 S.O.L. – Quantensprung
13 Aquilia – Dreamstate (Oliver Lieb’s LSG Mix)
14 Paragliders – Lithium 1
15 L.S.G. – Hearts
16 Ambassador – The Fade (Oliver Lieb Remix)
17 L.S.G. – Netherworld (Vinyl Cut)
18 L.S.G. – Risin (Main Mix)
19 Cherrymoon Trax – The House Of House (Oliver Lieb Remix)
20 Utah Saints – Lost Vagueness (Oliver Lieb’s Main Mix)
21 Oliver Lieb – Subraumstimulation (Main Mix)
Download the set here
Oliver Lieb interview with Skiddle:
Ahead of his much anticipated classics set at the Cream Reunion we caught up with German legend and electronic pioneer Oliver Lieb for a chat about his career, his equipment, the UK scene and what the future holds.
You’ve written some of the most genre defining records of all time. Did you think at the time that they would become as big as they have?
No – nothing was planned. I just produced music and was happy to release the amount of output I had. It was great to see it work but whether it was really, really big or just doing quite well wasn’t particularly important to me.
You’ve probably become most popular under your LSG moniker, but which of your own productions are you most proud of?
Hmm… everything stands for a time period or maybe a situation, feeling or whatever was going on then so it’s hard to say. There is stuff that I prefer and still could listen to and there are other tracks where it’s hard for me to understand why I did things like that.
The albums always had a kind of bigger concept behind them than an EP or maxi, so in a way they mean more to me. Also I’m proud of the LSG project as it developed over the years and also the split up between the Black album sound and then the Into Deep album.
Did you decide to become a DJ in order for your productions to be heard or had it interested you before you started producing?
In 87/88 I started with electronic music. Before, I played bass since I was 14 so music to me was more something “with” and “in front” of other people. When the role of the DJ changed from a kind of jukebox to more an individual person that had a choice of sound and music I found that interesting, but my main focus still was producing. There was the choice in the 90s to be DJ or live-act and with my background I decided that live-act was more interesting. Many years later I thought again about the DJing to replace the live act for a lot of reasons and have done that for some years now.
What equipment are you using to play live these days, and what were you using back then?
Back then when I was a live act I started with a hardware sequencer, sampler and a juno 106, a mixer and fx unit and a small midi keyboard to play some samples live.
As a DJ I started with vinyl of course, then tried final scratch for a short time before switching to traktor which I still use. I am thinking about a cool way to do a live-act again in the near future without just having a laptop.
What elements of a track are most important to you and how long do you usually spend producing a record, from start to finish?
An outstanding track always has a mix of strong elements… the bass and drum groove is very important but the main “catchy” or melodic element combined with the arrangement and the overall sound quality is important to me too.
The initial idea is just a few hours, then getting everything fine-tuned and checking out effects and arrangement might take 2-4 days depending on the track.
What was your favourite bit of kit in the 90s and do you still use it today?
Oh there’s quite a few, it’s the Kyma System that I still use every now and then and get deeply in there programming some weird effects. Also some of my effect units like the Dsp4000 and the Lexicon 480l as well as the Nordlead 2, 3, Nordmodular.
You’re renowned for your love of hardware synths. Have you found a place for VSTs in the studio yet or do you still prefer the older kit?
Depending on what I do… most of the time is the original since they are here, but there are some great fx plug-ins – more to get new or special sounds rather than emulating old ones.
You run your own mastering and vinyl cutting studio, so it’s probably safe to say you are a big fan of vinyl – how do you feel about the latest advances in laptop DJ technology?
I started my own mastering company http://www.lhaudio.com and bought some high-end compressors and eqs. I am a big sound fan so just mastering wasn’t enough, since I wanted to bring the mastered sound as close as possible on vinyl without relying on other people.
For me it’s really important to release on vinyl. Everybody takes a vinyl release more serious than just a digital release. Or maybe you could create a website for a digital release but who does that for a maxi or EP?
The advances of laptop DJing to me is that you can take a lot of records with your hand luggage and so you are 100% sure it gets with you when you fly somewhere. It sounds stupid but I’ve had that too often in the past.
Another problem to me is sound. A lot of DJs think that it’s completely ok to play mp3 192kb files and I can only say that the club audience should get the “best” sound – not only by a great sound system that the club might have installed – but also by playing wav files, the full on sound! On a good club sound system there is a massive difference even from a wav to a 320kb file. Sadly these days where everybody listens to mp3s on an ipod or a small pc-speaker setup, sound doesn’t seem to be that important anymore.
Your new label Maschine has a very different sound to the trance you pioneered during the 90s. Do you feel this is a natural progression of what you were writing back then or have you consciously changed direction in response to the way the trance scene developed?
In the 90s as well as now I did “electronic music”… there was no “trance” when I started. I also did all kind of music like harder, techno, house etc. I just felt like no borders… So the label is the direction I felt like taking in 2005.
I did have a break in 2008 to 2010 from producing and was only releasing other people’s music. I had to focus on the new mastering and cutting company I started and the building of the studio, moving the studio and so many other things that I wanted to do in that time.
Since late 2010 I am producing again and also now I will continue with my way of doing all kinds of stuff here and there. I never cared about the scene too much to have it taken control over what I do or not.
How do you feel about the dance music industry constantly recycling older records? Is it an opportunity to give them longevity or is it just demonstrating a lack of creativity?
To me the problem is not somebody using an old sample, it’s more the people that pretty much redo the whole song and put their name in the credits without permission or even asking.
Without original music there is no progress. No progress means that people don’t buy or really care about this formerly “innovative” style of music. These days with so many releases it’s even hard for DJs to keep updated and to find the good amongst the bad. Before people would latch on to progress and changes in the music and kept following the acts or the scene in general. Today, those that come across this music often will leave it after a while as they don’t understand the little progresses.
In a career that’s spanned over 20 years the industry has changed immeasurably. Where do you see it going next?
Hmmm, it’s hard to say as this current period is very important and will influence whether the scene will continue to deteriorate or maybe become a bit more stable and healthy.
You’ve played at Cream, Creamfields and a host of UK clubs. How did the scene back then rate to that in Germany and the rest of Europe?
I have always loved the UK club scene. The people were always more open minded than I ever expected and went out to party not to stand around looking bored. From about 10 years ago I played more techno and harder stuff since to me the “trance” sound was starting to become a bit boring without developing. The music where something was happening was techno to me and the UK crowds I played to were very open to it including the Creamfields gig.
What can we expect from you at the Cream Reunion on the 29th May?
At the moment I plan to play vinyl and bring a lot of my records and remixes from between 94 and 2004 with me. Then we will see what is going to happen, some tracks are in there for sure, others I will decide during the set. I think the main focus this time will be on my productions and remixes with a few other people’s records in there. This is a different night and I’m really looking forward to it!