There are a handful of names whose music directly influenced the direction of electronic music, whose sound became definitive of an underground movement as it was starting to find its audience around the world. Oliver Lieb is one of those names. Well, in this case, he’s many of those names. His multiple aliases each represented different styles and genres as he explored the variety of avenues that were opening for electronic music, while always staying true to his own sound defined by precision, emotion, and creativity. From downtempo and chill, to hard techno and trance, Oliver Lieb has released over three hundred EPs & LPs, with singles on legendary labels as Bonzai, Bedrock, Platipus, Hooj Choons, Yoshitoshi, and much more.
It was his projects as L.S.G. however, which first enraptured me and many others around the world. To me, L.S.G. embodies the energy of an incomparable era, capturing the euphoria that can only truly be felt once you’ve experienced the depths. His music tells stories of the beauty in the darkness, providing a gateway for the sound to enter your soul. Tracks like Netherworld, Shecan, Goddess… they still make my heart flutter whenever I listen.
It’s a testament to Oliver’s dedication to creation that his music continues to leave an impact on listeners and peers alike. Some of his recent projects include his expansive album Double Vision on Bonzai Progressive, Epoxi EP on Bedrock, and Gone EP on Tronic, with features on John Digweed’s Live in Tokyo and Christian Smith’s All Stars 2019 to name just a few. While Oliver admits that he’s “never happy with his sound”, his passion for the music has never faltered, and his production schedule is as busy as ever. His latest release Freakwaves is a return to Bonzai Progressive with some finely tuned Techno that represents what L.S.G. is all about.
It was a pleasure to catch up with him amidst all of his projects, and to learn about the past & future of Oliver Lieb.
Listen to his exclusive mix on FRISKY right now, and read on:
Where are you focusing most of your energy within the music lately? What gets you the most excited about what you’re doing?
Actually I have a lot what I planned to do but lately there are so many tracks coming out so quickly that I am riding this wave and when it is over I go back to the plans. 😊
It is really great to still have so many ideas and passion for this after all these years.
So I am happy to still do what I do and have some people that are interested in listening to what I do.
Have there been many changes in your approach to music from when you began to today?
There are two main changes: First the way I work has changed. First I wanted to have access to every sound and detail of the mix until the very end – so everything was “live” until I pressed record on the DAT tape back then. Also because not everything was automatable and recording all synths was not making sense… now with the new DAWs since some years I am recording and committing synths and sounds quite at an early stage as well as all automation is recordable. This is quite a technical change.
I also filter my own music much better and earlier than before. So if I realise this is getting me nowhere and just will be too long, maybe never finished or just too experimental I can start with something else rather soon.
The other thing is that back in the days everything was quite new and fresh sounding. So I just did all kind of styles – also because everything had different project names. These days I am a bit more focusing what makes sense under my real name and since I have to advertise/promote every release, the project names don’t really make sense.
What do you think will always stay the same?
1. My passion for music and sound.
2. Never happy with my sound.
3. The last finished track is always the best.
Is there a message or story that runs through each of your tracks? Something that you always hope to communicate?
Not really something on purpose – but of course I do hope whatever feelings come from the inside are properly transformed into a musical piece. I also prefer to have the listener thinking and freedom for interpreting and not some straight out message. This is why I am not using a lot of vocals.
With your hands in so many areas of the music creation process, what are the tasks or roles that you have the greatest passion for?
The main idea for a track is always the main thing. Sometimes it is really challenging to turn this idea into a fully arranged song. Making it sound as good as possible is a fun part and most of the times much easier these days due to a lot of experience. But all this together for me is “making music”.
What does L.S.G. represent to you? How would you compare L.S.G.’s sound versus your other aliases?
All the projects are like little seeds and L.S.G. had the chance to grow the most as it was on a label I worked with for quite a long time back then. As for the sound it was not really planned – only initially not being too experimental or extremely commercial since there were other projects for that. Then over time it was growing like a tree, building branches to experiment in different styles with the signature sounds/feeling or elements that developed with each release. So this actually is what I was hoping to achieve with a project… making it more than just one-style and sound and so to say, give it it’s own life.
If you could only tell an aspiring producer one thing, what would it be?
Focus on what you want to do and don’t listen to what others say.
What is common advice in the electronic music industry that you think new DJs and producers should ignore?
I don’t know but in general you should only do what you feel ok with and what makes sense to you. There are no real shortcuts for most of the people so just keep working hard if you are up for it. So based on this, everybody has to decide for himself what to ignore and what to keep in mind.
Do you have a personal creative code or method that you adhere to?
Ideas come from inside. If I keep the fun part about making music alive for myself I can go on and on… 😊
Can you share some of the background on your new release?
The new L.S.G. single is another track from my last album DOUBLE VISION called “Freakwaves” that comes in two versions. An extended kind of more original mix and an Oliver Lieb Remix which is more melodic techno so to say.
What else is coming up for you that you are looking forward to? Anything that you would like to share?
There will be a new release on Bedrock in March and also a new one on Tronic soon.
My label MASCHINE will be reactivated soon to have an additional output source for all the music I do these days.
Also in later 2019 there will be the 30 year anniversary of my first ever release FORCE LEGATO – SYSTEM (October 1989). I am thinking about a 30 years compilation and also updating some of the tracks from the past. So I can play them in my DJ sets these days.