Little White Earbuds Presents Fabrice Lig


Active since the early 90s, Fabrice Lig is one of only a small handful of producers who have been welcomed by the Detroit techno community as one of their own. The Belgian DJ and producer first appeared as DJ Triphase on the Radio Active Records imprint way back in 1992 with an EP of impressive techno/trance that looked beyond the rave and hardcore permeating Europe at the time towards the more subtle strains emanating from Motor City. It was in the late 90s that his star really began to rise, with releases on Residual and Raygun leading the way for him to enter the new millennium as an in-demand artist for a variety of labels around the world. To that end, Lig has graced labels like Playhouse, 7th City, Clone, Kanzleramt and Submerge, with his forthcoming album, Galactic Soul Odyssey, finding a home on Planet E. LWE got in touch with Fabrice to find out more about the album, his early days of clubbing in Ghent, and what he has gained from more than 20 years in the business. He also put together an exclusive mix for us that is his personal homage to the Detroit sound that has kept him inspired all these years.

Hi Fabrice. You’ve been making music for more than 20 years now. Whereabouts in Belgium did you grow up and what were the clubs or places you were going to, to listen to and discover music?

I have to say, here in Belgium we were happy clubbers. We had really innovative and exciting clubs in the late ’80s. One of the best, and where I had my first contacts with clubbing was the “Boccaccio Life” in Ghent. I was 15 when I discovered that. I really wish all the teenagers could live an experience like that. If I were living the future, I would jump into another dimension. We were living a musical revolution, it was so exciting! Than we had some other great clubs like Café d’Anvers, then Fuse (where I discovered so many amazing artists), also Cherry Moon Club, where the music was more Belgian techno oriented, but that club sound, lights, and crowd had an amazing energy. I liked to be there just for that high energy. I also remember the beginning of Ten Days of Techno in Ghent, where I saw Dave Angel, Luke Slater, and Bandulu live at the same party, it was a shock too, and these men were so funky! That’s really they way I wanted to follow. But to discover music, I was also going to the Ghent and Antwerp records shops. we were a lot of DJs sharing these moments. It was more friendly than just exchanging messages on Facebook ;-).

What were the first steps for you in starting to produce your own tracks? Did you have any musical training or were you teaching yourself as you went?

Not at all! Was totally alone to start producing music. I had no idea of how to do it, I just knew I needed to do it, it was inside me. No internet and tutorials, no softwares, Ableton or Reason, all in one. I started by buying a drum machine in a old school music shop in Charleroi. They even never heard about electronic music ;-). When I asked for some gear to start making electronic music, they looked at me as an alien! So I started to go to many gigs where the artists were playing live. That’s how I experienced a +8 hour party at Cherry Moon (Lokeren, Be) where I’ve seen Mark Gage playing live (Vapourspace). And it was totally amazing, that guy blew me away! That’s also the first time I’ve seen a Roland Sh101, and Mark is a virtuose of that synth. After that I just had an idea in my mind — buy a 101 — and today it’s still my favorite synth. I always have two or three of these here ;-). After that I found a 909 and a 303. I got an old mixer from a friend, I bought an Akai Sampler (X 7000), and the studio was on. I recorded my first underground record as Interwaves, with Music Man, it sounded really close to Jeff Mills, Luke Slater or Dave Angel. It took many years to find my own way, my own sound, but it was my next goal to reach it.

You’ve had a large number of aliases over your career, with Soul Designer being the other name you’ve used the most. How does Soul Designer material differ from that of Fabrice Lig?

Ah! Ah! So many people ask me the same question! Damn, I can’t explain that. Soul Designer was a project I create by F-Communication’s demand. They wanted me to have a moniker just for their label. I was not really into that idea but hey, when a label like F-Com ask you to have a special project for them, you have to do it. But my musical approach is the same: funk, soul, sincerity, no compromises. That’s my definition of Fabrice Lig’s music whatever the moniker or project I do.

There are a couple of great videos of you playing live on YouTube. The most recent was playing with the new Roland TR8. What’s that like as a piece of live equipment?

It’s a nice machine. I was working on my new live set-up, and the TR-8 came on time! It has the same ergonomy than the old 909, it’s cheaper but it does the job really well on stage! It brings back a lot of improvisation and energy into my live act. But I also like to use it on top of my DJ set-up. it’s a good weapon in different configurations.

Having been doing this for so long now, what are some of the key things that you’ve taken away from what you do?

So many things. Especially meeting people from all over the world, from Detroit and Underground Resistance, to Japan and these amazing people living there, to China or Malaysia where I realize how some people have different lives than I have. Or like Israel, where I found so many friendly people dealing with fear and happiness everyday. But also all these passionate underground music promoters everywhere. It’s fantastic how the electronic music movement is giving pleasure and emotion to the people. I learned a lot on the human side thanks to travelling for music. It’s a real chance; you can’t see life in the same way. But I also have the chance to have another life out of music, so all these things was a treasure for being a good teacher too, I think.

The mix you’ve done for us is an homage to Detroit, which obviously has played a huge role in your own productions. Tell us about what made you fall in love with Detroit techno and why it continues to be such a big part of your music?

I found in Detroit techno (and later black music), everything I need in music. Soul, funk, energy, and futuristic sounds. I was made to love it! So it was natural when I started making music to use the same ingredients. At first I was really close to the music from Detroit, and years and years, I developed my own style, but always with the same spirit than Detroit artists had when they started. After that I realized that in fact I was into black music more globally. I discover the soul of blues music, even spiritual songs from slaves, the spirit of jazz pioneers, the funk of Funkadelic and some other P-Funk, or funk bands, the sweat and rage of hip-hop. All these music are from black people…why? Maybe because they are maybe better to express music directly from the soul? Probably.

What have you been working on lately? What can we expect from Fabrice Lig over the next while?

Ah! Wow, give me a break! ;-). I just finished the album months ago. Working hard now on the live act I’ll tour with. I also made some remixes for Madben, Southsoniks, Chris Hinger, last week for Ian O’Donovan. I also work on some new proper techno tracks for the live act and for future releases. And still managing the rest of my life too…

Download: LWE Presents Fabrice Lig (61:41)

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01. Vince Watson, “It’s Not Over” (C2 Remix) [Planet-E]
02. William Welt, “Instinctive Behavior” [22 Digit Records]
03. Frivolous, “Bats At Twillight” [30porumalinha]
04. KiNK & Fabrice Lig, “No Robots Voices” [*]
05. Metrobox, “Liefje” [Blossom Kollektiv]
06. Hannes Rasmus, “Die Rache Der Gummienten” [Traum Schallplatten]
07. Chris Hinger, “Take A Chance” (Fabrice Lig Remix) [Conya Records*]
08. Estroe, “Happy Distraction” (Sean Deason Remix) [EevoNext]
09. DMX Krew, “Forward March” [Shipwrec]
10. Russ Gabriel, “In The Van” [We Play House Recordings]
11. Fabrice Lig, “Static Surface 22” [Planet E Communications]
12. Delta Funktionen, “RM” [Delsin]
13. OktoRed, “Dust Trails” (ft. Domgue) [*]
14. Raiders Of The Lost Arp, “Lunar Lander” [Lunar Disko Records]
15. Mobach, “Ganesh Particles” [SD Records]
16. Lionel Weets, “Don’t Fool Me ” [KMS Records*]
17. Dimitri From Amsterdam & Reinoud van Toledo, “Techno Por Favor”
[Planet E Communications]
18. Scan 7, “The Resistance” [Tresor]
* denotes tracks which, at the time of publishing, are unreleased

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