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Feature: D-Nox & Beckers [Interview + Podcast]

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Born out of a shared vision of musical inspiration, the duo of D-Nox & Beckers has, over the last 10 years, firmly entrenched itself into the landscape of the worldwide electronic community. Working as a perfect fusion of studio expertise and an impeccable dancefloor touch, this creative combination of Christian “D-Nox” Wedekind and Frank Beckers has become a an unfailing source of massive grooves which have successfully infected (infiltrated?) all corners of the globe. With more than a quarter century of combined DJing and producing experience between them, D-Nox & Beckers effectively merge a seasoned musical grounding with a dynamic creative spark that never fails in its ability to adapt to the ever-changing vista of electronic dance music.

Hey Guys, thanks for joining us today, Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a DJ and producer? What were some of your early inspirations?

Beckers: I come from a musician background, playing several instruments in all kind of bands. Then in the late 90s I had my first contacts with electronic music. It took me a while to really get into it, but I was fascinated from the first moment, cause this music was working on a totally different level then anything I knew so far.
D-Nox: Music was always an important part in my life. I was born in east germany and we had no access to buy music, so we had to record music from the radio. which gave me pretty early a bigger collection of music. when i was 13 i got asked to play music at school parties and I think this was when I understood that I wanna become a DJ. A bit later I discovered techno and I started to go out on weekends. this was when I got hooked onto Techno, the lifestyle and the whole thing.

Are you both still based in Berlin? We had heard Chris may have been spending some time in Argentina as well?

Beckers: I never lived in Berlin. I´m based in Essen, closer to the Dutch Boarder (I´m half dutch btw), near Duesseldorf and Cologne.
D-Nox: True I life in Argentina but before that I used to life some years in Berlin.

Is Berlin still the electronic music capital of the world? and if so where else is close in terms of creative energy?

Beckers: In my opinion: Yes it still is. I don´t know any City that is so much involved in electronic music, specially clubbing. Amsterdam is also massiv, but in a very different way, more clean and extremely well organized.
D-Nox: Yes Berlin was and will be the techno capital. Other cities have events and movements too but no other place has the liberty and freedom as Berlin has. To many rules don’t really help. Berlin is easier in every way. Opening times for clubs, house rents, creative melting point, art, cheaper access to parties, less commercial.

Where did you meet and how did the relationship evolve into a studio partnership?

D-Nox:
We have met around 2000 in some german summer festival thru friends that we had in common. Was a very natural process. Took us some years before we went to the studio together. Around 2004 we knew we had to change something in order to continue our careers as DJs, this is why we decided to produce music together. I had my label Sprout and Beckers was a bit disappointed because his third album which he had written by than wasn’t going to be released. I think the label had shut down just before. Well u know how it goes, 2 things come together to the right time and the right moment with the right energy. that happened to us.

Do you have different roles in the production process?

Beckers: I´m more the Studio Nerd with the music background, while Chris brings in his DJ Experience and Arrangement Skills. I also tend to focus on the smaller details and D-Nox has the better imagination of the big picture. Till today, things in the Studio are never forced or planned, they just progress very naturally…

How would you describe the D-Nox & Beckers sound and philosophy towards your music for those who haven’t heard your stuff before or what do you want your music to convey to the listener?

D-Nox: There is no philosophy. We go with the flow, we write what we feel in that moment that we sit together. This is also why many of our tracks don’t sound the same. We don’t have a formula. We don’t sit together every day and due our dj work and travels we always bring back new ideas. We find new sounds, samples, grooves and we always try to take it from there.

You guys have become well known for many memorable festival sets, you’re regular’s at some of Europe’s biggest events from Ozora to Fusion. How do you prepare differently for events of this size and how do the dynamics of the dance floor change?

D-Nox:
We dont really prepare ourselves, we have a huge collection of music (I think as most of us have). We also don’t play to many gigs together. We only choose special locations and events, like Ozora. This festival gives us a 6 to hour slot and that gives us all the freedom to play what we want and feel. Is nice to play long sets, this way we can grow together with the audience and feel the dance floor better. We have now 14 years together and we know each other pretty well. We know what we like and that prepares us well enough.

What’s on your festival schedule for 2018?

D-Nox:
Well Ozora is on for sure. than we will have some gigs all over Europe (Holland, Germany, Poland, Israel, Argentina, Brasil etc)

As most people know Beckers is also Frankey from Frankey & Sandrino, how difficult has it been navigating the two projects in terms of bookings and studio time?

Beckers:
As Chris is now living in South America, we only have a few time slots per year for Studio time. These Slots are usually planned quite a long time ahead, combined with a tour or family visits for example. I´m actually quite surprised, that till today I didn´t have too much trouble moving Gigs and Studio time around, because of the 2 projects. Somehow I´m always busy, but not stressed or overloaded because of schedule problems. I hope it stays that way… 😉

What you guys do seems to resonate really well, I can’t say it fits into a particular clique of the progressive or techno scenes which many artists seem to get locked into. Do you consider your music to be universal in a way?

Beckers: Universal is a big word and I understand now more then every that humans have different feelings and connection points while listening to music. There is of course a big scene for our music, cause it´s usually not too complicated and always includes some musical and rhythmical elements that trigger emotions in a common sense I guess. But if you look at all human beings.., this scene is maybe not that big, so „universal“ is not really fitting maybe…
D-Nox: Yes I see that too, we don’t look ourself into one particular sound. We are to curious to experiment with new sounds all the time. Still it is our sound and you can hear Beckers writing in it, but I agree with Beckers that we don’t make universal sound. lets call it D-Nox & Beckers sound.

You guys get a lot of love from Japan, what is it that connects you so strongly with the culture and scene there?

B
eckers:
I was in love with Japan from the first moment. The futuristic nerdiness combined with the buddhistic culture is simply unique in this world. And for us as Artist you always feel ,that Japan has some serious Techno history.
D-Nox: This is funny, while I answer this interview I sit in a hotel in Japan. Japan has been our second home since 2003. I think it was a combination of hitting this market at the right time to the right moment. We are an authentic act, people understand what we do and we don’t distance us from the crowd. We have always been part of the dance floor and the people. Japanese people appreciate this a lot. Also we have good friends and partners here that always brought us back. Now after all these years we belong the the Japanese dance movement. We are very happy and feel honored about all this.

You’ve recorded a new podcast for us, tell us a bit about the mix.

D-Nox:
This Mix is our Live Set played at the legendary Universe Paralello Festival in Brasil from January 2 2018. Is shows our favorite tracks in a 1 hour none stop mix. 100% D-Nox & Beckers.
Beckers: It was very special to play UP Festival again, cause it was sunset at a beautiful tropical beach in Bahia, Brazil and we have played our very first Live Set ever exactly at the beach 12 years ago.

You’ve got a new EP out on Jeudi Records, Wich we are set to premiere- your first release of the year in fact. Tell us about the release and the production process behind the main track ‘Disorder’.

D-Nox:
Disorder is the follow up single to Serenade which was release on Jeudi some time ago. Beckers and I wrote disorder in one day because we luckily found a nice catchy hooklike which always helps to the progress of a track. The EP will come with a remix of Sebastien Leger and a solo Beckers track.

D-Nox & Beckers remixes are pretty rare, how do you go about deciding what projects to take?

Beckers
: We always try to make a decision based on the musical content of the original and how much it inspires us. Sometimes you get offered to remix a Tech house Track with a proper Groove and some FXs and that´s it. There´s simply nothing to remix. During the years we turned down quite a few big names and labels…

Politics of the scene (so to speak) is something that generally annoys us, it would be nice if good music could just stand on its own but nowadays there seems to be so many other factors which affect perception, from social media to who you’ve worked for in the past etc. This is not true in all cases of course but it is something we see a lot of nowadays, what are your thoughts on the current state of the industry?

Beckers:
It´s always been my idealistic dream that everything is just about the music.
Music is what I still love with the same passion after all these years. But all other parts, not directly related to music (politics, social media), are seriously annoying for me. And sadly these parts are getting more and more important nowadays.
It´s about building a name and an image instead of creating great music…
D-Nox: Yes unfortunately other things like social medias, management etc: have become more important than skills and music. its all pretty much fakes out there. You can buy yourself into the scene even if u have no skills.

Where is your favorite place to travel to DJ?

Beckers:
I would say Australia.
D-Nox: Australia, Brasil, Israel and Japan

What kind of stuff have you been playing in your DJ sets recently? Who are some of your go to artists at the moment?

D-Nox & Beckers:
Too many names to name.

Lastly, what else can we can expect in 2018  from you guys? And where can we hear you performing together next?

D-Nox:
Beside the EP on Jeudi, we will release another EP on Sublime (brasilian label) and some releases with our solo projects.

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