As we near the end of the year we bring you a special edition of Global Vibe Radio with none other than veteran producer and DJ Lee Van Dowski, recorded live at Logika in Italy on November 18th, 2017.
It may perhaps be faster to list the labels Lee hasn’t produced on, but at a quick glance we find his resume including imprints the likes of Cocoon, Crosstown Rebels, Suara, Mobilee, Tronic, Bedrock, Soma, Snatch!, Octopus, Mood, Mute, Rebellion, Noir, Rekids, Cadenza, Bpitch control and many more.
Enjoy the mix, download it for FREE here and read on for our exclusive interview with Lee!
Hello Lee, thank you for the mix and for chatting with us today. I have been a fan of yours for a long time now… since I saw you at a Cadenza party a few years back actually. How is your 2017 going so far?
Hello, thanks a lot for the invitation and the nice words!! I’m blushing right now… 2017 is doing very good so far, lot of music, lot of gigs around the world… I really can’t complain!
The set is superb, perfect of the setting at Logika. What message are you trying to tell listeners with it?
I’m always trying to tell some kind of a story in my sets and the crowd’s mood may drives me towards a lot of different directions, but there’s no real message I’m afraid, it’s more about creating emotions…
Tell us, where did you record this?
This set had been recorded at Logika party in Cantù, Italy a couple of weeks ago.
I’ve always had massive respect for the number of labels you’ve released on, and how eclectic your catalogue is. What would you say your top tips are on getting a track released on a label for someone getting started in this business?
For a new-comer, managing to get your music listened by an A&R is gonna be a hard mission, I’m not gonna lie.
There’s so much amazing established producers around that only few labels are open to sign new names and your music will need to be really outstanding.
First tip: Present yourself in a nice and short way. No need to send long boring bios and little gigs experiences u could have. Music is what matters here.
Second tip: A&R are receiving tons of demos, so a direct streaming link with download option enabled is a must.
Third tip: Always send a final masterised product. Why would a label would bet on releasing your music if you don’t invest yourself some money to make your tracks sound great?
Fourth tip: Don’t make massive mailing. Make it personal with one different link for every label.
Last tip: Always check if your music really could fit the catalog of the label you send demos.
All this sounds kind of obvious, but trust me, this is still not a standard yet…
Thank you! You’ve been a “resident” of a number of label and party series throughout your illustrious career, with mobilee being one of the latter ones. How is it being a part of a label’s family?
It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve learnt a lot to be surrounded by so much talented people, but getting older I had to go my way. I left mobilee 2 years ago now and It’s very pleasant to be by my own now.
Gotcha! Let’s backtrack a bit. Your beginnings can be traced back to studying music engineering in Geneve and working at a music shop in Lausanne. What would you say the catalyst to you making this a lifelong passion was?
The turning point in my life was my first rave in south of France during the summer 1993. That was a true “ravelation”. That very day I knew what I wanted to do in my life and since I’ve put all my energy to achieve this goal. Looks like I’ve made it somehow!
Any particular early influences at the time that you studied emulated or used to push yourself to achieve your goals?
I’ve been raised by every records “Warp” had been releasing in the last 20 years. They were my biggest influence back then and they still are now.
Obviously back then, being based in Switzerland gave you the opportunity to meet Luciano and enter the Cadenza team. What does living in Switzerland still to this day offer you as a producer and DJ?
There’s so much talents around, Adriatique, Luciano, Michel Cleis, Andrea Oliva, Animal Trainer, Deetron, Ripperton, Mirko Loko, Dario D’attis, Several Definitions, Jimi Jules, Mendo, Sonja Moonear, Yvan Genkins Dj Le ROI etc… Pretty great list of artists don’t you think?
And there’s a great bunch of legendary clubs such as Hive Club, Nordstern, Supermarket, Weetamix, D Club, etc… Plus we have the biggest free electronic music event with the Street Parade with over 1 million people dancing in the streets of Zurich. You guys should come over someday. That’s something!
Oh we will! And what about as Lee… how is it living there?
To be totally honest, Switzerland isn’t the easiest country to live in as an artist. It is very expensive and I would have a way more comfy life living in Berlin or Barcelona as my income doesn’t depend of where I live. But I fell in love with Switserland 18 years ago and I don’t have any plan to move in a close future. I’ve been traveling to over 60 countries during my career and every time my flights lands in Zurich airport, I know I’m home. Its hard to describe but that feeling you belong to one place is priceless.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not working, eating and breathing music?
I have two 13 years old boys, so most of my free time is shared between them and my girlfriend. Which means I don’t have much time left for other activities… I really wish there could be 48 hours in a day!!
Far from home, you’ve played clubs and gigs all over. Anything else you still would love to do in the years ahead?
I’ve started to give some Masterclasses at the SAE (School Of Audio Engineers) of Geneva lately, and I must admit I truly love it. Being able to share some of my experience within the music industry is something I’d like to develop in the future.
Thank you for the chat and the mix!