de-VICE #2

from the back of the fridge: cristian vogel (2000)

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from the back of the fridge: cristian vogel (2000)
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de-VICE #1


text by the suave
mr. timothy colman, esq.

'All Music Has Come To An End' Cristian Vogel proclaimed on his 1996 LP.

"It was actually from a French philosopher," he recently admitted, "it was his idea and I knicked it."

Producing music under many different guises and for just as many record labels Vogel has been releasing his many different slants on the techno genre for over ten years. Ten years is a long time in the music industry, and the aforementioned title came at low point in Vogel's career when his disillusionment with the techno scene was at its highest.

Always sitting on the more experimental side of the techno fence, it is not difficult to see where his pessimism came from.

Things change, though.

This September [in 2000] sees the release of his long player,' Rescate 137'. With a fresh outlook, he has shown he's one of the true innovators in a genre where it is easy to fall into a stale formula.

Born in Chile, Cristian Vogel moved to Brighton, England, at a relatively young age. Originally starting out on traditional instruments, he soon found he had a flair for the electronic side of music.

"I used to play the guitar and the drums, the usual things you mess around with as a teenager," he reminisces, "but all the way through that time I was messing around with computers. I was pretty hot at programming computers and I was interested in
making them make noises."

With the computer winning out in the end, Vogel began his electronic music career.

Focusing his energies into techno rather than rock was the right decision. With the mass of music he has produced, the trappings of the 'rock band' would have been too constricting. "In techno you don't work like a band," he begins. "In bands they work really hard on their demos, get their manager to put their demos out, and sign to a label for the length of their musical career. They tend to sign to one contract and do what they can, until the record company drops them or they grow old and do come-back gigs."

Since dance music first came to the attention of the big record execs, it's been clear it cannot fit into these traditional structures. "The techno thing was always about being dynamic," explains Vogel, "moving, trying different stuff out, different concepts, showing you're involved in communities and networking."

This ideology has given Cristian, and many artists like him, the freedom to record under different aliases for different labels. Looking back at Vogel's back catalogue he has appeared on
labels such as Mille Plateaux, Magnetic North, NovaMute, Ferox and Loaded Records under the pseudonyms Blue Arsed Fly and Super_Collider.

Recording for multiple labels shows people what scene he's from and highlights the dynamic nature of techno.

This dynamic nature, as Cristian calls it, has given him and his peers a certain level of freedom as well as a nest egg, of sorts. In 1996 (around the time of his musical disillusionment) Vogel and some like-minded musicians and artists formed the No Future Organisation. Essentially a point of contact for members, and a tool for putting plans into action, No Future also attempts to give members control over their product.

"It started so that we could have a little bit of autonomy in the music industry," explains Vogel. "I want Cristian Vogel to be the name of my future, not my past. I don't want to belong to someone else's record label I want to belong to my own

The Organisation is an endeavour to bring together the different strands of his career.

All this is an attempt by Vogel to overcome the politics of the music industry. The question remains though, can sounds have a political meaning or agenda? "Yeah, not directly but when they're associated with promotions, people and ideologies," says Vogel.

In terms of sound manipulation and politics, Vogel has his own agenda. "I'm quite political about the music industry itself in the way I put music together, challenging the norm."

On the subject of sounds, Vogel produces what can loosely be described as techno. While still made for the dance floor, he likes to play with it a bit more.

Where, then, does he see himself in the realms of techno? "I like
to think of myself as a very progressive writer," he answers, "A way of getting out of 'a stuck in a loop' type of music. Different types of dance floor music that have an alternative taste but are definitely for the scene rather than trying to get away from the scene."

vogelizing it...

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