Spotlight focuses on the DJs and producers who are making waves in the dance music underground.
Each edition features an exclusive mix and interview with an artist who has been handpicked by the team at Ministry Magazine.
This week we've got new-comer, Cristoph in for an hour of the best in straight up house music. The latest member of the Defected Records family, Cristoph has most recently remixed the UK No.1 single from label mate, Secondcity.
With him taking to the decks at this Saturday's Defected In The House, alongside Nic Fanciulli, Oliver $, Copyright and Franky Rizardo, we thought now was the perfect time to get him in for an exclusive Spotlight mix and interview.
First of all thanks for doing an exclusive mix for us, what did you go for in the mix? Is this a representation of what you play out or more what you listen to at home?
It's my pleasure, thank you for the opportunity! The mix consists of tracks I both listen to at home and play out. In fact I guess I'd play them all out, just depending on where I was playing and what time I was on I suppose. There's also a few unreleased tracks from myself in there.
For those who may be new to your music, how would you describe your sound?
I try to produce music with a lot of groove, drive and energy. Sometimes with uplifting melodies and more often than not with lots of punch. My sets range through deep house, house, tech house and techno and I'm guessing (well hoping) my productions are the same.
How did you first get in to music, when did you know you wanted to be a DJ?
Both my Dad and Brother were DJ's so I got into it all through them. Growing up there was always some sort of music being played at home, what really grabbed my attention was my brother's Chicago house records though. Once my dad bought me my first pair of decks I would sit and watch my brother DJ then go practice on mine for hours and hours, once I learned how to beat match I was hooked and knew then I wanted to be a DJ.
What have you got coming up on the horizon?
My new EP on my manager Kal's label, Underground Audio, was released last week (16th June). I have a 5 track EP coming out on Noir on July 7th, another EP with DFTD as well as a remix for them, a remix of Tube & Berger out on Pete Tong's label FFRR and an EP on Material all coming up in the next 3-4 months. Gig-wise I'm around the UK a lot this summer with a gig over in Holland and Ibiza too.
What can the Ministry crowd expect from your set at Defected In The House?
By all accounts I'm closing the main room so I'm just going to go with an open mind and see the vibe in there by the time I get on. Will probably do my own thing and play what I'm feeling at the time with a few of my own tracks both released and unreleased in there too.
What do you think of the state of dance music at the minute?
I think its in a very good position at the moment. More and more people seem to be enjoying attending dance nights and events. Obviously the likes of the EDM stuff has a huge following, but for me the underground house scene has such a great vibe nowadays. Everyone is there for a good time and seem to be very open to the music being played by all different DJ's. Then there's the crossover tracks which are topping the charts, I think there's been 3 number 1's this year alone which can only mean that more people are enjoying the music.
Who are the most exciting underground artists that our readers might not have heard of, but who you think will be big names to come?
I could go on forever here haha. I really like Detlef's stuff, a Portuguese guy called Joal is producing some great music as SEFF. There's so many I could list, all I'm going to say is that the scene as a whole is in safe hands with the amount of talent coming through.
Who are you biggest influences?
There's the obvious choices of Daft Punk, Michael Jackson and Giorgio Moroder here. I do love 80's music as well. There's the likes of Masters At Work, MK, David Morales who my brother introduced me too. Then the more modern day influences such as Hot Since 82, Maya Jane Coles, Maceo Plex and I also love Eric Prydz's stuff.
What’s it like to be working with a label like Defected at such an early point in your career?
To be honest it still feels so surreal. I have followed Defected since they first started in 1999. It's an amazing label and they totally make you feel like you are a part of a family. Everyone there is so nice and helpful and are helping me get to grips with the industry. Them topped with my manager Kal has made this first year a lot easier, both a total Godsend. When I first heard they were interested in my music I gave myself a target of 3-5 years to get a release with them then 3 weeks later they had signed an EP, words can't describe how good it felt.
What do you like to do on your day off, what’s a typical Sunday like for you?
Erm I try not to give myself a day off really unless its totally necessary, that's just because I still have a lot to learn production-wise so want to keep trying to teach myself things as much as possible. If I do take time off I tend to go and see my mam and dad. I'm very close to them so it's always nice to go round and have my mam make me some food. I'm also an uncle to 7 nephews and 2 nieces so love going to see them too. On top of that I would probably chill out, see my friends and watch the football or a film.
How do you prepare for a gig?
I enjoy getting to gigs early. Interacting with the other DJ's and seeing what they are playing is always good. Apart from that I have no real preparations. I do love to have at least one new track to test at every gig though, I like to see people's reactions to the music I make.
Who are your dream collaborators, past or present?
Another one I could go on and on with. I'd love to make a track with Maceo Plex for sure, the guy is so talented. Hot Since 82, his sound is incredible, don't think he's ever made a track I don't like. Also Deetron, another producer I'm massively into. From the past I'd go for Daft Punk, their sampling technique is amazing!
Tell us something we don’t know about Cristoph?
Haha, let me think. Many things I could say here but definitely don't want to. I'll keep it simple and say that the majority of my earlier tracks were named after close family and friends.
Dario D'Attis - "The Good Old Days"
Detlef - "Happy Months"
Oxia - "Perception"
Cristoph - "With You"
Andre Hommen - "Reach Out"
Elias Tzikas - "What Am I"
Maceo PLex & Maars feat Florence Bird - "Going Back"
Cristoph - "Groove In Me"
Cristoph - "Hold Me Back"
Cristoph - "On The Inside"
Omar - "Feeling You" (Henrik Schwarz Remix)
23 Jun 2014