- Perception. It can often make all the difference in the world. The perception of Chris Liebing a few years ago was of a techno DJ content to rock the big rooms, one whose name would soon become like a Morales, a Sanchez or a Morillo. Through his hugely popular CLR podcast and some choice A&R decisions for the label of the same name, however, Liebing has come back to a rawer sound, embracing (and evangelizing for) newcomers and challenging himself. Just look at some of the names included on his 10th anniversary CLR compilation: Function, Pfirter, Speedy J, Tommy Four Seven. Had there been a five year comp, things would have undoubtedly looked (and sounded) a lot different.
RA already championed the mix Liebing constructed of those tunes, but two in particular are worth highlighting. Liebing's collaboration with Markus Sprengler, "Ataraxia," showcases the CLR head's own move to a more interesting place production-wise. Things are slower than they have been for a while, and that gives the duo more space to operate. There's nothing new in it from a genre standpoint, but the fact that we're getting a groovier more subtle Liebing at all is a small miracle. That it still bangs this hard is icing on the cake.
Bang is the operative word for Tommy Four Seven's "Sor." Or perhaps we should call it scrape. Whatever is happening over top of the unflinching beat that Seven puts out is brutal. Writers often talk about tunes that sound as if they're coming apart at the seams. It's especially true of "Sor." It's as though Seven is constantly thrusting the track into a deep fryer and bringing it back up for a brief respite at the end of every four bar phrase. Frightening, exhilarating, CLR. Who knew?
A Chris Liebing feat.Markus Sprengler - Ataraxia
B Tommy Four Seven - Sor