TF Archives

Oliver Lieb

Author: Alias
Sunday, January 1, 1995
"Imagine having a DJ recording at home, recording his DJ set, and then
playing a DAT when he is supposed to DJ in a club. Just pretending to do
so." Oliver Lieb is an angry man. He isn't screaming or shouting over
the phone, but he's saying it like he means it. "I don't think s/he
would get away with that. And I don't know why the live acts get away
with it [pretending to play live] but I think it's because the people
really can't tell y'know. It's bullshit. They shouldn't do it, they
shouldn't be playing."

Whilst it all may sound a little high and mighty, Frankfurt based
producer and DJ Oliver Lieb is in a pretty good position to be
commenting on the live techno scene. Over the past nine years, Lieb has
entrenched his place amongst the international dance elite. These nine
years have spawned over 150 releases on over 100 labels, not to mention
the remixes he has completed for artists such as Sven Vath, Yello, Snap,
Human League, Marc Oh, Andreas Dorau and Mory Kante. Prolific- Most
Definitely, but how does Oliver keep on producing in such large amounts-
What is driving him-

"I just have too y'know (laughs). I mean there is no force behind it, I
just want to do it. I have to in a way."

Like how-

"It's just like I have to say, in a way, those songs. The records I am
producing are like stories that I have to tell. I don't know why, but I
have to."

Lieb is no stranger to these parts, he has toured Australia four times,
and these shows have left those in attendance speechless. The last time
we saw Oliver on these shores was for the War Of The Worlds party, which
he headlined alongside Thomas P. Heckmann (aka Drax). However it wasn't
the 100% live experience that everyone was hoping for, Lieb was Djing
instead. Luckily for all, he proved to be quite excellent at that too,
and now his newly found mixing skills and feel for the decks have been
mixed with his live show to create something new altogether. A touch of
live induced burnout will result in Lieb trying out this new experiment
on very eager Australian audiences this summer. "I stopped playing live
for a year because I was basically over it," he describes. "I was sick
of it, because too much shit was going on. Like my equipment wouldn't
arrive when I was flying somewhere so I couldn't play. I thought I had
to stop for a while and began to DJ because at first when I was starting
to play live it was clear to not do both at the same time. I wanted to
produce and not buy records like crazy, but spend time preparing the
live act. I started Djing, which I really really like, and the new live
set is going to be something new. It's not the live set people know, it
[the live set] happens at the same time I am Djing, and you can't tell
when I am playing live or playing a record except if you know the song,
or you have a really close look at me."

Before Oliver was the all conquering, global techno über-god he is
today, his musical interests lied in funk and soul, and it was with funk
and soul groups that Oliver would provide the groove of the bass guitar.

His initial ambition was to rise to the top of the bass playing
constabulary. He ordered a noble bass from then instrument conductor
Matthias Schindenutte, and kept on exploring the various realms of
groove. A real music lover, Oliver kept on exploring new styles of
music, and the moment he got in touch with artists such as Kraftwerk,
Electric Cafe and Jean Michel Jarre his musical direction was changed
forever. Theirs was a new kind of groove, and Oliver fell in love with
the possibilities of programmable sampler technology and the warmth of
analogue recording equipment, equipment he still swears by today.

"I really like the old equipment," states Oliver, "all of those machines
don't have