The passionate musician from Bremen has become a heavy influence for an awful lot of producers worldwide. With his album "Liebe ist..." ("Love is...") Stephan Bodzin has reached yet another highpoint in his career.
As the son of an experimental musician his career in the music industry was set from an early age. And it was only a matter of time before Stephan would fall in love with electronic music. Composing music for several prestigious European theaters was the first successful platform for his music. At the same time he discovered his passion for club sounds and increased his efforts in this area. His mind-blowing talent was soon discovered and producers such as Oliver Huntemann and Marc Romboy queued up to work with Stephan. Due to the quality of his impressive music he has reached the top of the international techno scene. Most recently he has remixed songs for well-known bands such as Depeche Mode, Booka Shade and The Knife. His releases can be found on labels such as Get Physical, Datapunk, Gigolo, Systematic and Giant Wheel...
Can you tell a bit about yourself, how and why you got into music, a bit about your history and how you became successful ?
I started to get involved with electronic music as a child, as my father had a studio with lots of cult synths and machines that are near-impossible to get hold of today. It was my first playground! I'm a pianist and a bassist and had several bands before I started to produce music for experimental theatre scores throughout Europe at the age of 18. I got back to electronic music at the beginning of the 90s and was a successful producer, working for various acts and DJs. Surprisingly, my first release as Stephan Bodzin was in 2006 and the beginning of my career in the foreground. I had bookings before I had ever even mixed a pair of records, so that I spent 2 months spinning 8 hours a day in my studio. I wasn't sure at that time if I would like playing in front of an audience but it turns out that I'm a real entertainer! Very soon, I began to think about a live show and, armed with crazy ideas about futuristic machines, started searching for ideas for my set up.
How did you discover Jazzmutant's controllers?
I discovered the lemur while researching for some special controlers for my "liebe ist" live show 2007. From the first moment I saw this wonderful surface I felt in love with it ! I ordered one the very same day. After a few hours of getting into the software I knew that this would be my main controller for a long time. So...here we are, 18 months and maybe 100 live-shows later...it's still my favorite tool on stage and I couldn't imagine performing without it.
Why did you choose to use it above other products on the market?
Because to me live-controlling is about intuitive access to any feature at any time without searching for a second. All this in the wild and hectic situation I find myself in at all my live-perfomances.
How has using the controller changed the way you work?
The lemur re-defined any idea I had of performing electronic music "live", because for the first time its possible for people to visualize the "live"-work. It's kind of proof that it's really a live performance, which is kind of difficult in electronic music.
What do you find most useful about it in terms of features?
Most useful for me is the fact, that I can choose the size of buttons, faders ect by myself. For example, there's a situation in my show where I play ribbon-controller instrument and only have one hand to access 4-5 parameters of a virtual MiniMoog at the same time. Therefore I chose the biggest fader size so that I can control them perfectly, even while jumping around !
The other great great feature is the very easy midi-routing with Ableton Live. To insert a new plug-in and build the perfect (and good looking) surface on the Lemur normally takes no longer than 10 minutes. Which is amazing compared to any other controller (and there are also no good-looking ones on the market btw).
What would you like to see in future revisions of the software?
(Even) more options to build the surface in my way. Like a tool for creating my own objects would be cool. One of the big benefits of this would be the optical indivuality of each lemur you see.
And a video-output of course; wich I'm really missing.
How important is the visual aspect of your performance?
This is important for me. I always hated those "faked" electronic live shows, wich means someone droping some audioclips and selling it as "live"...- one of the first thoughts about my own live setup was the visual point of it, to show the crowd exactly what I'm doing while they hear that im doing it. Actually I can't imagine any better solution for that than providing a direct video-signal to the people. The futuristic Lemur control surface is made for that. I knew this from the first moment I saw this little shy Lemur looking at me..
What are your plans for the near future?
I plan some serious releases on my label HERZBLUT with exciting upcoming artists and I'm working on my next album which is due for spring 2009. And I'm still touring a lot LIVE and as a DJ. All of which is very time consuming and brings loads of fun!
Music plays a central role in my life and I feel awful if I do not produce for a longer period of time, so that I can definitely say that producing music is vital to me. The process of creating music became very organic over the years so that I can work in an intuitive way, which allows me to put a lot of myself in my music and that makes the people now recognize my style.
As I started Djing, my sets were a kind of showcases of my productions. It took some time before I became a real DJ and could mirror my music taste in my sets. Now I get some inspiration from the sets and it starts influencing my productions ! If I had one piece of advice to upcoming producers, it would be: "stick to it!" Passion and work always lead to something good.
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