Being a high school teacher and DJ is something that you don't hear oft. Well, our new DJ guest for this interview session is a music producer, label founder of Soundscapes Digital and resident podcast creator on Proton Radio, Mr. DJ Chris Sterio from the UK. Living on a small island in the UK, Chris is for many years in the world of electronic music. Very passionate about what he does, and always very professional. He is music journey started in the early 90s under influence of labels like Perfecto, Stress, Hooj Choons and DJs like Sasha, John Digweed, Nick Warren, Hernan Cattaneo, and Dave Seaman.
Our writer and blogger Marina had a chance to speak with Chris about the old days and new plans for the future.
(01) Hello Chris. Thank you for joining the Big Bells Digital family. What are your first memories of electronic music and what inspired you to become a music producer?
Thank you for letting us be part of this exciting project. My first memories were most definitely listening to Jean Michel Jarre's album 'Oxygene' on vinyl when I was very young. Those synth sounds were very distinctive and inspiring!
Last year Chris and Downgrooves released their EP "Freedom" for our Big Bells Records.
This EP includes also 2 remixes from Ranj Kaler and Neptun 505.
(02) You are a member of the progressive scene since 2000, so can you tell us what is your view on the current position of progressives in the world of electronic music?
I think the progressive scene is now sustainable in the long term due to the digital format. I know due to COVID many venues have been shut down, but a large chunk of the prog scene is online these days so its future is secure. Hopefully when the venues re-open globally then it will be a big boost too as DJs can play out and lots of the excellent music can be played to a live audience.
(3) Which labels or producers do you think have pushed the musical boundaries to create unique records?
I would probably go back to the early days in the 90s for groundbreaking artists and labels. Labels like Perfecto, Stress, Hooj Choons and Jackpot set the scene for years to come. DJs like Sasha, John Digweed, Nick Warren, Hernan Cattaneo and Dave Seaman pushed the progressive sound from early on and gave it a global audience.
(4) How do you think the digital revolution has affected you?
I think it has had a mostly positive influence. The advancements in technology have meant that the scene has a sustainable future and artists/djs/labels can still put music out with the fear of high production costs to do so. The chances of making big money are reduced, but the scene is sustainable. For many well-known artists in the progressive scene music, production/djing is an advanced hobby, even more so now than pre-COVID.
(5) What is your "day" job and do you have any hobbies when you are not in the studio?
I work in a local high school (I live in the Isle of Man). The core of my job involves teaching, as well as pastoral care for students, plus coaching sports and running extracurricular clubs for the pupils.
(6) Can we expect any new projects in the coming months, that you can share with us?
I have two releases coming on Another Life Music with Downgrooves and we are also in the middle of shortlisting for a mix compilation for ALM too. I am currently organizing the release schedule for my Soundscapes Digital label for 2022 and have a collaboration with Ramsey El Hadary entitled 'The Beach', which involves on-site live field recordings, coming out on the label in the spring. We are also working on the new Sterio & Black ft. Daniela Rhodes single to go with a new remix package of 'Out of The Dark', which will be out on Krafted Music in the new future. I have a number of live gigs on the Isle of Man in the next few months, the first is in February and then several more in the summer for the Deep South Festival. Going further into the future, 2023 sees 10 years of Soundscapes Digital and I hope to do a trip to the US to celebrate that, plus perhaps some work in the UK and Europe too. Finally I'd like to mention the inclusion of the Ranj Kaler remix of Downgrooves & Chris Sterio 'Freedom' on the Big Bells 2021 compilation. It was voted remix of the year by the label, which was really good to hear.
Check out Chris Sterio links:
Website - Soundcloud - Spotify - Facebook Page - Beatport
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