Hot off a global tour, Oliver Schories now releases "Fields Without Fences”. This follow up to his second LP “Exit” marks a new juncture to his sound, with a dynamism that weaves downtempo to upbeat techno foot stompers. The sometimes melancholic journey is typically Germanic, bleak, polished and technically brilliant. We caught up with Oliver to quiz him on this new LP.
Congratulations with the forthcoming LP. Does the album have a concept or specific inspiration?
Thank you very much. It’s not really a concept album; it’s more a collection of work from the last year – or better: the 12 tracks which I consider to be “best of” from the work last year. Of course in the end it’s a selection process of what you think fits together and adds up to an album. And of course in the end there is more concept behind it than I probably want to realise. It’s like with an author who starts his book with the last sentence and then makes his way through the other chapters. And in the end it becomes an entire story which you were not thinking of when you started.
It’s a phrase from an old Rage against the Machine – song called “Revolver”. I always liked the Band and their lyrics. Can you explain the title "Fields Without Fences”?
It’s a phrase from an old Rage against the Machine – song called “Revolver”. I always liked the Band and their lyrics. Like in the song there is a deeper sense in the title. It’s about boundaries in the modern world, and taking them away to get back to harmony.
How long did the LP take and which track are you most proud of?
As said before an Album for me is basically a collection of tracks over a specific period of time, in this case the year 2014. I do not release that many EPs and/or Singles since I don’t make music that DJs play. The only stuff that works in club context is the remixes that I do. After realizing this I basically “stopped” releasing EPs and focus either on remixes or – when I do entirely new productions – I collect them, or in the end it becomes an Album (hopefully). And I think the tracks are nothing I am proud of. You can be proud if you save someone’s life.
Modern day buying trends, whereby customers cherry pick an artist’s tracks, have made many people write off the LP format. I’m glad musicians still release them - they are a great artistic expression. How thought-out is this LP in terms of running order and flow?
It depends who your customers are. If you are the classic Beatport – Deephouse Top 10 - act you might find it more difficult to get a successful album done as you probably make music that works on the dance floor in the context of a DJ-Set. And people are expecting that you deliver an entire Album that works. And that is quite difficult.
The secret in my opinion is to do what you like, to make the music you want, irrespective of what the current “hype” is. As soon as you start to imitate you sound dated, because then you don’t do what your idea of music is, but you do what you hope brings you a lot of track sales and bookings... But honestly; since I make music I never heard any DJ play one of my original track, so I don’t have that pressure. With the music that I release on an Album it’s a story in 12 tracks that you more listen at home or in the car. So basically my listeners are more up for the entire story than for cherry-picking several tracks.
I always try to arrange the track order in a way that I feel it is a good flow. This process takes a lot of time, I listen back and forth, but being “Fields without fences” already the third album in 4 years now, I think that I have developed a feeling for it over time and hope that the listeners also grab the idea behind the order.
I listened to Leftfield’s ‘Leftism’ recently. It must be a good 15 years old, but doesn’t sound dated. What do think the secret is?
Modern club music always gets a time-stamp as you have so much music in one “season” or “period” which sounds all quite alike. Then it comes to a point where everybody gets sick of it and it moves on to the next wave. Looking back to my DJ-career over the last 10 years or so I played so many different styles, from Techno to the new “Digitalism”- Rave to Minimal Techno over the large Deep House – and Bootleg – Wave… And now it’s moving on again to more Tech-House and Techno-orientated beats. The secret in my opinion is to do what you like, to make the music you want, irrespective of what the current “hype” is. As soon as you start to imitate you sound dated, because then you don’t do what your idea of music is, but you do what you hope brings you a lot of track sales and bookings.
Do you think too much emphasis is placed on sound quality over melodic content nowadays?
Difficult question; I think I can’t answer this on a global scale as there is simply too many producers and too much music to have a general statement to this.
If you were being sent to a desert island and you could only take 3 pieces of music equipment - what would they be?
If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
Generally I’d say that German crowds are a bit more relaxed while people in the Netherlands are more up to go crazy. But overall I wouldn’t say that there are large differences from country to country...You recently played in Australia - do you notice any distinctions from country to country in terms of crowds?
It’s fair to say that it was my Australia debut – so the Australian crowds were waiting a bit for me to show up. I have to say that Sydney and Melbourne have been two absolutely mind blowing live shows with super nice people and I couldn’t imagine any better vibes than that to start the year. I will definitely be back next year. Generally I’d say that German crowds are a bit more relaxed while people in the Netherlands are more up to go crazy. But overall I wouldn’t say that there are large differences from country to country, it’s more regional differences within a country, or sometimes you have special cities where it is really special.
The German and Ibizan clubbing experience are polarised, where are you more at home?
Germany; But only because I have never played on Ibiza and was there the last time 10 years ago…
Do you think a club like The Berghain would work in Ibiza?
I really can’t judge on that as I do not know enough about the Ibiza scene nowadays. But why would you go in a dark concrete building when you can dance open air at Ushuaia? I would leave that for Berlin and try to catch the sun on Ibiza.