Sunday, 22 November 2009

Exclussive Interview with Chris Reece

Today we are truly happy to be able to show all of you a world exclusive interview on Pure People with progressive magician Chris Reece, the man behind one of the greatest projects in the history of progressive house music, Dinka / Leventina / Unreleased Digital.

We all want to know how it all started with you and the music. How goes your story?

Well, I began playing in school bands when I was 12 or so, but I started to find out that if you're playing with others there's always guys in a band who don't share the same target as you, I knew since I was a child that I wanted to make music. Couldn't ever imagine working in a small office 9 to 5.

I got more and more into this 90’s dancefloor music (Dr. Alban, Cappella, DJ Bobo, Culture Beat) and so on. But I couldn't get the same sound out of my computer as they had, it sounded fat and rich and my music sounded noisy and poor.

So then, when I was 15 and school time was over, there was no base to pay my rent with music, I was recording some jobs for friends but this was only a tipp, not more.

I was going to work in a small office, just what I didn't want to.
Next to my 9 to 5 job I spent every cent into my small home studio, bought better computers, synths and stuff. Music changed in this time, I began to be interested in club music.

I meet two guys who where having a professional studio already and had some local hits here. But both haven't been much into playing keyboards. So I hung around in their studios and played melodies for their records.

I Guess it was the year of 1999 when one of these guys and me got our equipment together all and made a union studio. His name was Franky Fonell. From there on we produced together. I learned more about mixing and producing, and he learned from me about playing the piano and arrangements, and he was the guy with the connections to the big music industry.

Our music was mostly hard dance, trance and commercial dance music. We had some singles in top 10 of the official Swiss charts and a few international club hits, but nothing more.
In 2006 we split because we were both following new targets, we were heading both to some new kind of music. So we split.

I thought a lot of what I wanted to do after this, because everybody knew him, not me. I was the guy in his studio, so it seemed out with the people. It was a bad start for me, nobody thought that I could make it on my own, even make it successfully.

In this time the new technology of selling records online was coming up, I decided to create my own label, even if I wasn't aware at all in label work. I gave the label the funny name "Unreleased Digital". The first records sold constantly 5 copies (in all stores). The artists I signed were more like average. So I had to change something, I knew that. I rebuilt a studio and began to produce myself again. I made a two track EP called "Tribal Illusion" in mid 2007 as Chris Reece. A month after the release my publisher hit me up and told; "Chris, congrats for your Beatport chart entry!" I was like; "Sorry! Beat... what?"

Well, after that I figured that there was eventually a market for my music and I kept on producing.
I met a guy from my older school days. He told me, that he also started making music, and he asked if he could send me some demos. I was like, "- Ok, why not!" His name was Daniel Portman.

After that I wanted to make a new trance project for "Unreleased Digital" which now started to sell about 80 copies. But I didn't want to create a standard trance project as I did in the past 10 years.
I got into the sounds of Stan Kolev, Jerome Isma-Ae or Deadmau5. But I didn't want to copy one of them, so I tried around a few weeks and after that the project Dinka was born.

You’ve always been kind of a “mystery man”, using different aliases, what’s the story about them?

The story behind is that I have to pay my rent, and I want to be flexible not only making the same music every day. I work 10 hours a day in studio, so I want to be able to switch styles of music.

I'm a mystery man when it comes to gigs. I always said it is poor to book my as a producer for a gig, if you can, have a professional DJ. That's the reason I have some DJ for every project. And these are the best you can get.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Well of course I won't stop making music.I will follow the same principal as in the past 3 years, making music, that I personally like, if I will have the people onboard for the long run, well, we'll see. But I hope so.

What are your thoughts about file sharing? Is it helping the scene (getting newcomers being seen) or is it killing the scene (because people don’t make a lot of money on it)?

For me, as a 100% producer it is horrible to see that. I can release an EP and 4 hours laters it's on every fucking blog, youtube or whatever. It's kinda sad to see that, if you're working very hard like me and at the end you sell 200 copies of a good Dinka EP and you see 100'000 illegal downloads. That's sad!

Maybe for small producers it's a good platform. But I'm into the music scene since over 10 years. I've seen it all. And the way for newcomers has been doing constantly good music to be heard from the record companies. Now days every average producer gets a deal on small label. Now days it costs the label anything to release anything. There's too much music on market which has not a top quality, this is also a problem why our kind of music is not where it should be.

People will obviously not pay for music, maybe they don’t see it as something you need to do with the technology we have today. How can we make people more supportive? Any ideas?

What will happen on the long run? Good producers will disappear on the market as they cannot pay their rents with it. I know, the people don't see that, they are like animals, they eat what mama cooks. But I know a few good producers who went back on their jobs, and stopped making music, famous producers back some years ago. My idea, if the market is down at zero, I will search a new job maybe in a publishing company or something like this. But I'm sure market will not go down to zero. There's a few country which you can be a star but sold nothing, this is Russia, some eastern European states... but in other countries it starts to get a new drive to pay legal for a song. They have some good marketing strategies for the big crowd, so I'm sure the people will find back to the legal thinking.

What equipment do you use in studio?

All software based, working with Logic and Ableton. Using a lot of analogue rebuild synths, like the ones from Arturia, Rob Pappen. For drums I work with single hits from various sample CDs like Vengeance or Overkill. All loaded into my EXS sampler.

What producers do you think is the best around at the moment, from your point of view?

Exept my Helvetic Nerds buddies, right? Well, there are a few good guys around. It's not easy to name someone. But hmm, there's D-Nox & Beckers, Guy J, Henry Saiz, Norman Doray, Wippenberg, PROFF, Swanky Tunes. They are all sounding unique in their own way, and I follow their work very often.

We from Pure People are happy to hear about your carrier and sharing thoughts and stuff with us!


  1. Thanks for this! We love U Chris!

  2. DINKA is a way of life


  3. Chris is the best musician in modern electronic music. Really proud of PP to get this interview. And honored to be the part of PP now. I think only one question has been missed there: Chris where for God sake u find all the inspiration? Its just unbelievable.

    Mad props Chris. U are World No. 1. Thanks and God Bless U!

  4. wooden helmet23/11/2009, 11:44

    more laventina muasic!oO

  5. i dont understand! dinka is another project of chris?

  6. Yeah ;) Chris Reece = Dinka ;)

  7. Km¡Lo wonder28/02/2010, 04:35

    sin palabras..¡¡ EL mejor Productor del planeta progressive house..¡¡ con los mejores proyectos y el mejor sonido magico..¡¡ larga vida para chris recee..¡¡ =D