The man behind the Source of Gravity, Gravitation and the most recent Source of Gravity Digital labels, Chris Sterio is one of the hardest guys in the house music business these days. Besides signing music to his labels mentioned above, he's also finding time for original production, collaborations, mixes for radio shows all over the world, throwing parties in UK and writing a column for BeatFactor once in a while.
Beat Factor: Hi Chris, how was 2004 for you? A tough year or maybe just busy?
Chris Sterio: Hello, I would say a bit of both really. 2004 was a year where the music industry went through some big changes, and in order to adapt you have to really work really hard. 2005 seems to be taking shape nicely so things are looking more positive now.
BF: Beside the two labels you are running, Source of Gravity and Gravitation Records, the new Source of Gravity Digital label started with a fine release from the producer Lynx with the "Digital EP". What's the main purpose of this third label you manage?
C.S.: The purpose was basically to expand into the digital format (a format that will shape the future of dance music for years to come) whilst introducing and profiling some of the finest cutting edge progressive producers around. There's a lot of good music around at the moment, and I've always taken a policy that if I like I will release it, so with the digital format there are no overheads so it allows for greater artistic license with some of the releases.
BF: What materials are planned for release the near future?
C.S.: For Source of Gravity Records I have the new Chris Sterio track "Database" out in late May with mixes from Perc, Smight and myself for the vinyl release, with digitally exclusive mixes from Perc, Section 75 and Joshua Thomas. We also have several EPs being released on Source of Gravity Digital at the moment, with material available from Lynx, Section 75, Katakana and Orchid & Narcose on sites like www.beatport.com and www.edmdigtal.com. Future Source of Gravity Digital EPs will be from Mind Control, Narcose, Lynx and Chris Sterio. There has also been a Sterio & McGrath remix out on Pangea (Alex Stealthy – Being), with another due out on Propulsion (Singo – Plexi Music) in the summer.
BF: How would you describe Chris Sterio's style of producing and dj-ing?
C.S.: Progressive! I really like the progressive sound with strings, chord, melodies and subtle vocals – nothing to over the top, but just spacey. My production sound is very similar to my DJing and the labels as well.
BF: What do you think about the electronic music industry at present as a producer?
C.S.: At present producers at a crossroads, and have to decide whether to spend their creative energy on music in more sellable genres, or to produce the music they love. The boom and bust economy, which is so prevalent these days, means that financial producers, promoters, djs and labels have to decide whether to go with popular trends or stick to what they believe in. The digital avenue is something though that brings great opportunities for up and coming producers, but it also means that the filter for quality which the vinyl format brought with it has diminished. I do think people setting up digitally exclusive labels is something we are going to see more of in the future, and doing this will help filter the tracks more effectively, especially if the labels want to build up a quality identity for their creation.
BF: How did you start involving in music industry?
C.S.: I have had a love for music from a young age, and dance music in the early 90s particularly struck me. From there it's been an evolution, from getting some decks, to getting involved in putting on parties, producing and so on.
BF: Did you have difficulties in promoting your music through all ages?
C.S.: I am realistic that the music I am involved in is targeted or listened to by a small section of society, but I never set out for it to be "popular" in the chart sense of things anyway. It's just something that is part of you, just because it's the "in" thing or not doesn't really come into it!!
BF: What were the producers that you enjoyed working with? Is there any particular producer that you would like to collaborate with?
C.S.: When working on collaborative projects I think there has to be a certain chemistry, respect or love for a style of music for things to work. If any of those are lacking, it is going to be hard to produce something of that both parties are going to be happy with. In terms of people I would like to work with, there are a few producers that spring to mind, and they are the ones that are in the regulars in my sets, reviews and my charts!!! I have enjoyed all the production collaborations I have been involved in
BF: The best five tracks of 2004 in your opinion would be...?
C.S.: Non Source of Gravity:
1. Invisible Inc – Stars – Sumsonic
2. Weekend World – Slo Mo – Midnight
3. Quivver – These are the Days – Boz Boz
4. Halogen Vs. Nash T – On a Bridge – CP Recordings
5. DJ 19 and Thomas Penton – Ima - 19 Box
Source of Gravity Related:
1. Blue Haze – Amber Glow – Gravitation
2. KVK – Midnight On the Metro – Gravitation
3. Hellpass – Growler (Mood Society mix) – Gravitation
4. Lynx – Awakening - Gravitation
5. Alexander Church – Cycles of Life (Celestial mix) – Source of Gravity
BF: What would you say to a young producer/dj who is striving to become noticed in the music industry?
C.S.: Understand the overall picture, whilst working hard on your skills as a producer and DJ. Be in it for the long haul, don't make too many enemies and be prepared for set backs!!! It's as hard as it's ever been to make a career out of being purely a dj/producer, so other strings to your bow are vital.
BF: Describe in five words the man Chris Sterio.
C.S.: Now there's a question! Maybe you can answer that one for me!
- [a:rpia:r] - A successful story
- Simian Mobile Disco - New Future Electro Disco Heroes
- Luciano: I'm Still the Same Guy
- The Model - A Special Man With Special Needs
- Me and You is M.A.N.D.Y.
- Carl Craig: I'm Not A Fortune Teller!
- Audio: In Between with Paul Van Dyk
- Audio: Steve Bug - 'I Don't Make Music for Bugs!'
- Ricardo Villalobos - from South America with love
- Lee Burridge: Balance, drugs and Tyrant
- Audio: Ricky Stone, a busy combination
- Hook N Sling - a Fat Australian Export
- Break-Beat lessons with Krafty Kuts
- Ewan Pearson, the lucky guy
- The other side of Ellen Allien
April 24, 2005 at 7:43 PM CEST