Gregor Tresher began his career as a DJ in Frankfurt in the early ’90s; today, he can be found playing that trade at venues around the world, from Berlin to Tokyo, Sydney to Los Angeles. Following two critically-acclaimed albums credited to his Sniper Mode alias, Tresher broke through as a producer under his own name via his 2005 releases Still and Neon, his remix of Sven Väth’s “Komm,” and his contribution to Cocoon’s Compilation F, “Full Range Madness.” His 2008 classic “A Thousand Nights” was the year’s best-selling Techno track on Beatport and introduced Gregor to a larger audience. Around his busy schedule, he made time to sit down with us to talk about his latest album “Quiet Distortion” and other musical topics.
Electronic Groove: You’ve come a long way from your breakthrough days with Cocoon. What is your overall feel of your evolution as a producer?
Gregor Tresher: That´s always tough to judge for myself – I try to not repeat myself but at the same time maintain that kind of a signature sound. My main goal is to create music that stands the test of time.
Electronic Groove: We can mention a few of our favourite tracks like “A Thousand Nights” and “About A Good Place”. What are “Gregor Tresher’s” all time favorite productions?
Gregor Tresher: There are so many songs and albums that mean the world to me but I can try to point out a few: The Cure – Disintegration, Depeche Mode – Black Celebration, Placebo – Without You I´m Nothing – on the more Techno side of things: Mathew Jonson – Marionette, System 7 – Alpha Wave (Plastikman Remix), Petar Dundov – Distant Shores
Electronic Groove: You have a new album coming out this summer named “Quiet Distortion”. How easy was for this album to produce in comparing to past ones?
Gregor Tresher: An album is always quite a big project, but this one came together quite naturally – I had the “anchor tracks” ready at quite an early stage, so then I tried to focus on the album as a whole and create kind of a listening experience: For example the order of the tracks is a very important thing on an album for me – I kind of see it as a good DJ set a little bit – you need to keep the tension but also build ups and downs.
Electronic Groove: This is your fourth release on ‘Break New Soil’. Are you happy with the label’s trajectory and evolution since its foundation?
Gregor Tresher: It’s my fourth album release, that´s right – but we are already at release number 55 in total. I can say I’m still happy with all of the music we released. Since I like different kinds of electronic music, one could say the label does not have a signature sound but that can be a good thing as well I guess. Let´s see what the future will bring.
Electronic Groove: Is there a summer tour planed ahead of the album release? If so, any hint on where you’re going?
Gregor Tresher: Yes, I’m actually started the tour at Extrema Festival in Belgium on past weekend and then I will be on the road all summer, playing a lot of festivals and clubs. I will be touring all over Europe, in the US and South-America, probably also Asia in the fall again.
Electronic Groove: Is there any special secret (other than good music) on how to create and promote a successful label?
Gregor Tresher: It depends on what successful means – in regards to making money I couldn´t say. Labels, especially in electronic music, are not really making a lot of money nowadays, so it´s kind of a luxury to have a label. But on the other side there is a lot to benefit from and it can also be great fun to run a label: to pick the music, to take care of the artwork and all these things – I just really like that.
Electronic Groove: Do you prefer playing in small intimate clubs or are you more inclined of playing at a big club or festival?
Gregor Tresher: I don´t really have a preference, both is nice – in clubs it´s the long sets and taking people on a journey that is the nice part, on festivals sometimes the energy from a huge crowd can be amazing and also playing during the daytime at a nice venue can be a great experience.
Electronic Groove: Argentina’s government just banned all large-scale electronic music festivals due to the recent tragic events at Time Warp. The measure is supposed to remain in effect until the city legislature can approve a more permanent law that would prevent drug use at festivals. Do you see this as a solution? In your opinion what should be done to prevent incidents like these?
Gregor Tresher: I don´t really have a good answer to this – of course what happened is absolutely horrible, when people lose their life you realize how little and unimportant compared to life in general a festival might be. But then again I´m not sure if just closing down clubs and parties is the right approach instead of trying to give people opportunities to test their drugs for example. It´s time to reconsider if the whole criminalization of drug use in general is right.
Electronic Groove: We constantly see events with so many artists playing very short playing times. What’s your take on this?
Gregor Tresher: It depends on the festival – of course an hour doesn´t make much sense for a DJ-set, but then again it´s a challenge for a DJ to deliver the essence of his sound in an hour as well. I personally think that from 1.5 hours upwards a DJ-set can make sense.
Electronic Groove: The dance music scene has grown to incredible heights. What’s your advice to anyone who want to make a living as a DJ or producer?
Gregor Tresher: That´s a pretty tough question, and I do believe it is harder nowadays to make it. But on the other hand I do believe that if someone has something to offer musically it will be noticed sooner or later. At some point in a career you have to make the decision to go all in. If you have a plan B you will probably never live up to your full potential.
Electronic Groove: Our followers always enjoy a good techno session. Will you find some time to craft a special session for us?
Gregor Tresher: I will try to record one of my upcoming sets… 🙂