A chat with Christopher Ledger...

Christopher Ledger is an Italian DJ and producer based in Berlin, known for his dynamic sets and innovative productions. Over the past few months, he has been traveling across Europe, performing at various venues in Belgium, Italy, and France. He recently highlighted an in-store session at Yoyaku record shop in Paris. In addition to his live performances, Christopher has been busy in the studio, preparing for the release of his EPs on his label, Hidden Folder, and sharing rare music finds on his YouTube channel. His dedication to both analog and digital music creation has kept him at the forefront of the electronic music scene, where he continues to push boundaries and inspire with his eclectic approach. We caught up with him recently to learn more…

Hi Christopher - thanks for taking the time to talk to us - tell us a little bit about what you’ve been up to the last few months?

Hi there! Thanks for having me. It's been a busy and exciting few months. I've been travelling a bit, and played a couple of gigs in Belgium, Italy, and France.

One of the highlights was an in-store session at the Yoyaku record shop, alongside my friend Black Loops, which I really look forward to sharing as soon as the recording is ready.

In addition to performing, I've been digging through a lot of music and uploading some records on my YouTube channel that weren’t available for listening anywhere else and I plan to keep doing so as I have quite a few in my collection. 

I've also had a very productive time in the studio. Besides preparing for the release of HDF002, I've been working on future projects and just finished writing down the HDF003, which is set to be mixed soon.

Additionally, I've been sharing free downloads on my SoundCloud channels, featuring private remixes and reinterpretations of records I've always loved and wanted to give my personal spin on.

Lastly, I've been working on crafting sample libraries and Ableton template projects for Sample Market which you can find here

I’ve also shared some tutoring videos via their YouTube channel, which has been a lot of fun. All in all, it's been a busy but immensely fulfilling period, and I can't wait to share more with everyone soon.

You have a new EP ‘Talk Up Straight’ coming out on your own label Hidden Folder. You clearly draw inspiration from many places, what influenced you in the making of this?

The release has been influenced simply by what I love to play the most, ranging from peak time UK Speed garage and breakbeat to house-influenced, raw, and deep, minimal cuts.

My DJ sets can usually span among different genres, and I aim to reflect that diversity in the studio as well.

I believe in breaking the monotony and keeping things fresh and interesting. Or at least that’s what makes music fun for me.

We saw the new release has had huge support from some massive names including Raresh, Hannah Holland, Enzo Siragusa, Mr.Ho , Mogwaa…what does it mean to know your music is always so well supported?

It's a great feeling, for sure, especially seeing the entire EP being supported by so many incredible acts I respect. But I think nothing beats the feeling of playing it out on stage myself! :) There's something uniquely satisfying about sharing my music directly with the audience and seeing the response.

Tell us more about Hidden Folder, can you let us know what releases you have planned on it?

Hidden Folder is primarily a platform for my own output, where I can fully express my musical vision. In the future, I may welcome other artists through various projects like VA compilations, a sub-label, and showcases. 

However, these plans are still in the works and will take some time to develop.

Currently, I have HDF002 and HDF003 lined up for release. I'm also planning HDF998, which will likely be a limited run of dubplates under a different alias.

In the past, I have released some deeper records under my Christopher Ledger alias, but from now on, I’d like to stay dedicated to more peak time and dancefloor-oriented tracks.

We noticed there’s an amazing and extensive studio set up at 043.soundlab - with so much software available what’s your opinion on analog vs digital?

Absolutely, 043.soundlab has an incredible collection of analog synths. I love going there to jam and mix my own tracks. If anyone is passing by Rome, I definitely suggest paying it a visit.

When it comes to analog vs digital, I think both have so much to offer. I like to mix both to get the best of each. Honestly, the technical details can be debated forever, but what really matters to me is the artist's vision and staying true to it. Everything else is just personal preference.

If I need to name one piece of hardware I keep going back to and really love, that is the JV-1080.

Can you walk us through your typical production process? How do you start a track, and what tools do you usually use?

My typical production process often starts with digging music for my DJ sets. I feel I’m a DJ before being a producer, and I draw a lot of inspiration from stumbling into older records, or music patterns from other genres, which often spark new ideas.

Sometimes, I might just start jamming when I get a new piece of gear or plugin. Diving into the new equipment often leads to fresh jams and unexpected sounds.

Other times, I just focus on a specific instrument, producing different stems without worrying about the overall context. I’d make some Pads, some synth lines, or some bass loops, I’ll export these stems to my personal sample library and use them in future tracks, giving them context later on. 

This approach feels very freeing and allows for a lot of creativity.

How do you see the electronic music scene evolving or changing in the next few years for better or worse?

The term 'electronic music scene' implies a vast array of styles, music, and subcultures, making it difficult to provide a definitive answer. Taking a broader view, I am cautiously optimistic about its future. There is an abundance of great music and talented DJs, which keeps my hopes high.

The accessibility of information and tools today is unprecedented, which also means that finding something truly unique and original has become more challenging. Originality is very hard to achieve in an era where digital tools make music creation more accessible yet also more homogenised.

When considering the evolution of 'the scene', it's hard not to acknowledge the influence of social media. It plays a significant role nowadays, sometimes at the expense of the music's quality. Nonetheless, it’s an invaluable tool for promoting one's work and gaining exposure.

On this topic, I would like to mention journalist Shawn Reynaldo, who runs the First Floor blog, which I frequently read

He has recently released his first book, stemming from his blog. Reynaldo consistently offers intriguing perspectives on the electronic music scene and its current state. I encourage everyone to check it out. Surely lots of food for thought in there!

Ledger DJing in Cluj at Form Space

A couple of quick fire questions to finish…

  • Best club in the world? Pass
  • Best festival in the world? Pass again! :))
  • Pioneer or Allen & Heath? Possibly the Allen & Heath but whatever has good working faders and knobs, to be honest.
  • Vinyl or USB? Both
  • Favourite record as of this moment? HDF002
  • Ultimate b2b (dead or alive)? Hard to name one! Firsts that come to mind: Ben Ufo / Octo Octa / Eris Drew / Raresh

Keep up with Christopher Ledger on Instagram