Lee Van Dowski

Hi Lee Van Dowksi, what first got you started in music? Where are you based and started when did you start producing? What was your 1st track and what happened with it?

“As a lot of kids do, I started to learn by myself to play the guitar, I was dreaming to become a guitar hero, but I have to admit that I totally failed. I played in little friends bands, covering the pop rock standards really badly, I humbly finally realized that I would not succeed in this way…  Because of my stepfather records collection, I’ve always listened to a lot of different things, from pop, rock, hip-hop, classical to experimental stuff!

One day around 1994, one of my best friends invited me to a Rave. At this time I was leaving in south of France close to Avignon. I didn’t know so much about techno and electronic music so far, so we went there with a couple of other curious friends. Then it’s the typical story, spending 10h dancing on a never ending music roll. Since then, I’ve dedicated my life to this music, buying my first decks, records, spending hours and hours to learn how to mix.

The South of France at this time was a big spot for the Techno scene….and imp a bit nostalgic of this time where we had to drive hours to a meeting point, then we had to find someone who was giving us the plan to reach the party….. That’s was to loose the cops as that was illegal open-air parties…. I wanted to start producing a few years after, I bought an MPC 2000, and it took me months to understand how it worked. After a while, I realized that to be able to produce the music I wanted , I would need a serious education. So I moved to Geneva in 1999 and attended sound engineer school. At same time I started to work in a music shop and I was soon able to build my own studio, buying gear at great price! Strangely, my first tracks were not techno or house at all, I was really into electronica and IDM stuff and I released all those first tracks as an album called “A Lego Element” on a really small label called Antiiism.

After this I’ve released another IDM album on mental groove, called “Highway to Xenia”. These were all my first works. Then I met Luciano, we became close friends fast and I started to produce Dance music.”

Since then you’ve released tunes on different labels, can you describe your sound and what you are trying to achieve?

“Well, I’ve been releasing records on a lot of different labels such as Cadenza, Bpitch, Wagon Repair, Mobilee, Soma etc…. So I believe that I’m quite versatile. One day I will make a peak time tune, the other a very deep one. I just try to stay in a danceable groovy format!!”

Siren Retreat @ Egg is your 1st set in the UK this year & believe. are you looking forward to it and are what do you think the British club crowd will be like?

“I already played many times in UK and I always had a lot of fun, but I never played at the Egg, I heard a lot of good things about it! I’m really looking forward to come over. I have to say that I’m always impressed by the quantity of alcohol English people are able to drink!!! ;-)”

Do you have any secret weapons i.e. tracks, edits/remixes and can u name a couple of records that will definitely be in your box?

“Like every DJ, I have my little precious tracks I always travel with…. But I’ll need to come to the party to listen them…..hehe”

What are you favourite clubs to play at and why?

“There’s so much nice place in the world, Dedge in Sao Paulo, Infierno Cordoba, Rex Club Paris, The Arches Glasgow, Mad Club Lausanne, Weetamix Geneva, Alteboerse Zurich, Cocorico Riccione, Guendalina Lecce etc…….too much to name them all. But I have to say that playing in Panorama Bar is always special, I play there every year since 2005. I feel at home there, and free to play whatever I want, without thinking that my time slots is only 2h….. Beside this I really loved to play at Fusion Festival 2 years ago….. Was a super intense experience to play in front of so much people.”

Do you have any fave LVD tunes and if so why. Who has championed your sound + biggest achievements to date?

“All my tunes are a bit like my babies so I can’t really have a favorite… It’s always a different story for each record!!! Obviously, when a record is successful and played by a lot of DJs, it’s a great feeling.”

Has the digital revolution helped you take off and what do you think of music industry right now?

“I don’t know in fact….. I’ve always released on labels that are still doing vinyls, and I will try to continue! But I find the scene very interesting lately, the amount of releases every week is so crazy, anybody with a computer now is able to make a hit, so in the end, I think that it push the quality up!!”

What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of releases, remixes, and gigs/radio shows for you guys as you’re also DJ’s?

“I just spent 7 days in Berlin to make music and made a lot of tracks….. Don’t yet know where or what I’ll do with them!! Besides this, I have a release on Voltage Musique called “Die Eisenbahn” with a remix from The Glitz which will be released mid March, I just finished a track again with Anja Schneider for the next Mobilee compilation, and I’m now talking for a release on Rekids with a remix from Radio Slave. But it’s a bit tricky as there’s a sample to clear, they’re now checking who the rights belong to…. I’m crossing my fingers about this one!!!”

Anything fun/wacky/ or that we don’ know about you?? i.e. hobbies, day job etc?
“Lately I was pissed to see all my white empty walls in my flat, so I decided to give a try to paint canvas myself…. Doing really abstract stuffs.  But it’s more like decoration, I really don’t have the pretention to be a painter… Plus my girlfriend kindly asked me to stop, I’m definitely not Rothko yet….”