“Well first of all, I cannot recollect a moment in my life where I wasn’t deeply connected to music.” Meet Christian Berger. The Peruvian-born musician has been a part of the South American house scene since 2000, but music has been running through his veins forever. As a kid, Berger and his brother grew up banging on various instruments, while wailing out to Nirvana hits. Fast forward to today and the pair can be seen performing an incredible, improvised live-act under Oblique. In addition to Oblique, Christian is also one half of the esteemed duo Deaf Pillow, who have celebrated releases on Cross Town Rebels, Sudbeat, Get Physical and more. It’s no question; Berger’s resume is bursting with victories. So it’s with great pleasure that we welcome Christian Berger to the Godzilla Disco airwaves, as he serves up an all-original, sizzling mix!
First, thank-you for taking the time to speak with us! Before we go any further, can you please tell us a bit about the mix you’ve created for us here today?
Thank you guys for the invite, the mix is a combination of original tracks and remixes from myself and from Deaf Pillow (my collab, with DJ/Producer, Rodrigo Lozano). Some of the tracks are released, some unreleased. All the tracks were picked to showcase, our own original South American sound. The vibe in the studio was, as per usual: Drinks, music and good fun 😉
This is the first time I’ve done a podcast with only my productions. To be completely honest, it was scary at first, I wasn’t very sure about it.
You’re based in Lima, Peru. Can you tell us a bit about how you got your foot in the door? Is there a long-standing scene in Peru? How has it evolved over the past 10 years?
Well first of all, I cannot recollect a moment in my life where I wasn’t deeply connected to music. From a young age I started playing instruments. Then, when I had my first Club night experience back in 1997, I knew I wanted to be a part of the ongoing growth in the musical scene. I started as a “Producer” doing very bad tracks haha, on a shitty PC with no monitors and only using Fruity Loops. After that I couldn’t stop buying records, until now.
The scene in Lima is very well respected by all the DJs that have been down here. We have small club parties and big festivals, every weekend there is something going on. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Wednesday night or a Sunday afternoon. The crowd really knows what they want and they are not afraid to let you know that, when you are mixing.
Who are some of the industry leaders down there?
I have been working with Arturo “Chino” Ruiz for the past 9 or 10 years, he is responsible for quite a lot of relevant events, festivals and night clubs such as La Huaka, Superclub, La Tribu, Backyard Project just to name a few and also Cocoon, Circoloco, Flying Circus, tINI & The Gang, El Row etc etc. There are also many other promoters who are doing things very well, in an original way, each one promoting different genres.
You’ve got two other projects going on —as you mentioned, you are one half of Deaf Pillow and one half of the live act Oblique. Tell us a bit about both.
Yes those are my main projects, Deaf Pillow is Rodrigo Lozano and myself. We have been friends and co-workers for many years now. Everything started, when we had the opportunity to do b2b sets in La Huaka and in the big parties, so we decided to create this project with the idea to produce our own tracks for our sets. Oblique is me and my younger brother Alexander. This is a very different project, because we do a lot of improvisation in our live sets.
We always record our sets, because some of the tracks are born on stage.
What are the pros & cons of working as a duo vs. solo project?
Pros and cons… well, hehe, sometimes we want to kill each other, but most of the time we understand and respect our points of view.
So Oblique is a project with your brother. Clearly music runs through your veins. Surely you were both jamming out together long before ‘Oblique’ — tell us about your musical upbringings and how it lead you towards this project.
We have been doing music since kids, playing Nirvana covers when I was 13 years old and Alexander was 9. So you can imagine, it has been a long long ride for us, as musicians. We have the same taste in music so it’s very easy to create and perform. The project was actually born when we were recording some tracks in the studio just for fun and a very good friend, Andres Dyer, asked us if we could play those tracks live and from there he gave us our fists gigs and support.
What are the most important factors in live-improv jamming?
It’s great, we can perform our tracks in many different ways and also create on the go. We always record our sets, because some of the tracks are born on stage. I really trust Alexander when playing Live and his ability with the guitar inspires me to do more things during the set.
What excites you most about the industry in its current state? And what excites you the least?
Most: The way that some artists stay true to their sound. Least: The lack of originality when making tracks or DJ sets, trying hard to sound like somebody else.
Any final comments you’d like to share — upcoming releases/ personal messages or words of wisdom?
We have some vinyl releases coming out soon as Deaf Pillow on Pulsar Music and Harmine Records and with Oblique, our first album for the summer on our own Label Audionumb Music.