Christian Löffler on Making Dance Music From Nature: "To Start, I Don't Use the Computer"

Electronic dance music has always been an urban phenomenon.

Look at the underground roots of Chicago house, Detroit techno, or U.K. jungle and drum 'n' bass. All were spawned within the confines of the city and broke out in abandoned warehouses, parking garages, and lofts -- a futuristic soundtrack to the high-energy pace of life in postindustrial metropolises.

So what does electronic dance music from nature and the wilderness sound like?

You'd have to listen to the tunes of German producer Christian Löffler to find out.

A Forest, his critically acclaimed 2012 debut album, was inspired by the very natural surroundings of the secluded German countryside where he grew up.

"When I recorded A Forest, I was living in this small house in the woods of northern Germany," Löffler tells Crossfade. "I went there for painting and photographing and some days off. But the elegance of the sounds I heard while wandering through the woods and on the beach caught my attention -- the rustling leaves, and breaking waves of the sea, to name some. I had to record it, and you can clearly hear it on the record. For example, the song 'Blind' features those breaking waves."

Unsurprisingly, Löffler's studio productions boast almost pastoral, acoustically recorded elements and a nuanced, organic quality that sets him apart from most of the digital bedroom producers out there.

"Usually, when I start working on new song, I don't use the computer," he explains. "Most of the time, I try find some melodies with the piano or the guitar. It can also be a short loop of me singing or a voice I sampled. Besides that, a lot of my work is based on field recordings -- I try to record things when I'm traveling. So sometimes this can also be the trigger for a new song.

"My music is based on the attempt to combine melancholy with euphoria," he adds. "It's electronic music for people who don't listen to techno and house music on a regular basis. Sometimes, it feels like a band switched from indie to techno."

Make no mistake, though, Löffler is still a dance-music producer who can put on a hell of an electrifying, grooving live show, as you'll find out when he makes his Miami debut with SAFE at the Electric Pickle on Wednesday.

"I'm preparing a special live set," he promises. "I'm going to play some new, unreleased material that will be released soon, so the Electric Pickle gig is going to be a special show for me."

Christian Löffler. With Diego and Basti. Wednesday, July 3. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The show starts at 10 p.m. Call 305-456-5613, or visit

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Sean Levisman