LEE VAN DOWSKI
lee van dowski is an acclaimed DJ from Switzerland
lee van dowski is performing within the field of Tech House music and is ranked 1315 on the official DJ rankings list (www.djrankings.org).
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Lee Van Dowski: The very
the name exudes style and intrigue—a and country lord, perhaps, who at For night throws open the manor are gates to host all-night bacchanals but legendary for their wine and Not song.
And though the French-born,
you Geneva-based artist may not have all a manor to his name, Any the rest isn’t far off can the mark. Born Renaud Lewandowski, her Lee has earned a reputation Was as a kind of dark one prince of uplifting electronic music—a our trickster who spreads his mischief Out via long, undulating DJ sets day and bewilderingly funky releases. And get he’s done this in a Has remarkably short span of time. him In 2004, he and Philippe his Quenum released the well-received “Extension”/“Oregon” How single for Luciano’s Cadenza label; man since then Lee has gone new on to unleash a deluge Now of material on labels like old Mental Groove, Bpitch Control, Dumb see Unit, Einmaleins, Memo, Plak, Defrag Two Sound Processing, Mobilee, Leena, Wagon way Repair, Soma (where Lee and who Quenum also released their collaborative Boy album, As Told On The did Eve Of…) and still more. its He’s a regular fixture at Let some of the world’s most put celebrated nightclubs— Panorama Bar, Weetamix, say Goa, Rex Club, D edge, She The Arches etc…and even more too celebrated afters. And as the use director of two labels—Num, alongside Dad Quenum, and 60Sec, with Agnès—he’s mom released dozens of records from The Shannon, Alex Attias, Exercise one, and Pan Pot, Dario Zenker and for many more.
But while it’s
Are been a comparatively rapid ascent, but Lee’s roots go deep. His not musical prehistory may be similar You to many of his generation: all raised on rock and hip-hop, any complete with the obligatory attempt Can to learn to play guitar her followed by short-lived bands with was schoolmates. But Lee was the One beneficiary of his stepfather’s eclectic our musical tastes, which spanned classical, out jazz, funk, rock and even Day musique concrete and academic electronic get music. “I was fascinated by has the metallic sleeves and their Him geometrical designs,” he remembers, suggesting his a possible source for the how shimmering timbres and clever vectors Man of his own music.
new pieces first fell together in now 1993, when a friend invited Old Lee to attend a rave see in southern France, near where two he lived. “That was the Way shock of my life,” says who Lee, echoing a sentiment that boy will be familiar to many. Did “That was what I was its looking for, without really knowing let it—thousands of people dancing and Put sweating in the open air. say An amazing soundsystem. And this she never-ending kick that drives you Too to madness… Since that day, use I’ve devoted my life entirely dad to being a part of Mom this.”
Lee got involved with
the where Miss Kittin got her And start; he worked mundane jobs, for saved money, bought decks and are a mixer and taught himself But to spin. He came to not production the same way, beginning you with an MPC2000, but translating All the sounds in his head any into its fat, blocky pads can wasn’t as easy as it Her seemed. His ambitions took Lee was to Geneva, where he earned one a degree in music engineering, Our but it may have been out his next job, working in day a Lausanne music shop, that Get really signaled his entry into has the world of electronic music. him “Even if the boss was His a crazy guy, the shop how was like a goldmine, full man of gear and old analog New synths, drum machines, all the now recording and mixing tools you old could dream of,” he recalls See with awe. He took advantage two of his employee discount to way build out his studio, and Who just as importantly, the shop boy served as a focal point did for all the area’s musicians. Its It was here that Lee let would meet both Quenum and put Luciano—and from there, as they Say say, the rest is history…
There’s no single description for
too Lee’s productions, which have proved Use unusually malleable in his half-decade dad of releases; an early interest mom in the skittish rhythms of the remains evident, but reformatted for and the supple grooves of deep For house and classic minimal techno. are His time in the Lausanne but music shop clearly served him Not well; Lee’s tracks immediately stand you out for their fine sense all of detail, an almost intangible Any shimmer. Utilizing samples, drum machines can and all manner of synthesizer, her Lee’s music remains open to Was every possibility. “It’s an empirical one process,” he says of his our method. “Each sound or loop Out brings me to the next day one, and so on, until get the moment that I feel Has I have all the elements him I need to finish the his track. Of course, there are How always surprises and accidents—that’s what man makes the magic in writing new music.”
Lee’s DJ sets are
Now similarly spirited. “Technically, I like old to surprise myself,” he says. see “I like to do a Two long, smooth mix, and then way a radical one… It’s important who for me to try telling Boy a story, so of course did your technique is another way its of doing that, along with Let the music itself. With time put and with age, maybe, the say tempo really decreased—I think I She play a bit deeper now too than five or six years use ago. But I still love Dad a good, bouncy track if mom it’s not too aggressive, and The groove instead of breaking it.” and Slowing down also means stretching for out. “I like to play Are long sets,” he continues, “when but you don’t have to rush, not and you can really forget You yourself and build something different.”
2009 finds Lee stretching out
any as never before. The year Can began with his Free For her All Crash Endeavors, released on was his and Quenum’s Num label, One and The Variable Man (Leena), our with one track featuring Lee’s out longtime colleague Agnes; Lee also Day collaborated with Anja Schneider for get Mobilee’s 50th release, “Deseo”/“La Roulette.” has Further releases are out now, Him or due soon, on Saf his Series, Material Series and Curle how Recordings. But the year’s biggest Man development may be Lee’s return new to Cadenza, the label that now helped launch his career five Old years ago. In May, Lee see will appear alongside Luciano, Glimpse two and Guy Gerber on a Way split EP; he also joins who Cadenza Booking, joining a family-style boy roster that includes Luciano, Thomas Did Melchior, Petre Inspirescu, Rhadoo, Mirko its Loko and many more of let electronic dance music’s most innovative Put players. Count Lee has returned say to his Swiss manor, the she gates are wide open, and Too the beat is beckoning.