Sid Le Rock – My music is like a open book locked behind a door

Sid Le Rock is one of Canada’s leading electronic music producers with 7 albums under his belt, and well over 50 singles. He remixed the likes of Depeche Mode, Fairmont, Placebo and worked on collaborations with DJ Koze, Ada, and, Metope.

Sid Le Rock was born and raised in the northern regions of Ontario, Canada. Moving constantly from one small town to another cold and desolate town due to his fathers search for work as a uranium minor/lumberjack. Sid lived in many locations before he made his moved to Windsor where he first came in contact with Techno music, and soon realised it was destined to be his future. Shortly after his discovery of techno music he went on to study music engineering in the city of Toronto where he decided techno was going to become his career. Since then Sid has moved across the ocean to Cologne in 2003. He was in the first wave of the North American invasion to Europe! The success and demand for Sid’s music has allowed him to remain in Germany, and he now resides in the techno capital of Europe, Berlin.

With a stack of releases to his name across labels such as My Favorite Robot, Parquet Recordings, Suruba, and of course Beachcoma expect another great year of productions from this man. I was very lucky to grab a few minutes of this man’s time to talk about his work and what he has planned for this year. He also provided you listeners with an exclusive 1 hour mix.

Hi Sid I hope you are well and having a good beginning to 2015. What have you been up to over the past few days?

Thank you, I wish you the same. So far I’ve been keeping myself busy with label duties, clearing the alcohol from my system, taking down the Christmas tree kinda stuff. Easy going!

Can you tell us a little about your upbringing and how you first became interested in music?

I was raised in desolate mining communities throughout the Northern regions of the province of Ontario, Canada. As my father mined for uranium deposits, to earn some extra money, my mother would teach neighbourhood kids how to play piano. My Parents encouraged both my younger sister and I to learn how to play by rewarding us each $10 for every song we learned & recited. I believe my first song was Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. Thinking about it now, I guess that was my first paid gig at the age of 9 years old!

You traveled a lot when you were younger due to your fathers search for work. How did you find the travelling, and have you found it to benefit you in any way during your life now travelling the globe?

It was actually quite exciting for us as children. A new beginning in an unexplored town or city. Sure it was hard to leave good friends behind to start all over again. Luckily, making new friends always came easy to me, it’s what made me the social person that I am today. I get along well with others and that is a fitting benefit with traveling.

You used to live in Toronto but now live in Berlin. Can you tell us about some of the differences between the nightlife and sound of the two cities?

Toronto nightlife, in bed by 3 am. Berlin… getting to my gig at 3 am. But musically, both cities are intertwined with the same influences. Also, I’d like to point out that many of us Torontonian artists are living in Berlin. Sometimes it feels like I never left. Still the same hangover though

As an artist you have often use an alias such as Pan/Tone, Gringo Grinder, and of course Sid Le Rock. What do you find the positives and negatives of an alias are?

In my experiences, it’s a great means to explore with a multitude of musical genres but the hardest thing is the keep each alias separated from each other, style wise. Of course another issue is output. But, I managed somehow to make it through the 12 years confusion of identity crisis.

You are currently A&R and Label Manager at Beachcoma. How did you come to work with Fairmont and the label?

Together with Metope and Fairmont, we all share the same role and responsibility with our beloved Beachcoma imprint. We’ve all been good friends since forever so it was natural progression which has lead us to share this together until our retirement. Even in the old age home where we will all most likely reside, I’m positively sure there will come the next ideal after a few to many drinks.

Whilst working as an A&R Manager what do you feel are some of your biggest challenges in the current scene?

Not enough time in our scheduled year to release all the amazing music we get from the artists that have and continue to released with us on Beachcoma.

How has your sound evolved over the years in terms of style, and the labels you work alongside?

You know, I’m still searching to define what my style really is. My music is like a open book locked behind a door. There are times when I evolve backwards with my music. Thankfully the labels that I have worked with, supported me and my musical direction which enables me to find that damn key.

Your recent Burning Daylight EP was very well received and I am personally a very big fan. How did you approach the EP and what was the statement you tried to make through your chosen tracks?

Thanks, I appreciate the compliment. I didn’t really plan it out. This release just developed naturally, maybe it came to be based on where my head was at at the time. A time stamp of sentimental process or something like that.

Besides Beachcoma you have had a number of releases on the rather superb label My Favorite Robot? How did that relationship come about and what may we expect on the label in the future?

I was introduced to the MFR boys long ago by our mutual friend, Nitin from No.19. We all support each other musically and we get along great. I’m sure there will be more releases to come in the future.

If we can turn our attention to your studio skills for one moment… What are some of your favourite tools in the studio?

My ears… please don’t fail me now!

When you produce a new piece of work whether an original piece or a remix do you have a particular workflow you always follow?

It depends on the piece… sometimes its a pain in my studio sitting ass. Usually I just get all up in it and try to own it as fast as I humanly can.

What can we expect from Sid Le Rock in 2015 in terms of new material?

I got loads of ideas running around in my brain. The winters in Berlin are the best time to let them loose. I do have a new release coming out on Beachcoma for February 17th, entitled “Mount Hope”. I also have some remixes coming out on Katermukke and Suruba Records.

Can we expect some new material from Pan/Tone in 2015?

I’d like to get back to that alias, yes but I was also considering reviving my old Gringo Grinder project. Lets see, time will tell.

OK letʼs switch our attention to your guest mix your provided for us. How did you approach the mix, and is this the sound we can normally expect from you when DJing?

With this mix, I wanted to make sometime special where I could start it of with some great slow jams and eventually ride the rise into an apex of melodic emotion. Structure the mix to how I’d rebuild a dance floor if I was booked to DJ for an hour… stone sober. An extra hour or two, bring out the gin!

As a live performer can what have been some of your favourite gigs in 2014?

I must say, I’ve been quite lucky to had many great moments. 2014 was a blast of favourites. Poland, Canada and Switzerland was above all my favourite countries to perform in last year. Is that close enough?

What are your goals in 2015 as a DJ, Producer, and A&R Manager?

Keep at it, keep producing it, keep finding it.

Have you set yourself any New Yearʼs resolutions?

Smoke less but it will make me drink more, unfortunately

Finally, is there anything else you would like to add that you have planned for 2015?

Stay tuned for more.

Track list

01. Gimme Some – Weval – Kompakt
02. Night Shifts – KNTRL – Beachcoma
03. Idle Eyes (Roman Flügel Remix) – C.A.R. – Kill the DJ
04. Epikur – David August
05. Composite – Nfto, karmon – Diynamic
06. Desert (Kohra Rmx) – Ron Flatter – Traum
07. The Beginning (Dub) – Ian Pooley – Innvervisions
08. Always Something Better (Dj tennis & Mind Against remix) – Trentemoller – Poker Flat
09. Fault Lines (Dauwd Remix) – Beacon – Ghostly
10. Levo – Recondite – Innervisions
11. Sid Le Rock – Train to You Remix – Jakob Seidensticker & Square Room Heroes – Suruba Records

About the Author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about every genre of music from Breakbeat, to Drum & Bass, to Techno and House. A man that lives in a world of beats and bass, and total confusion about life!