A decade since Christopher Lawrence released anthem after anthem on seminal trance labels like Hook Recordings and Fragrant Music, the genre's popularity has ebbed and flowed with the fickle tastes of a domestic dance market hungry for the next European import. None of that, though, fazes American-born DJ and producer Christopher Lawrence in the slightest.
Still one of the world's most popular turntablists, he's elaborated on his bedrock sound with traces of prog-house and techno, but he still bleeds trance music, and he's about to drop a dime on Orange County this Thursday at Sutra Lounge in Costa Mesa. We caught up with him to talk about his forthcoming artist album (his first solo/studio release since 2004), living halfway around the world, and why Southern California is the new home of the electronic music renaissance.
OC Weekly (Rich Thomas): When and why did you decide to move to Australia?
Christopher Lawrence: About three years ago. My wife is from Australia, and we have a son and daughter who were at the age where they were going to start school. Melbourne is a really great city to raise a family, but since I'm on tour most of the year and gone most weekends, my wife can have the support of her family there and it won't just be her left with the kids every weekend. That was the main reason. When I lived in LA I could just go out for a weekend and come back, but now I have to plan things a bit more differently. I go out on three-week mini-tours, then I come back and take a weekend off at home. You have to plan out the tour ahead of time, but it works out really well, and I like where I live.
I think the U.S. scene is one of the healthiest in the world, and that's the irony of it all. A lot of people look to Europe and think that anything coming out of there has got to be great. Europe did have a thriving scene, but for them it's slowed down a bit, whereas in the U.S. it's maintained its presence in a solid way. It never was commercially popular, and that might have helped the scene to continue having integrity. Now you look at every major city in the U.S. and all those scenes are thriving, and a lot of European DJs have moved to the U.S. because there's such a healthy scene. I'm proud of where we are. It's wonderful to have been part of that, and to have grown with it over the years.