Chris Avantgarde is a German-born, London-based artist, producer & composer best known for his off-kilter approach towards electronic production. His work includes placements in hit TV shows, blockbuster movie trailers and household entertainment companies alike, including DARK, Lucifer, Ragnarok, Sicario 2, Birds of Prey, HBO, Netflix, Starz, Toyota, and Xbox.
After an incredible 2022, Chris became the #2 best-selling artist on Tale of Us’ revered Afterlife label over the last 12 months, in addition to being a top 5 best-selling Melodic Techno artist on Beatport. His releases as a recording artist include cultural records “Consciousness” and “Eternity” both in collaboration with Anyma, with each landing at #1 on the Beatport overall Top 100 Chart and has set a precedent for organic virality in the scene. “Consciousness” also got the remix treatment from none other than Eric Prydz himself, which was released to widespread critical acclaim.
Next to his Afterlife releases in 2022, Chris released a standout EP “Mind Control” with Kevin de Vries on Drumcode that included the title track as well as “Condition”. On the remix tip, his versatile production approach has made official remixes for artists like The Prodigy, Billie Eilish & Nina Simone an unprecedented possibility. All of this has led to incredibly strong support from his peers and industry heavyweights across the board, including Tale of Us, Eric Prydz, Adam Beyer, Fisher, Armin van Buuren, Pete Tong, Tiesto, David Guetta, Oliver Heldens, Camelphat, Mind Against, KA:AST, and many, many more!
His performances span from Techno to Electronica, infused with a cinematic approach to storytelling. With the demand growing exponentially by the day, Chris’ tour schedule is jam packed for 2023, with highlights including Junction 2 in London, Seismic Dance Event in Austin, Sziget Festival in Budapest, multiple dates at HI and Ushuaia Ibiza + Circo Loco’s famed NYD party in Ibiza, and numerous dates with Afterlife across the globe!
He recently released a new remix for Dense & Pika that we premiered on the When We Dip Magazine last month.
WWD: Tell us about your collaborative hit with Anyma ‘Consciousness’ and how that came about. What were your reactions to how much this one took off?
Before Consciousness Matteo (Anyma) and I had been talking and working together for a while on music, both collaboratively and for his Anyma project, the initial Consciousness idea was something I sent to him for the Afterlife Printworks show in 2021. Tale of Us opened their set with the early version and we finalized the song together, the viral response that followed is something I think we both didn’t fully anticipate and it’s incredible to see the continued support and response to it when playing it live.
WWD: You also just dropped a remix of Dense & Pika’s ‘Delta System’. What was your workflow like for that track and how do you approach remixes in general?
This particular one was a bit different, as the original release is already a couple years old. Domenico from Kneaded Pains asked me if I was keen on remixing anything from Dense & Pika’s back catalog and Delta System – being an all-time favorite of mine – was the first thing that came to mind. I wanted to give it a fresh spin while respecting the original vibe as much as possible. Normally I like to stray off further from originals on remixes as I feel like there’s so much room for experimentation, but this one was just sitting right the way it turned out.
WWD: Tell us about the evolution of your journey from working on syncs for blockbuster films and landing placements on TV shows to now headlining some of the biggest music festivals around the world.
What I love about how that came about is that to me it felt entirely natural. I was doing dance & club music for over 10 years already but decided to dive into music for film & tv because I was looking for more creative freedom and inspiration respectively. At the time I felt uninspired by a lot of the music around me in the dance world. I always wanted to combine the cinematic elements of film music into my electronic productions and I did – but the timing never felt right. I often found myself in either being too outside-the-box for the dance labels or too electronic for the more classical or cinematic labels. The sound now I feel has matured into combining the best of both worlds.
WWD: Who were some of your biggest artist influences in the scene coming up and who are some in today’s scene that are inspiring you?
When I was about 16 I was a massive fan of the french duo Justice. They had that cinematic element I was craving but they also had this unapologetic punk attitude to their performances. I found that truly inspiring. A little later on a lot of the sounds and artists from Sweden, a time which some might call the golden era of Progressive House also had a massive impact on me but it lost me when that world became commercialized too quickly and to me started losing focus on its core values. Overall my influences are quite eclectic ranging from composers like Johann Johannsson or Ryuichy Sakamoto to acts like The Prodigy, Woodkid, Moderat or Lorn.
WWD: Is there anything outside of music that you’re finding a lot of inspiration in right now for your creative process?
I’m always inspired by imagery, both still and moving, and with the current developments in the world of AI I often find myself on platforms like Midjourney trying to get as creative with prompts as possible. I then look at the results and imagine how that image would sound if I had to score it.
WWD: You have an upcoming festival appearance at Seismic Spring in Austin Texas this month. What are you looking forward to for this event and what can fans expect from your upcoming set?
I do, very excited for this one! The venue and Seismic are both legendary and I’ve seen some recordings of other artists who’ve played there which gave me a good idea of what to expect. As for my set, I think I’ll keep that open to the last minute, I like to improvise depending on crowd reaction. I usually tend to plan a couple of different vibes within a set and then take it down whatever avenue feels best in that moment. At the moment I’m thinking warehouse? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
WWD: What else do you have coming up the rest of this year? What are you most excited about currently?
A lot of shows, too many to look forward to to pick a favorite I have to admit. I’m excited to be touring the US for the first time and also excited for the European summer with some Ibiza appearances and European festivals like Junction 2 in London or Sziget in Budapest.