interview by Shawn Wallace
With the seemingly never-ending world tour
still in effect from last year's release
of the critically acclaimed "Bedrock: Compiled
and Mixed" compilation, Chris is a headline
act in his own right, he continues to travel
to every corner of the globe in the last
12 months including residencies at The Cross
in London and Plexi in New York. Chris is
no longer a name just on the U.S. stage,
but on the world stage. We caught up with
the ever-busy Disc-jock via email (his answers,
as he typed them, are below) to discuss
life on the road and a new CD mix project
"Fade Records presents Audio Tour" out on
A little background... In 1998 while submitting
a Sarah Mclachlan bootleg of "Plenty" (which
was subsequently released in 2001) to her
record label, Chris Fortier was offered
a remix of a Delerium track called "Silence".
The remix created a frenzy with such limited
quantities being pressed by the label. Eventually
succumbing to the demands of the general
public after it's inclusion on Northern
Exposure 3, and the buzz it created with
DJs like Dave Seaman and Sasha opening and
closing their sets with it, the label released
it to discover a worldwide chart hit, with
it hitting number one in four countries
Keen to build the production side of his
career, Chris started Fade Records in 1995
and released his first double A sided single
"For All the People/ All I Got" under the
production name of Fade with his one time
surf competitor, Neil Kolo. The Fade sound
quickly defined the era and the fashionable
progressive Orlando sound. A long-term record
deal from the UK and remixes for BT, Sam
Mollison, Space Brothers, and Future Force
followed over the next few years.
How has the crowd reaction been during
the tour in support of the new album?
so far all the gigs i have done this year
have been really great. and the ones for
the gigs since the cd came out have been
all really, really good. since the album
is still only officially released in the
usa, those gigs are having the most impact
on the cd. the tour will last through to
the end of the year with extended tours
coming in asia (september) and south america
(october). during the summer i basically
will be criss-crossing back and forth from
the usa to europe to cover all the clubs
here and also all the summer venues and
festivals over there. it is going to be
busy and hectic, but i am looking forward
Did you have an idea of where the Audio
Tour tracklist was going when you started
out or did it develop over time?
the premise for "audio tour" is based
on fade records, my record label. "audio
tour" is essentially that, an introduction
or tour of the fade records sound. "audio
tour" is not to be thought of as a follow-up
to my bedrock album mix. it is purely a
platform to promote fade records. the cd
concept is and always was to be about fade
records, the fade artists and our releases.
the album is a single cd mix, so choosing
tracks, i decided best to go with all new
and not yet released material. this way
the album is fresh. alot of other labels
that do label mixes, put their best of past
releases with a few new things, i had the
opposite approach. i wanted the mix to be
upfront and full of quality while still
sounding as fresh as can be. this was a
real challenge, and i am extremely pleased
with the end result. it still very much
reflects the sound of my djing.
Was 'Whateveritis" conceived for this
album in particular?
actually, no. "whateveritis" was a track
i did last year just before the summer.
it wasnt made for this album, but definitely
fits for this mix. i can never try to make
a track specifically for one album, i find
it tough. i have been making solo tracks
the last few years and it is taken time
to get to the level i am at with regards
to output. i have a new single coming out
in a couple weeks called "despegue" and
my first solo single "losing wait" is finally
coming out in july as well. "whateveritis"
is just a fun track that fit perfectly for
What track, if any, has been seeing
the biggest reaction in the club environment?
there are 2 big reaction tracks from the
album that are always huge every night.
the first one is scott mcfadyen - "g in
your glow". it is a more housey kind of
vibe at first, but it slow unleashes a massive
riff that really is surprising and goes
through the roof. the other is the d-shake
"yaaah!" remix that i did. this track is
devastating to say the least. very powerful
and immense, especially the breakdown.
At the level you have achieved in your
career you are getting swamped with promos,
how do you sort through what to play, keep,
and what to throw away?
it is a constant, day to day thing. i
spend so much time going through music.
pretty much the whole of my day is listening
to my mail. it is something that is vital
and i put alot of effort and focus into
it. you have to or you will miss great tracks.
but focus is the key.
Do you still test tracks in a club
environment for example before putting them
on an album or do you have an idea of what
you want to do when starting an album project?
alot of times, yes. i play about 3 gigs
every weekend, so there is ample opportunity
to road test things. but i dont know if
testing things out in a club pertaining
to an album is that essential. playing them
out gives you another perspective of tracks
and you get to hear them loud as they were
intended. but when doing a mixed album,
the most important thing for me is that
the mixes work well and the the pacing of
the mix is right and steady. and that is
something that isnt always an option in
a club vs album testing. the album needs
to be precise because it will get thousands
and thousands of listens.
Many online outlets are plastered with
comments in support of Audio Tour from fans
who have seen you play live. What is the
most frequently asked question you get?
besides "can you give me a promo"?
i think there is real general sense of,
"how can i get started or ahead"
or what tricks do i know about the industry
that will help young wannabees get noticed
and get gigs. and the answer is, practice,
Do you spin vinyl, CDs, or both?
i play both for the most part. i prefer
vinyl, i feel it better and know it better.
cds are good too and there some great benefits,
but for me a cdr is only just an earlier
promotional tool to a vinyl release. i always
choose vinyl over cds anyday. sometimes
you dont have a choice though and cds are
it, so if you want to play a track, a cdr
can be the only option.
Where do you see the music coming out
of the progressive house genre headed in
it is hard to say where anything is going.
it would be crazy for me to pinpoint one
thing. but that is what is great about electronic
music anyway. the fact that you can do anything
your mind can think of. technology opens
so many paths in music creation. as with
any electronic genre, i think fusions of
sounds is always the future. keep experimenting
with sounds and dont be afraid to try whatever
pops into your head.
How do you juggle the responsibilities
of gigs and albums with running your record
pool and the Fade label?
it is tough and makes for very long days,
every day. but i think i have developed
a really good way of managing my time. i
try very hard to stay focused at the tasks
that need to be done. i make alot of lists
of objectives and make sure they are possible
to achieve. when they are done, they get
crossed off the list. as i said, it makes
for very long days, probably 14 - 16 hours
each day. but since i love music and what
i do so much, it never gets to be a problem.
The past year has seen a lot of activity
at Fade, what does the summer of 2004 hold
we have a number of great releases coming
over the summer. since the "audio tour"
album is out now, there will be the tracks
from the album that havent come out yet.
things like scott mcfadyen and motive. there
is also going to be a special vinyl release
of the alley qats track as well as a vinyl
release of the d-shake remixes too. beyond
that, we have a few other cool vocal tracks
by micah, tonepushers and a new band called
funk hp that i am really looking forward
What is your opinion about the current
state of downloading music online?
i think it is great to finally have legal
download sites offering great music to real
fans of dance music. we already offer the
whole fade catalog on the fade website.
and we also have our releases on a few other
great new sites too. we will probably place
the tracks in a few other places too to
make sure we have the best coverage we can
to get the music heard. it is an interesting
time now and the next 12 - 24 months are
going to really tell the story as to where
it is all going with the digital world of
the music industry.-
Are there any download sites that you
beatport.com and edmdigital.com are 2
of the leaders right now for electronic
music. obviously itunes is great, but dance
music isnt heavily featured now. beatport
and edm are great and deserve our support.
they are founded and run by djs and producers
which is important. i am happy to be involved
with both of them.
Where will you be playing this summer?
as i mentioned before, during the summer
months, i am usually back and forth from
the usa and europe. there are loads of great
festivals and club nights in europe and
summer is so important to clubbing there.
What is next for you?
my main focus right now is the effort
behind "audio tour". getting the word out
about the cd. doing all the gigs possible
to let people hear the album. beyond that
i have a few new singles coming ("despegue",
"losing wait" & "believe") throughout the
summer. also, there will be a couple new
remixes i have done as well for fade and
bedrock. then toward the end of the year,
i will be starting to work on the follow-up
to my bedrock album.
For more information and TOUR DATES visit