Cari Lekebusch is a Stockholm-based sound architect alongsides other Swedish Techno profiles like Adam Beyer, Joel Mull, Alexi Delano and Jesper Dahlbäck. He has borne many pseudonyms over the course of his illustrious career to date including Fred, Mr Barth, Braincell, Shape Changer, Vector, and The Mantis to name a select few. Some of his earliest musical influences include James Brown, Ralph Lundsten, Herbie Hancock, African Bambaata, Egyptian Lover, Chris “The Glove” Taylor, Kraftwerk, Mantronix as well as many of the hip-hop and electro sounds that emerged during the eighties. His parents had a vast vinyl collection as well which gave him ample opportunity to discover new sounds in his formative years. This eclectic range of inspiration continues to fuel his distinctive sound.
From a young age Cari was determined to pursue a career in music; what started out as typical record collecting in the seventies eventually progressed into a desire to become a DJ. Before long he was also demonstrating his budding skills as a producer, using whatever electronic equipment he could muster to experiment with beats. In some respects he was seemingly following in the footsteps of his father who had operated an audio & video electronics store, agency and studio, known as Studio Lekebusch. Throughout the eighties his interests outside the music realm included graffiti art, breakdancing and a passion for kung fu, something which has remained with him to this day and helps to inspire him musically.
Before embarking on a career in music, Cari completed a four year business program, in part to complement some of his future objectives which included establishing his own company; something he promptly did once he graduated and began a new chapter in his life.
As with most DJs, Cari got his initial exposure performing at a variety of local venues, primarily at events in Stockholm, where he also organized his own nights on occasion. His first booking abroad was in nearby Helsinki towards the end of 1993 and was an important step in his young career; he had already realized that to seriously pursue his music career he would need to ultimately establish himself internationally, as his underground sound wouldn’t be viable in Sweden alone.
The following year he made his debut in other European countries such as Germany, France and Italy as his tour schedule steadily grew. It was a breakthrough year in his career with the first releases on his inaugural label – Hybrid Sound Architectures, which later became known as H. Productions (a.k.a. H-Prod). He also had releases on another notable Swedish label at the time under his Vector and Rotortype monikers – Planet Rhythm. During this period Cari continued to expand his studio, known as HP HQ (H. Productions Headquarters) by enhancing his collection of various electronic gear including drum machines, audio processors and synthesizers. The launch of his own imprint enabled him to delve into his creative freedom at the utmost level of innovation and quality, acting as a core platform for his artistic visions. His efforts in the studio at the time came to fruition as numerous other pseudonyms were unveiled throughout this period including Phunkey Rhythm Doctor, Agent Orange, Mr. Barth and Braincell.
Shortly afterwards his productions began appearing on other influential Swedish labels such as Adam Beyer’s Code Red, Truesoul and Drumcode, something which continued over the next decade as fellow compatriots continued to make their mark globally launching scores of other labels such as Jericho, Corb, Loop/Plumphouse and Svek. Frequent collaborations with other artists occurred at the time not only in the studio but also while on tour, either alongside countrymen during label nights or for select tours such as with Adam Beyer in 1998, which showcased a rare live performance to audiences on multiple continents.
Subsequent years were peppered with many notable career highlights at the time including his first appearances in Asia and Australia, several North American tours plus an assortment of releases that garnered wide critical acclaim and helped to inspire a generation of producers. During the last half of that decade, Cari was a key ambassador in exporting the techno beats that proliferated from his homeland, a term which was then aptly coined by many as ‘Swedish Techno’.
In addition to many other various label projects Cari has been involved with, he has continued to evolve the H. Production family of labels which ultimately led to the creation of Kaun Trax, Djupt, Audio Mekanixc, KGB, Trainspotters Nightmare, Audio Pollution and Grundtakt – an experimental hip hop label.
After close to two decades in this highly competitive industry, his success is hardly ephemeral. He has been invited to perform regularly at many of the highest profile techno clubs and events around the globe, including Awakenings, Fuse, Tresor, Fabric, Berghain, Omen, E-Werk, Avalon, U60311, The End, Cocoon at Amnesia, Fabrik, Rex Club, Liquid Room, F135, Sona, Twilo, Rohstofflager, plus well-known festivals such as I Love Techno, Time Warp, May Day, Awakenings and Nature One.
An impressive repertoire of releases to date have materialized from his HP HQ studio and permeated into the crates of the global electronic music community. Cari’s work has also been featured on a myriad of labels in addition to his own reflecting an array of genres, including releases on Swedish imprints such as Drumcode, Code Red, Truesoul, Jericho and Corb, plus tracks on other prominent labels such as Novamute, Soma, Primevil, Masters of Disaster, Fine Audio Recording, Harthouse and Turbo to name a few. Various studio projects over the years ranging from techno to hip hop have also seen him collaborate with a number of producers including childhood compatriots Alexi Delano and Fredrik Almquist aka RND as well as others such as Jesper Dahlbäck, Robert Leiner, Damon Wild, Oliver Bondzio and Dan Zamani.
With a steady stream of releases and a perpetual global tour schedule, Cari shows no signs of hanging up the headphones any time soon; even at the height of his career he continues to hone his craft daily, previously citing: “I try to make music regularly and try to constantly figure out new things. I reckon it’s like science, you need to do it every day to continue evolving”. Much like his evolution as an artist, in more recent years he has also expanded his H-Prod company to include a graphic design venture with further plans on the horizon as his company and career continue to develop, potentially into the cinema and videogame realm. He has come a long way in his career from his humble beginnings many years ago and one can presume that Cari will work diligently to achieve his future plans with the quiet confidence he has exuded throughout his career.
Bob Dylan once said that a man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. And by that measure Cari Lekebusch has undoubtedly triumphed.