Rolling the ‘Dice’ at Columbia

By Alex Stedman

German disc jockey and electronic music producer Loco Dice has undergone a significant evolution since his start in the early ’90s. He was initially a rapper playing support slots for Usher, Ice Cube, and R. Kelly. He’s since taken a turn to techno, releasing two electronic albums, several remixes and seven EPs, including his latest, “Toxic,” which drops Nov. 12.

The Düsseldorf-based musician’s latest project is the CNTRL: Beyond EDM tour with British electronic DJ Richie Hawtin, during which he travels to colleges across the U.S. performing and conducting lectures about electronic music.

Dice will be at 1104  S. Wabash Ave. on Nov. 16 for a lecture with Hawtin, Kevin Saunderson, Gaiser and Ean Golden, and later at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., with Hawtin for a performance.

Dice took a break from touring to talk to The Chronicle about the electronic music scene, his new EP and his personal growth.

The Chronicle: How did you first get into the DJ scene?

Loco Dice: [When] I started, I was stuck by the hip-hop culture. I was rapping, dancing [and] I produced an album as a rapper in Germany. But then I was more and more sucked into [electronic] music. I wanted to be able to do more, to play with more styles. So I started to DJ. [At the] end of the ’90s, the hip-hop scene didn’t deliver any more great music, from my point of view. This era comes when you start to remake ’80s songs and pop songs, and the golden ’90s era was dead somehow. This is when I discovered electronic music.

Why did you decide to do the CNTRL tour?

What [Richie and I] want to do is come to the United States and then do [the tour] where [music] starts, which is [with] the college kids of this new generation, and talk about what we represent, what we are standing for and bring our culture, music and style just a little bit closer to the younger audience.

What’s it been like so far?

The feedback was amazing. Even the answers and the questions between us and the students are just great. This is what we were expecting: to be inspired by this tour and by the students. People think we are there as teachers. We are not teachers. We are there just to represent ourselves and to take a lot of inspiration back to Europe.

What’s the difference between the U.S. and European electronic music scenes?

In Europe, everybody was bringing more into the party scene, so we have more parties where people can come and listen to the music and exchange their thoughts. In the United States, they created more of a rock ‘n’ roll country or hip-hop country. Now [Electronic Dance Music] is blowing [up], and that’s why it’s hard for us to represent what we are doing beyond EDM.

Do you see electronic music emerging more in the U.S.?

Yes, much more. I was [in the U.S.] in ’98 when I played hip-hop in Miami, and the evolution was not so great in the last 10 years. But now I think the doors are open more than ever for electronic music. Now everybody talks about EDM, so now is the time for us.

What is your EP “Toxic” about?

The inspiration came [last] summer. During the summer, you hear a lot from colleagues, fans, people, dancers. It’s my inspiration and feelings I collected over the summer and brought it back to that EP.

How have you seen your own music grow?

I’m always growing and evolving. In ’98, I was still playing hip-hop. An artist needs time until the process begins to get your own style. Everybody’s got a certain style, but everything needs time. You need to be patient, and I was patient. I was proud of what happened.

Tickets for the CNTRL tour can be purchased for $21 at