Kris Menace – AKA Christophe Hoeffel – has an impressive CV. In 2005, he and Lifelike cooked up an Ibiza anthem in the shape of Discopolis, and he’s also collaborated with Felix Da Housecat. Remixes, meanwhile, have been commissioned by everyone from Robbie Williams (She’s Madonna) to LCD Soundsystem (North American Scum). Future Music recently rolled into his German base to check out his impressive home studio.
Kris’s tasty stack of synths in includes a Roland Jupiter-8 (“my all-time favourite synth”), Yamaha’s CS1x (“I’ve fallen in love with it again”) and, of course, a Roland Juno-106 (“Another classic synth that I love”). Other hardware tools in Mr Menace’s sonic arsenal include a Roland TR-808 and Access’s Virus TI Polar.
Kris keeps Korg’s Kaoss Pad handy, too. “I love playing with this in the studio and using it to trigger ideas by resampling or doing instant effects on things,” he says.
Many more sound sources and processing tools can be found in Kris’s rack. Notable hardware includes the Roland Super Jupiter (“like a combination of the Juno-106 and Jupiter-8”), Dynacord’s DRP20 (“a really ‘living’ sounding reverb”) and Roland’s V-Synth XT. Up top, you’ll also spot a pair of Pioneer CDJ1000s (did we mention that he’s a DJ, too?).
Three sets of speakers in one studio might seem like overkill, but Kris finds cause to use all of them. “The Yamaha NS-10s are my reference monitors - especially when doing a lot of pop stuff - and the Focal Solo 6 BEs are my new favourites and I’m using them a lot,” he explains. “The Genelec 1032As and combined subwoofer are my club reference monitors so I can test on a loud, full range system.”
A Panasonic Ramsa DA-7 sits at Kris’s fingertips, and was purchased in preference to a more famous rival. “I bought this in 1998 and compared it to the Yamaha O2R and just really preferred the sound of this desk. I really couldn’t live without it and never want to change it.”
Kris says that he’s already achieved most of what he set out to do in music, but don’t expect him to hang up his patch leads any time soon. On the subject of future plans he says: “I’m really keen to play live but I’m not the best keyboard player. I have a new project finished with an album that is ready, but I’m just waiting for a label that is big enough to deliver it properly. It might take a while because the labels are just not taking as many risks any more and are so limited in their thinking.”