Born in south of Germany to a vietnamese artist family, chopstick aka Chi-Thien Nguyen may not be able to lay claim to having dated Gisele Bündchen, neither did he invent the Roland TB-303 nor has been punk’d on MTV. But with 10 years of classical piano lessons, 3 years of spanish guitar lessons, 2 years of music harmony lesson, 10 years of studio skills and 4 years of turntable experience under his belt, chopstick is able to lay claim to a production and DJ sound that is genuinely all his own. No Wonder he has remixed artists such as Madonna, Britney Spears, LL Cool J, Xzibit, Deep Dish, Miss Kittin, Sister Sledge, etc. to name only a few.
After having lived in Stuttgart, Vancouver and Hamburg, chopstick is now based in Germany’s electronic music metropole Berlin. Not satisfied with just being a forward thinking producer and DJ, he also cut his teeth in label management with Berlin based label Ministry Of Sound Recordings. He has worked as an A&R Manager for the sub-label Voidcom Records and during this period, Chopstick has learned most of the knowledge needed to run a record label. Later on he was offered a position at Silly Spider Records which he couldn’t refuse. Taking on the new challenge, he established new concepts and products which included various Mix-CD’s, Artist Development, Labelmanagement and of course his expertise: A&R’ing.
Although Chopstick’s name may not immediately trigger recognition on the DJ front, it's his work as producer, remixer and label manager that have seen him emerge as one of the scene's most talented and respected players. He has shown that he is regarded as highly for his production skills as those he displays behind the decks. His sets are always varied and inspired, playing his unique sound between minimal techno, techy house and electro, chopstick has championed this uplifting-emotional-sound throughout Australia, Asia, South America, North America and Europe to a worldwide audience playing events at clubs such as D.Edge (Sao Paulo), Module (Tokyo), SonneMondSterne Festival (Germany), Celebrities and Lotus (Vancouver), Garage (Campo Grande), Chinese Laundry (Sydney), Empire (Brisbane), Clapper (Osaka), 103 Club (Berlin), Turnmills (London) and many more.
In 2005, chopstick together with johnjon have founded their very own record label called Criminal Records, which is distributed along with labels such as Poker Flat, Mood Music, Dessous, etc. by WordAndSound in Hamburg. Their catalogue various from minimal techno to techy house music and has gained recognition by key DJ’s like Martin Landsky, Chloe.., Laurent Garnier, Funk D’Void to name only a few.
Together with longtime friend and Kling Klong Records owner Martin Eyerer, he started a new collaboration named Eyerer & Chopstick. Their releases have sold more than 20.000 vinyls (not to mention the digital download sales). Releases like “Make My Day (Haunting)“ which features Cassius Singer Philippe Zdar have been licensed to various territories and was even made Essential New Tune by Pete Tong on Radio 1 several times.
Chopstick has now released 4 Mix-CD’s, which reflect various styles of good electro house music that work very well on the dance floor. The Mix-CD’s also feature some of his own work, e.g. “She Loves It!”, which is signed to Darren Emerson’s (from Underworld’s infamous imprint Underwater Rec.) label and was in Darren’s eyes “One Of The Biggest Clubtunes in 2005”!
In fall 2007 once he had proved himself with Criminal Records, chopstick began his second label with Johnjon and André Stubbs: Baalsaal. Under his guidance the label quickly began to gain international respect. Not afraid to sign tunes that were different from the mainstream, Baalsaal quickly became recognised as a great source of quality underground sounds. At the same time André opened the doors to his club Baalsaal in Hamburg and offered a musical platform and home to chopstick, johnjon and André aka Preocoop. The three of them started to promote the labels Baalsaal and Criminal Records with monthly special clubnights called Criminal&Friends. Their concept is to invite one of their friends to come and play at their venue. Artists like Martin Landsky, Chloé, Oliver Koletzki, Dirt Crew, DJ Silversurfer, Booka Shade, Kiki and many more have raved behind their decks. Baalsaal quickly became an institution in Hamburg one cannot neglect anymore.
Whether on his own, or in partnership with his friends and peers, whether as a label manager or consultant to his friends, whether as a sound engineer or song writer, there’s something reassuring and inspiring about an individual who’s not afraid to strive for more and keep his cool at the same time.