Like living life in the fast lane Rich Nxt’s stream of consciousness fires ideas in such quick succession it’s almost hard to keep up. This next release sees the producer aim squarely at the dancefloor via tough, rugged drums that are once again imaginatively offset via a dazzling array of sounds and signatures on the undulating Sauna De Plastico. Argy delivers an excellent, true to form remix with pulsating beats and sleazy bass working up to fever pitch, while still feeling supremely funky care off punctuating congo. Malin Genie remixes the more probing rhythms of Attery as insistent basslines tear up the stereo injecting a release of defiant energy. Number six is yet another killer release of forward-thinking ideas from Nxt Records.
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Noha. Let’s start with your stunning release for Oscillat. Can you tell us about how your relationship with label happened?
Well, everything started one year ago, with me meeting up with Sam (S.A.M.) when I moved back to Berlin. I went to hear him play as we already chatted and exchanged some music without ever meeting. Few days later we were already becoming good friends and making some beats together at his place.
In a very spontaneous way I then started sending him lots of unreleased tracks that he eventually started to play. That’s how the other two components of Mandar, Charlie and Nick (Lazare Hoche and Malin Genie) discovered my music. In the following months I started chatting with Charlie and working on a remix for his “Time Guard Ep”, and I finally met face to face with Nick, as he was visiting Sam. When, months later, they asked me to send them something for Oscilalt, It felt it was the right thing, as I understood that beyond being friends we shared the same vision on music in general.
The title track, Nobody revolves around a series of voices. What’s the story behind them, and how important is the human voice in music for you, as opposed to purely rhythm?
For me integrating voices is a very good way of giving an intimate feeling to the track. It might be used as a percussive element, but I prefer when it also brings emotional content, a story.
The track explores an exciting series of ideas. Can you talk us through some of you influences both within Dance Music and from outside of it – any writers, painters etc who have also inspired what you do musically?
As I was finishing high school I was getting deeply fascinated by the idea of Minimalism, especially applied to architecture, design and painting. I guess American Minimalism from the 60’s became the main focus. Especially Mark Rothko. I remember that I wrote with a marker “Simple expression of complex thought” on my Wallet, taken from the manifesto written by Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb. Yes, I was young and naive. But I understood back then how I wanted to express myself.
Can you talk us through the process of how Nobody was produced, including any particular favourite software/ hardware you like to use?
I was working on this loop for days, and I got stuck with it, wasn’t going anywhere. I understood that I was trying to force a direction, not really letting my intuition dictate what to do. I suddenly felt a heavy sense of melancholy and I said to myself “ok let’s try again now”. In a few hours the entire track happened, and If I think about it, I get the feeling that the track did itself.
Regarding how it was made, like most of my track it was a mix between analog gear and software. This track will always remain an important lesson, a reminder that intuition and acceptance of where I am emotionally should guide me.
How would you describe the importance of Dance Music culture in today’s world, relevant to political and social life? As you have lived and visited different cities would you say there are there certain things which unify us through music?
This is a very controversial topic. Clubbing can be an escape from reality and at the same time a chance to embrace a primordial connection with others through dancing together. It comes down to what one wants to make out of it, it can either be a moment to get fucked up with your friends and finally let loose after working as a machine for an entire week, or the most enlightening experience. I am not here to judge anyone.
It sounds terribly cheesy, but for me Music itself is a universal language. The most interesting part of touring, apart from sharing the music you love with a big crowd, is to meet up with local djs and producers, get to know their stories, visit their studio and share experiences. We all have to thank the music for this, a common love that creates a community free of racism of any kind. And we need that more than ever right now.
And finally. Please tell us about any forthcoming plans for the summer and remainder of 2019?
Summer is going to be busy, there’s the Nobody ep coming out followed by the next Patagonia release (me and Alex Tea joining forces) coming on Panickpanick and the launch of an edit label where I’m going to finally share edits that I have been playing for the last year.
The next gig that I’m looking forward to is an all-nighter at Underbron in Stockholm, the 26th of July.
Aaaaaand, for the first time in 4 years I’m going to have a 2 week vacation, a road trip in Sicliy with my best friends. No studio time! Time to switch off.
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Per Hammar. Let’s begin with your new single due out on INFUSE: Conscious EP which you have co-produced alongside Rossko. Tell us about how you got introduced to each other and how have you found the experience of co-producing, as opposed working as a solo artist?
Hey! It actually all started with a high five in the booth at Watergate here in Berlin. I was supposed to play the closing set, and was ready to take over from Ross when he drops a track from me and Edvin Wikner,”Lindström”.
We hadn’t met before, and I thought he played the track since I was there, but he hadn’t seen me. So I was like “Nice one! high five” And he responded High five!”Who are you by the way?!” The day after we had coffee and then we produced for one year.
Since I’ve started to make music by myself over a decade ago, I’ve only done a few collaborations. I need the space to be able to try stuff and do weird things without explaining why. Also I need to feel relaxed. Not many producers can give me this, but Ross is definitely one of them.
The first track on the EP: Unconscious is a brilliant combination of sights, sound and voices. Can you talk us through how the piece was created, including the more unconventional pieces of software/ hardware you used in the production?
A funny thing with this track is that it was actually the first track we ever started together. Even if it kinda came together smoothly, it did take at least 15 sessions. We had 3-4 different drafts that we played during the weekends for research. We just started jamming in my studio with my usual suspects: The eurorack, x0xb0x, Yamaha DX-27 and tons of Roland RE-301. For all the little blips and glitches we used a Форманта УДС, a Ukrainian drum machine from the 80’s USSR. During one of our lunch breaks we found a cassette with hypnosis exercises in a box of trash on the sidewalk, Neukölln style. Back in the studio we recorded it and used it as a vocal in the track.
You recently celebrated your eight year anniversary of Kiloton in Malmö, Sweden (the club who co-run with Kajsa Lindström). Eight years is a long time these days. What do you put the success of the night down to, and what do you feel can be offered by regular nights that one-off festivals cannot?
At the night during our first birthday party I remember one of the owners of the venue telling me”Thanks for a great year! Let’s aim for one more, yeah?” Indicating that it would be cool, but let’s see how it goes. Suddenly we’re here 8 years later. I think the most important ingredient is to work with real people that you can communicate with. Someone needs to be the party pooper that sometimes say no to things due to financial reasons, and you need someone that says yes to things so you don’t ending up in a loop of planning.
Malmö is a small city with a very tight scene. If you’re true to the crowd, they will be true back.
You are originally from Sweden and now live in Berlin. How would you describe the two cities and what has living in each taught you?
That’s a really interesting question. I questioned it myself a lot while living in Malmö. Compared to other cities around the world with around 300.000 citizens, Malmö has an outstanding scene. We have a few artists heading from here. Minilogue/Sebastian Mullaert, DJ Seinfeld, Kontra Musik and Patrick Siech to name a few. When I moved there in 2007 until a few years ago the electronic scene was thriving. There was underground parties driven by enthusiastic people pretty much in the city center. You could go out and see big international DJ’s Fridays and Saturdays on a wide selection of clubs. On top of that we had a quite big punk scene, squatting houses where they threw techno parties. The whole scene was, and still is, intimate and very friendly. Something really special actually. The pulse of the community gave me the energy to keep on doing what I wanted. And for many years I didn’t wanna be anywhere else.
Which is not a completely common thought, when most people working with something cultural in Sweden move to Stockholm. Things changes and so did Malmö, and I felt I wanted more of the belonging to the scene. Then Berlin was the obvious choice. It’s the completely opposite of the friendly scene in Malmö, but on the other hand I met so many new friends and created so much more music than I ever did before.
Your music has a very free-flowing, almost improvisational quality to it. You are your main influences both within and outside of electronic music – any particular writers, poets, painters or musicians?
It’s nice to hear that you notice that. I used to be inspired by music within the electronic dance music genre. But more and more I’m enjoying to start with a completely clean slate. Wake up in the morning and hit the coffee maker. Do a quick beat and jam on the euro rack and dub things through my tape delays and spring reverbs. I often ending up doing takes that are 2, 3, 4 minutes long. Maybe it only loops once or twice during the whole track. It’s actually a bit contradictory since loopy, distinct stuff is what matters on the floor. But this is just how I do, I guess.
But I can’t hide that I’m very influenced by the scrappy stripped sound of older dub cuts. The simplicity and rawness of stripping everything down to just the beat, and let the musical parts just come in once in a while drowned in space echoes, phasers and reverbs. Just on and on and on. No hooks no nothing. It’s like meditation, you know.
You run two record labels: Dirty Hands and 10YEARS. Tell us about what for you the positive and minus factors of doing so are in 2019?
My labels gives me the security of being able to do exactly what I want. The minus is that if I do exactly what I want, there’s no filter between my brain and the rest of the world.
To make sure to stand out of the ocean of new labels during past years, one trick was to give your music out on vinyl to show that at least someone believe in the music on the record. When everyone adapt to that concept, the vinyl sales drops of course. Despite that, 10YEARS will remain as an outpost for mine and Maya’s (Parallax Deep) more minimal sounding productions, which fits good for the vinyl format in my opinion. Dirty Hands works more like an umbrella for all my creative ideas. Besides the vinyl’s I’ll keep on doing label parties, mix tape cassettes, clothes and stuff. There is no limitation really.
Talk us through a typical working day (or night) in your studio. How has the space evolved, and do you have one keyboard or instrument which you couldn’t live without?
I like to hit the studio as early as possible. My productivity window is between 10:00 and 14:00. I often work in bursts of a few hours. Long sessions and tired ears is not for me. I have a few things that I literally can’t be without. The Roland RE-301, Fender spring reverbs and my tape recorders for example. My two cases of euro rack modules would also be hard to live without these days.
What does DJ’ing mean for you? What do you seek to convey to people when you play?
I’m not trying to say something with the music I play in my DJ sets. It’s instrumental rhythms with a bass on it. It’s made for dancing. And if it trigger a feeling in someone on the floor, it’s something personal I think. Everyone has their own angle to the music, and I think it’s nice to leave it like that. It’s not complex art or something.
To me it’s a pleasure to work around people that just want to let go of everyday life for a minute and just enjoy. And it’s a huge honor to be able to play my own productions and get feedback in return from the crowd that I can use in the studio.
And finally. Tell us about your forthcoming plans for the future?
2019 is busy! First up is mine and Rossko’s”Conscious EP”, which drops on Infuse March 29th. Three tracker 12”.
In April, me and Malin Génie will drop the first EP in our new collaboration series,”Scania EP” on Malin Génie Music. Our next record will drop later this summer.
Later in the spring there will be a new 10YEARS record, 10YEARS12. It’s a 12” split with me and Parallax Deep called “Trim/External”.
After that I’ll drop a track called Short Waves on the London label Planetary Notions, a 12” V/A in May.
The a V/A track with Malin Génie on Berg Audio in June.
And finally there will be new Dirty Hands record. This time from Edvin Wikner and his track,”Skritt”. Comes with a remix from me and Rowlanz. More info about that soon!
Ben Sims presents
Rock Your Body
Ben Sims aka Ron Bacardi feels so very right landing on the excellent Bass Culture opening this three track release with the devastatingly hot, ‘Rock Your Body’. You’ll need some quality bass bins to handle the production’s fierce low-end theory or be left feeling bruised by its crushing beats and dirty bass. There are even a few subtleties too as the meandering, haunting vocal line twists around the rhythm section, though not that many. ‘First Effort’ works the beats into a tribal fury which eventually explode into a hint of classic Disco. Leaving the equally killer, ‘The Money’ to end with more of a Disco twist this time shot across blistering hi-hats plus straight-up and relentless House Music kick drums.
Vinyl Release: October 30
Release Date: November 6
Have to confess that I’m glad I given this a second listen otherwise I might have missed out on this records rugged beauty and hidden depths. At a shade over ten minutes long this is all about the groove which certainly hits you hard and heavy, but there are also a wealth of other layers to discover too, like the swirling ambience and fiery snare programming that underpin this highly impressive arrangement. The Malin Génie remix then ads a slinky bassline alongside insistent hi-hats and jazzy keys to give the track a fresh, swinging alternative.
The Light Fantastic
Rush Hour Recordings
Tom Trago’s third album simmers with electronic tension dancing between light and dark moments during the course of its duration. Summing up the excitement are plenty of great tracks such as the For The Children which combines frisky beats, buzzy stabs and vocals to stunning effect, plus the aptly named Jack Me with sleazy Chicago styled rhythms accompanied by suitably daring vocals. The Acid inspiration then continues on Cosmic Blacksmith but as the album doesn’t sit still for too long the style soon changes again with the excellent Two Together pumped full of blistering Disco energy. The Wrong Right, is another notable production with its shuffling percussion and haunted piano motif preceding, I Still Desire which ends on yet another angle with its dark thread of brooding bass and tastefully moody vocals.
There’s something about the succession of descending notes on Sweet Dazing that just makes you want to turn the volume up. And when you do the brittle combination of punctuating beats and raw-edged stabs sounds all the sweeter. This is an excellent House Music production from Japan which isn’t really bettered by the remainder of the EP, but, when it’s this good. Purple comes close in intensity, while Smoky City has an almost jazzy feel to the rolling piano, and Limitation is anything but with funky chord progressions feeling bright and breezy.
release: Traxsource promo September 2. General September 23
Lazare Hoche & Malin Génie
I Don’t Sync So Vol II
Lazare Hoche Records
Paris-based producer Lazare Hoche and Dutch colleague Malie Génie deliver volume two of tantalising House Music. If you’ll forgive the album’s title pun then the duo have come up with a vibrant selection of styles within the genre with deeper moments like Oms blending neatly into the party-time breaks and bass of Session2. It all sounds very much in-vogue with the album combining deeper 90’s influences with a crisp, fresh approach that places it very much in 2013. Have a listen below…
Modular Recordings new imprint proceeds with Naysayer and Gilsum’s follow up to last years In Mind. And is another trip through moody atmospherics that are hard not to be enthralled in. Deep, pulsating keys offset the awkward drums creating a sense of unease which the sampled words then make perfect sense off. The John Robers remix adds funky, wonky beats to a his version proving a shade lighter, while second track Blue sees more typically House bass play over uncomplicated rhythms and punctuating synths. The Eliphino Remix gives it more attitude with tougher instrumentation, but its the title track which leaves the indelible impression after all…
release: September 9
Former in 1975 the Bahamas based band went on to score two huge dancefloor numbers beginning in 77 with Do What You Want To Do, a track which very much has stood the test of time (listen below). The second being At Midnight with its Latin infused percussion and soaring chorus which you will find here via its superlative 12” version. Saturday Night, is also worth your attention while rest of the album sways between good-time funk and disco with the emphasis most definitely on the funk. But for all you need to know about the band and this 1979 self titled album check Steven E. Flemming Jr’s significant sleeve notes.