“I no longer limit myself” - Nomine x FatKidOnFire

“I no longer limit myself”

Nomine x FatKidOnFire

“There’s astonishing depth contained within Nomine’s music. His three releases to date – two for Tempa and the Jahpan EP on Dubzilla – have displayed a vast breadth of ideas and an intrinsic ear for space and sound design. His is an immediately distinctive sound: echo-drenched melodies that drift like a distant brass chorus, sub-bass as soft and powerful as an ocean current, and turbulent, continually shifting percussion. These traits are put to the service of deep and driving dubstep tracks, rooted in UK soundsystem culture and rave history, which explode outwards to swallow dancefloors whole.”

We originally had planned to publish an in-depth interview with the mysterious but brilliant dubstep producer (well, under this alias anyway) Nomine late last year but we gave Trusik’s feature (which you should read if you haven’t yet) the space it deserved.

We caught up with Nomine a few weeks ago, as his latest Tempa EP was announced and just before an appearance on Rinse FM (alongside Youngsta and Loefah). What follows is the in-depth conversation Korrupt and I had with the DJ and producer – one of the most thoughtful interviews we’ve ever done…

Nomine (photo by Ben Donoghue Photography)

Hi Nomine, thanks for your time. How are you doing? I am very good, thank you. The sun is shining and I am breathing!

When you caught up with Trusik last year you were in the process of finishing your Masters. For those that don’t know, what are you studying and how’s it all going? Yes, I recently finished a full-time Masters in Advanced Music Technology, alongside lecturing and working on singles and the album. It was the hardest year of my life, but well worth it.

You spoke to Alastair at great length about your early days, having been with the UK underground for many, many years. I was wondering, given your roots with other genres, how and why you got into dubstep? Many many haha! Makes me sound ancient! Well, yes I started DJing at 13 years old, so it has been a long time.

I have been dabbling in the 140bpm region since around 2007, but then it was more jungle/ techno/rave orientated, as it is an era that I love and wanted to try my hand at with new technology and production techniques. The Nomine sound is really just an extension of what I have been doing for many years within other genres, but at a different tempo. I have always composed deep, bass-heavy, percussion-driven music. My processes and sound has remained the same pretty much. For me as an artist, it is evolution. It is very important for me to keep it interesting, to evolve, grow and mutate after being in the industry for so long.

I enjoy new challenges and already working on the next missions.

As an artist, I will be composing anything and everything that I feel like and will happily wave the flag for whichever genre that it is. As Karlheinz Stockhausen said – “I no longer limit myself”. However, genres are very important, and as exciting as the current cross-pollination of electronic music is, we need to remember that.

After you seemingly just appeared over two years ago, it’s almost time for your third release on Tempa. What can we expect from you after two very successful releases with the imprint? Is it the long awaited debut album? It is very exciting and unpredictable for me. After freeing myself of the restraints and stylistic rules, every day and every composition can surprise me. One day I am making dubstep, another day DnB, then house and techno. It’s very fun and interesting and certainly keeps me on my toes when it comes to production.

The next Nomine release (out May 19th) consists of two 140bpm dubstep tracks and a dub techno track at 120bpm. All of which I feel represents my sound, regardless of tempo. There are more singles and EPs in the works and then there will be a Nomine album, which be released on Tempa. Also, look out for some remixes; I have just finished one for the Rinse label – something very different.

What inspiration have you used for these new releases? I find inspiration anywhere, other than the genre I am composing in. I find it is a distraction to get sucked into what other people are doing or liking, which can result in compromising what you truly want to do. I listen to so much different music that inspires me – jungle, DnB, house, techno, experimental; avant-garde, dub, reggae, rock, pop, hip-hop and much more. This is another reason why I cannot limit myself to one genre anymore. The new releases and the album will represent sounds and styles that I have loved since day dot.

You’re one of the most travelled producers we’ve come across. Have you been on any recent adventures? Any plans to head back to Asia? I love Asia and will certainly be going back. We are currently in talks about a Nomine Asia tour for the album, so yes, for sure.

You’re still a relatively unknown producer – in the fact that you let the music do the talking. Which of your fellow producers/ DJs have you been working with recently? Have you come across any tunes we should keep an ear out for? Keep an eye out for new AMITSteve Digital, and new producers Atma and Nurve.

You are a man of wisdom, sharing deep, thoughtful content with your fans through your FB page. What’s the concept behind that? Wisdom has helped me through some life changing/saving battles and experiences. If sharing the wisdom I discover can help others, then that is a good thing. I recently had someone contact me saying that the quotes and wisdom that I share have contributed greatly to motivation and comfort for them in hard times, which was very warm and humbling. Many of us suffer in silence, and many have their head stuck up their own ass, not giving a shit about others. We all have issues, but all deal differently. Don’t be scared to reach out, and don’t be stubborn towards helping others.

How do you feel your progression in dubstep is going? Where do you think your music will go in the next few years? Dubstep got very big, very quickly, it’s the genre that was born and grew with the Internet. Most people’s perception outside of dubstep has been that it is a one-thread genre – the mainstream jump-up sound. Which seems to have depleted somewhat, resulting in people saying “dubstep is dead”. A similar thing happened with DnB, which hit the mainstream and then returned to the underground (where it remains), very healthy all over the world and occasionally pops up to the surface to say YO!

I think there is still a big market for dubstep, once people who don’t fully understand it scratch the surface and see what it is really made of. This is already becoming evident in America, where the MASSIVE ‘EDM’ following are now sniffing around the underground to see what is lurking there. Minds have been opened up, emotions have been stirred, disturbed and stimulated and curiosity is taking over the souls of many. There is more what is being pushed into people’s faces by the mainstream; a lot more, which will become apparent.

For me personally, who knows where my music will end up. I do not follow trends and will not be limiting myself ever again. It is a goal of mine to be recognized as an artist, not a genre. However, if I make a dubstep track, it will be a dubstep track and if I make a techno track, it will be a techno track. The idea of umbrella tags does not excite me – we need genres, otherwise the music will eat itself alive!

Although you seemed to come out of nowhere, you already have built quite a back catalogue of releases. What’s your routine for determining what gets released and who by? I have always set high standards for myself, which I think is very important – we are only as big as our dreams. When I told myself I was going to release music on Metalheadz, I released music on Metalheadz, and when I told myself I would work with Tempa, I worked with Tempa. I am a firm believer that we are all made equal and that anything is possible if we put our mind to it, commit and work hard. Keep chopping, and the tree WILL fall!

What’s your production set up like? Analogue or digital? I am currently considering an analogue setup, but at the moment I use Logic with virtual instruments and plugins. I don’t have too much though, as for me it is important to know the tools that you are working with in order to get the best out of them. It’s like back in the day, it could cost you £1,000+ for a synth, which you knew inside out, because that was the only option you had, make the most of what you had (unless you were rich).

For me it is also important as an artist to have a trademark sound/style. I come from an era where you could hear a track in a club and instantly know who it was made by. Part of this was down to the processes and limited equipment that each producer had. Everyone would use the equipment in his or her own abusive way, creating a new and unique sound (and sometimes genres). All of the rules were broken and everyone experimented in their own way, rather than trying to copy someone else. It seems a lot of people today like to use same plugins in the same way and watch the same online tutorials, resulting in a lot of music sounding the same or unidentifiable. This being said though, the quality of music I am hearing from new and old artists, is mind blowing – certainly keep me on my toes.

Nomine (photo by Ben Donoghue Photography)

Given your deep heritage within British music, what advice (if any) can you give new and upcoming producers? Look for inspiration anywhere and everywhere! Try not to just be influenced by your favourite artist. We all have our own identity as humans, let this reflect in your music too. Evolution of the world, from the beginning to the end of time is, and will always be, based on borrowing from the past – in order to build something new for the future. There are so many places full of inspiration that you can look if you are open minded enough. Often I hear new producers saying “it’s hard to be unique, everything has been done”. This is somewhat true, but not impossible, you just need to look and think outside of the box.

You had a good discussion with Trusik about where you thought our sound was heading. Have your feelings changed since then? We’ve definitely had more than enough producers announcing the scene’s dying and moving on to more popular genres… Dubstep has opened doors for many to go and do great things – dubstep isn’t going anywhere, it is just evolving for a new generation, and the ridiculously ENOURMOUS hype has now leveled out into a buoyant, neutral state. It would have been impossible for dubstep to get any bigger than it was, or maintain that level of hype!

What can you tell us about the FKOF mix you’ve put together? The mix consists of 90% of my own material (released, finished, unfinished, never to be finished, forthcoming and past), with the exception of some track from a few friends. I usually write music especially for a set, no different to a band that goes out and performs their own music (old and new, to test the water). As an artist, I think that’s good, and keeps things varied and fresh.

Where can we catch you playing out over the next few months? Any plans to support the releases with gigs? I really want to thank everyone who has contacted us regarding gigs. I will be doing gigs, but mainly when the album is due – I will then be doing a world tour to promote. We are already in talks with Asia, USA and parts of Australia and Europe.

In the meantime – catch me on GetDarker on May 27th and at the Contact party at Outlook Festival in Croatia on September 4th. We will be announcing some other Nomine LIVE/DJ gigs very soon. Please contact [email protected] for more details and enquiries.

Last but not least, any final words or shoutouts? Thanks for your time and all the best for the upcoming releases! Thank you for the support FKOF … X

Shouts to Emma, Amit, Steve Digital, Dubzilla, Youngsta, Rat and the Tempa/Rinse FM/Ammunition crew; Plastician, Nihal (BBC Radio 1), Trusik, GetDarker, MUD, Atma, Beau (Ten Eighty Seven Mastering) and all that have supported the Nomine project so far.

That tree has to fall, it has no other options x

Click to DOWNLOAD (124MB)

Track list:

  1. Unknown – Untitled
  2. Nomine – Ninjah [forthcoming Tempa]
  3. Unknown – Untitled
  4. Unknown – Untitled
  5. Unknown – Untitled
  6. Unknown – Untitled
  7. Unknown – Untitled
  8. Steve Digital – No Love [???]
  9. Nomine – Zen Circle [forthcoming Tempa]
  10. Nomine – Anxious Tribe [Tempa]
  11. Nomine – Nomine’s War [Tempa]
  12. Nomine – Searching [Tempa]
  13. Nomine – Enma [forthcoming Tempa]
  14. Nomine – Nomine’s Sound [Tempa]
  15. Unknown – Untitled
  16. Nomine – Waves [Dubzilla]
  17. Unknown – Untitled
  18. Atma + Ci4 – Aeon [forthcoming Dubzilla]
  19. Nurve – Wrong Number [forthcoming 6FTBS]
  20. Nomine – Mindfulness [forthcoming Tempa]
  21. Nomine – 128.1 [Tempa]

Nomine
bit.ly/tempa_nomine
twitter.com/nominesound
facebook.com/nominesound

Images by Ben Bonoghue Photography
You can pre-order Nomine’s
Enma EP (TEMPA089) from Juno or Redeye
We’ve been running a competition for a signed test plate of TEMPA089 – the competition has now closed. Congratulations Neil Mccullough, Nomine’s team will be in touch. Thanks to everyone who entered! 

Share your thoughts on the feature with Nomine via the footer below or get in touch with FKOF via emailTwitter, or Facebook.