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INTERVIEW: NIKKNAME



NIKKNAME is an Austria-based DJ & producer who has contributed plenty to this label over the years and is also a mainstay of the Vienna scene. As well as offering up standout singles, he's featured on the IMPACT and Queer Base compilations and also made his way to Ombra International and Mangali.


The wonderful 'Disco Partisan' is a sophisticated mix of sleek electronic disco grooves and spine-tingling vocals. They're whispered and intimate and backed by heavenly choral sounds as a rugged synth bassline keeps things anchored to the floor. More celestial keys arrive to elevate the trip into something truly spiritual. 'Polvere' is a retro-future trip powered by raw drums and nostalgic 80s synth sounds with a snappy kick and clap combo. Darker spoken words bring late-night menace as rapping synths spray about the mix and energise the transcendental groove.


We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.


Your latest EP, ‘Polvere’, drops at the beginning of July on Jorkes’ Freeride Millennium. We’d love to know more about this release and how you developed a musical partnership with Jorkes.

I'm really excited about the release of ‘Polvere’. This EP has been a labor of love, and I'm thrilled to share it with everyone. The tracks on this EP explore a range of emotions and soundscapes, blending elements of electronic and ambient music to create something that feels both fresh and deeply personal. 

The partnership with Jorkes and Freeride Millennium came about quite organically. I admire ‘Jorkes’ work and the innovative approach they take with their label. We connected through Soundcloud, and after sharing some of my demos, Jorkes expressed a lot of enthusiasm for what I was creating. From there, it just felt like a natural fit to collaborate. Working with Jorkes has been an inspiring experience, I’m grateful for the opportunity to release this EP on Freeride Millennium and can't wait for everyone to hear it.

 

Celestial 80s synths on ‘Polvere’, loving the vibes! Are there any particular pieces of hardware that you like to use?

I'm delighted that you're enjoying the 80s synth vibes on ‘Polvere’. The depth and texture of that era's sounds hold a special place in my heart, and I endeavoured to capture some of that magic in this EP. When it comes to hardware, I have my trusted favourites that continually inspire me. Among them, Typhoon played a pivotal role in shaping the ethereal atmosphere of ‘Polvere’ with its warm tones and lush pads. For basslines and lead sounds, I turned to the OB6 Softsynth and Diva, each contributing its own distinct character. A cornerstone of my setup is the Yamaha DX7, renowned for its iconic FM synthesis capabilities, which added a unique layer to the EP's overall sound. Additionally, I integrated hardware like the Tanzbär for drum patterns, seamlessly blending vintage and classic textures.


Crafting my own sounds is paramount to me, as it allows for a truly personal and expressive sonic palette. I seldom rely on presets, preferring instead to sculpt each element meticulously. This approach underscores my commitment to creating music that resonates deeply with both myself and the listener.In essence, my exploration of both vintage and classic synthesizers is driven by a desire to evoke nostalgia while embracing innovation, aiming to create a sound that feels both familiar and fresh.

 

 

Tell us about your musical background and your musical journey in the underground dance scene.

My journey in music began with my studies in Athens, where I pursued sound engineering. During those formative years, I developed a profound love for music production and sound. As I honed my craft, I found opportunities to DJ at various venues across Greece and later in Germany, immersing myself in the vibrant underground dance scene. I also had the privilege of playing on notable radio shows such as 80000 and RES Radio, broadening my experience and reach.

While my focus has shifted more towards music production lately, I am grateful for the opportunity to release my work on respected labels, a humbling experience that fuels my passion to keep creating and evolving. In addition to my own projects, I mix for other producers, collaborating to bring their visions to life. Producing music for art exhibitions here in Vienna has also been a reward, allowing me to explore new avenues of creativity and expression.

 

What’s your favourite venue right now and why?

My favourite venue right now is Romantica in Stuttgart, Germany. As a DJ, I absolutely love performing there because of its unique atmosphere and vibrant energy. Romantica combines great acoustics with a cozy and welcoming environment, making it the perfect spot to connect with the audience and create unforgettable nights. A big part of what makes Romantica so special is its owner, Femke. Her dedication and vision have truly made it an amazing place. Whether it's the enthusiastic crowd, the excellent setup, or the overall vibe, Romantica has become my go-to venue for delivering an amazing performance.

 

What are your passions and pursuits outside of the studio or nightclub?

Outside of the studio or nightclub, I have several interests that keep me engaged and excited. I have a deep love for reading books of various genres, from fiction to non-fiction, playing games is another favourite pastime, whether it’s video games, board games, or puzzles, and of course watching anime. Staying active through sports is also important to me. Whether it’s playing basketball, or hitting the gym for some fitness training, I find joy in the physical activity and the camaraderie it brings. These pursuits keep me balanced and fulfilled, providing a wonderful contrast to my time spent in the studio or nightclub. So, the passion ultimately remains with the music.

 

With summer around the corner, do you have anything planned you can share with us?

With summer just around the corner, I’m eagerly looking forward to a few things. On the professional front, I'm excited about working on releasing a new EP and collaborating with some incredibly talented artists. I also have an upcoming remix for Jorkes, which is set to be released in August on the label Live at Robert Johnson. On a personal note, I have plans to journey to Brazil to unwind and seek inspiration. It's a perfect opportunity to recharge amidst the vibrant culture and scenic beauty. I'm also thrilled about spending quality time with friends and family, indulging in outdoor activities such as hiking and beach outings. 


In the midst of all this, I'm gearing up for more music production for upcoming art exhibitions. It's an exciting prospect to merge my passion for music with the world of visual art. Overall, this summer promises to be a delightful blend of work and leisure, and I can't wait to share my new music and artistic pursuits with everyone!


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