We caught up with Noema to chat about his new release on The Magic Movement which also includes remixes by Acid Pauli and O/Y…
> For the people reading this who haven’t heard your music before, how would you describe your style, and the key elements that define it?
As a producer, my sound is very organic. I use a lot of concrete sounds and make weird loops with them. I play and record a lot of stuff and rarely use midi, and I also use a lot of percussion. My references are as wide as my musical taste. It oscillates between all kinds of psychedelic music, Disco, Soul, Funk, Kraut Rock, House, Techno, Minimal Music…. to sum it up: Trippy Shizzle Galore vs. Acid Ghetto Style.
As a DJ I’m very eclectic and mix old stuff like Disco, Brazilian Music, Soul, Soundtracks, Balearic and Cosmic with modern House and Techno. The sets I play in clubs and festivals are very uplifting and made for sensual dancing, and my podcasts usually have more of a storytelling vibe.
I believe the job of a DJ is to always find the perfect tune for the moment, and the moment is always different. There are so many factors to consider, like vibe, time, place, people, weather, sound system etc… that’s also why my sets are always different.
> You have a new release coming out soon on your own label The Magic Movement, is there a story or concept behind the release?
My track “Twilight” is inspired by a psychedelic experience on the beach in Mexico. It is basically about dualism, and finding your way between light and darkness.
> Could you talk us through the creative process of putting a track together, and list any specific equipment used to bring your sound to life?
It really depends because at first there is a certain idea, for example a style of music that I want to explore, or an idea for a bassline, melody or sample I want to work around.
I usually start with a loop then once that is done I think about a structure. I use Ableton Live always working in the software’s arrangement mode. I studied classical guitar and music theory at university, and was learning both subjects for 10 years, so my approach to music is very classical.
Of course, there are experiments happening, which often lead to unexpected results… as Quincy Jones says “You’ve got to leave space for God to walk through the room”. But for most of the time I start with a musical idea in my head that I sing or clap to get a better feel for it, and then I have a brief look at it from a theoretical point of view before executing it.
At the start of executing, the composition of a track is often still a mystery to me. It happens regularly that after a session I look at the result, and have no idea how that actually came together, as for me the process is very intuitive.
I’m not too crazy about all that analogue vs digital discussion. For me gear just has to be easy to use and sound good. It simply has to help me realising my ideas, and whatever works doing that is cool. My most important pieces of gear are PMC monitor speakers, as they are very detailed which helps me to realise a musical idea in the production/mixing process, and I’m pretty obsessed with the quality of sound.
> How are things going with The Magic Movement, could you tell us a bit about the label and some of its other releases?
I run this label together with my best and oldest friend Jens Körmer aka Beju. We have known each other since the first year of elementary school. He is like a brother to me, and we run the label in a real family style. That’s why we also support our artists as much as we can in every aspect of their career.
My job is to take care of all A&R related aspects, scouting new music and talents. Once we’ve signed a release I work very closely with the artists to reach the full potential of their music. Sometimes I do the mixing, or even produce/co-produce some of the releases. For example, I co-produced the Kermesse album that we released, and also produced the upcoming EP by Suha who is a very talented artist based in Istanbul. For me it’s extremely important to deliver a very high standard in everything that we are doing. That starts with the music production, mixing and mastering, but I also put a lot of effort into finding outstanding visual artists for the sleeve artwork. Once we both agree on all the aspects, my partner takes care of the vinyl pressings, distribution, promotion, contracting and accounting etc…
> I’ve been told you describe your style as “Cozmico”, and I wanted to ask what inspired this term, as it’s a genre name I’ve not heard before?
Our label and myself are part of a scene that plays slow and psychedelic downbeat music, which contains a lot of ethnic elements. This scene has evolved a lot in the last years, and became a relevant part in the landscape of electronic music. For some reason the media has a blind spot here, so there’s very little coverage about it. That’s why I felt the urge to write a description that is connecting the dots, and gives an overview about this scene. In this text I also do an analysis of this style to integrate it into the context and history of electronic music. Towards the end of this article I propose a name “Cozmico” for the style.
This name basically evolved because of the striking similarities to the Cosmic Music of Daniele Baldelli and Afro Style of Beppe Loda. To get a more detailed description you can find my full article on Facebook…
> What’s lined up after your release on The Magic Movement, do you have any exciting gigs or big releases in the pipeline?
Next on The Magic Movement there is a release by Suha called the “Hora EP” which I produced. After that there’s also another release of mine already waiting in the Magic Headquarter to come out this fall. This one of mine is more upbeat and inspired by classic US House along with current artists like Red Axes. In those two tracks I use a lot of percussion material that was recorded at a studio session in São Paulo, and I’m very happy to have got Khidja to remix the title track on my next release.
Besides that, two remixes I did of a track by Amentia will be out on Sol Selectas in November/December. At the moment I’m also working on a very funky tune featuring JAW from dOP.
Regarding DJ’ing, I will soon be on my way to Burning Man, so that promises to be some fun!
I’m also working on a new event concept that we are planning to run in New York, LA, Tulum and Istanbul. The concept is about breaking away from what is often seen as a stereotype for an electronic music party, and move away from an attitude that’s all about consuming/getting wasted.
I’m more interested in community and creating a world full of wonders where freedom, individuality and self-expression is celebrated in a hedonistic and intimate climate. I want to create an event where people leave inspired and happy.
> Could you give some advice or words of wisdom to any aspiring producers who might look to your music for inspiration?
Everything you need to know about music you can find in your record collection, you just need to pay attention and listen carefully. The most important lesson that I learned in my time at Music College was a certain approach to music and art in general: My guitar teacher always used to say that “you need to treat every single note like a treasure”. I believe it is very important to pay attention to every detail in the process of making music, and be thorough in picking over every fine detail.
I don’t really believe in genius, but do believe in hard work. Besides that, I would encourage aspiring producers to think outside the box, break the rules and follow their instinct… despite if other people tell them they can or can’t do something.
> Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today, we like to finish our interviews with a couple of questions that are a little bit light hearted… without getting to personal, could you tell us something many don’t know about you?
Besides music, my second biggest passion is contemporary dance. I did “Butoh” for many years, and can honestly say it changed my life.
> You don’t need to mention names, but what’s the most “outrageous” thing you have ever seen happen in a club… was it something outrageously brilliant, like a blindfolded DJ mixing seamlessly and scratching with their elbows, or something outrageously cringe-worthy, like some embarrassing drunk person urinating on the dancefloor?
There are immediately two things that come to my mind:
The first was at Garbicz Festival in 2017 where I saw Thomash and Urubu Marinka of Voodoohop playing a three or four hour long set with two computers and a drum machine. Over the top Peter Power was adding voices and FX and more with a loop station. This set was probably the best thing in a club context that I have ever seen! People were dancing and screaming like there’s no tomorrow, and the vibe was like the people on the dancefloor had just seen God! It was truly insane, and awesomely inspiring!
Second one: I regularly do my “infinity dance” which is where I play an extended DJ set between seven and ten hours. People on the dancefloor speak of having transformational experiences during these sets… I’m not too much on the spiritual train myself, as a matter of fact, I’m often rather irritated by all that new-age revival. Yet, I think music can be a very powerful tool. If you use it right, you can create crazy transformational moments with it. During my infinity dance at this year’s Project Heart gathering in Turkey, three people burst into tears of happiness on the dance floor at different points of the set. That was really moving, and great inspiration for what you can achieve with music.
> Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, is there anything extra you want to add before we wrap up the conversation?
Nope, thanks for having me 🙂
> You can pick up a copy of Noema’s new release from …HERE…