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Feature: Nohak [Interview]

19 min read

Nohak is a techno producer and DJ from Lyon (FR), composing groovy melodic music which has already made it's way into the Beatport Top 20 and earned support from Tale Of Us. This week he embarks on a new five track EP for leading Dutch imprint Infinite Depth. We had a chance to catch up with Nohak for an exclusive interview just prior to the release. Enjoy!

Hello Nohak, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to? What are your plans for the coming week?

Hello Guys, first of all thank you for this interview. In view of the situation, in France we are again confined so it is time for music. The last track I listened to was "Oleg Byonic- Expectancy". For the coming week I have to finish the mixing of a song who will be released during the year 2021 and do some new production for the next year .

Talk to us about growing up and living in France, how has it affected your musical taste and the music you make?

Compared to being French, Daft Punk and Jean Michel Jarre obviously always influenced me. However, I have always tended to be influenced by other artists from elsewhere since I was a kid, Jamiroquai, Eminem, Tiesto (when he was a trancy man haha), Eiffel 65 and after Skrillex (when he was unknown), Savant, 9th wonder, Masta Ace, Da soul, Nujabes, Sam Paganini, Victor Ruiz, Tale of Us, Mind Against, Agents of Time, The Blaze, Township Rebellion, Oliver Koletzki and many more. I was influenced by many kinds of music, like: Hip-Hop, Trap, Trance, Dubstep, Bass music, Electro, Techno, Orchestral, Cinematic (which i really love) and more.

Can you name five tracks that were important in your musical development and why they are so significant for you?

For the 5 important songs that helped me develop musically:

Township Rebellion - Charlotte, a track that I call "mythical" because it is this one that allowed me to start pushing myself in my entrenchments of the melodic while keeping this "edgy" side
Then there is - Maceo Plex - Mutant Robotics (Original Mix) which leaves its incredible arpeg loop while keeping this side "fat" with the vocoder which seems to me to be incredible.
Colyn with Resolve from which I was very inspired and which helped me to reach a certain course, a certain quality in my mixing and in the creation of my synths. Then comes the artist Azaleh, and, Sublab and many more from LO-FI kind of music, whom I love for their very emotional and very melancholy downtempo side most of the time (hence my great inspiration).

How have you been dealing with COVID-19? How has it affected your daily life, music production and overall inspiration to write new music?

Compared to COVID-19, on the contrary, it was beneficial for me and allowed me to concentrate completely on music production and have some more skills on the mix of the tracks, and to renew my style by bringing a little more personal touch (Breakbeat Lo-FI). It allowed since February 2020 to produce around 15 tracks which will all be released between the end of 2020 and next summer.

What is the current situation with the pandemic in France? Are clubs or events happening yet?

Currently in France we are confined again until December 1st minimum, knowing that we should not find any party's before the end of 2021 see the beginning of 2022 and all clubs and bars are closed. The situation is complicated but I still continue to produce every day as soon as possible.

Once nightlife eventually resumes globally what kind of effect do you think this period in our history will have on the clubbing experience?

I think people are just waiting for one thing: for the nightlife to pick up again, I think the clubs won't have to worry about the health situation if this is all over, and we can put an end to this pandemic. however how many clubs will close their doors because the French state does not include nightlife as a cultural element and this poses big problems. So we'll see in the future, I can't tell you how it's going to go, but we have to expect some changes that we don't know the outcome of.

You have a new EP out this week on Infinite Depth, tell us a bit about the release and how it showcases your individualities.

Compared to my EP which comes out on Infinite Depth, this is the first EP of confinement, which allowed me to produce these 5 tracks with a little the same mood in each of them we can find this same atmosphere, dark and trancy in a way while bringing a touch of sweetness or hope with the melodic breaks, a second EP was created in the wake of 3 tracks which will be released on Running Clouds, then another of 3 tracks for Awen and another one for Awen tales with 2 Tracks. Regarding Nebula, this was the first track on the EP where my mix improved, and where I tested a new approach to my vision of techno, starting to incorporate LO-FI vocals into techno, the rest flowed naturally.

Was there anything that inspired these five tracks? And where does your inspiration come from generally?

My inspiration most of the time comes from the so-called LO-FI music, I listen to it every day a lot, this style allows me to calm down and to inspire me emotionally speaking, it is very melancholy but inspires me enormously.

What made Infinite Depth the right home for this project?

Infinite Depth was the right label because the production style is closest to it, moreover, the musical and graphic charter of the label attracts me a lot and moreover the label is qualitative and the owner is really a cool person and we have become good friends. :)

What does your set-up like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of this EP?

My set-up is simply a computer, a Midi keyboard and two Focals CMS65 speakers, with a DT-770 Pro Headphone, nothing more, I would like to acquire a MOOG SUB37 however the financial side complicates its purchase, in return I work a lot with Pigments, Diva, Hive and Wavestable from ableton and some others still to create or modulate my synths.

How much road testing or friend feedback is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

I am not asking for some feedback before sending tracks to labels, I listen to the track dozens of times to find out how to arrange the mix once it's done, sometimes I send them to a friend who has also been producing for ten years like me but rather in the "techno rave", however I have a very critical outlook on my songs, I sometimes throw out sounds or whole EP when I'm not satisfied.

What have been some of your favourite tracks over the quarantine period?

No favorite songs during confinement, I especially listened to Lo-FI a lot and produced a lot without stopping to forget to eat haha

What is your favourite food?

Asian and Indian Food are awesome, and sure, French food, just cooked a beef bourguignon which was awesome :p.

Iphone or Android?

I’m not in this war of Iphone and Android haha, I have an Iphone, but because it was for free or almost haha.

What does 2021 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

I'm waiting for 2021 for a lot of reasons, already 2020 has been horrible for everyone with this shitty COVID, secondly I have a lot of songs coming out in the coming year, so stay tuned, a remix for OIBAF & WALLEN as a mix between LO-FI and melodic techno, that I find to be one of my best remixes, will be out soon on Onism, so stay tuned and keep up the melodic techno.
Stay Safe !

'Nebula' is out now via Infinite Depth: https://bit.ly/3ffL7FU

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