A cynical f**k wouldn’t be where Alex Niggemann is today.
Anybody who has their finger on the pulse knows why. I’m not spelling it out.
Some say karmic law is applicable to them, I certainly like to think that way even if it does only make me feel better. In Alex’s case there could be elements of karmic law but in all honesty despite the turbulent times that I reference to above it probably had little involvement in his rise to success.
A hardworking individual, touring DJ, producer and label owner The Burlington Project is happy to welcome Alex Niggemann in for some answers.
• Hello Alex, I hope your well? Where are you reading this interview? What are you wearing?
Thanks, I’m doing okay for a Monday morning. I just got back from Sport this morning. So I’m in my office still wearing my tennis- shoes and my smelling sport cloths!
• You’ve just played the ‘We Love’ Easter special at Ministry on 23rd April. How did that go? Do you like playing in London? How is it different to the rest of the world when playing in London?
It went great! I really love to come to London every time again. This city is full of music and nice people. I played many different venues so far and always had a busy club with a great vibe. Crowds all over the world are partying in a different way. In some countries more calm, in some more enthusiastic and in some you feel like, that people will smash the whole club in a second as they are freaking out as hell. London has a bit of it all. People from every kind of race or class partying together, while having their own way of celebrating this music. It’s really cool to see how that fits together. There are only a few places in the world, where you will find the same vibe. I always feel very comfortable in the UK and it feels good to see, that so many people are into what I am doing.
• So you founded Soulfooled with Superlounge & Marc Poppcke in 2010 how is that working out for you? Financing a label is quite difficult have you found that part of it an issue? Also what ticks the boxes when seeking new talent?
It works fine. You know, we did the label just for fun. I mean we put a lot of energy into it, but we only release tracks we are really feeling and we don’t have a tight schedule with releases every 6 weeks. It’s just a cool thing to publish a record, where I know, that I really love all the stuff, which is on it. I think it’s getting less that I find a record where I would buy it because of every single track. In times, where records sales getting more and more less, you really have to care about releasing quality, because this is what people makes still buying records.
For sure we also got a new profile through it, as Soulfooled builds a platform, which makes everyone of us more interesting for clubs, press and promoters. But our first intention ever was to release what ever we like, whenever we like! Money-wise a label of this small size doesn’t really make sense for anyone. It’s just a good thing for the additional benefit, which means attention and maybe a few more gigs for the artist releasing on Soulfooled.
Regaring new talents we are pretty open for different styles of house music. We don’t really care about names or labels that someone has worked with before. It’s all about the music. It just has to hit me! Usually that happens within a few seconds of the track. A certain groove, mood or idea that makes me interested in listening to more. We were pretty happy to be the first ones signing norwegian talent Terje Bakke. He’s the kind of guy that definitely needs a bigger audience to present his music to. Luckily he’s working on new tunes for our label at the moment. We also got some new talents from Cologne called Kessler & Hasert, which are bringing up a really great tune on Soulfooled #005
• Tell the readers something that most will not know about you.
Usually, I want to keep at least a few things private… There’s a lot that people already know, so things they don’t know are mostly private…. I can tell you that it was Ken Ishii, who made me loving this music so much that I got into it that deep. I never went to a techno party before, because I couldn’t really understand the whole scene. For me it was always a dirty and druggy scene, I never wanted to deal with. I recognize that is a lot more than that, when I was on a party my brother took me to. That also opened my eyes regarding all prejudices I had against other things. People or media can tell you a lot, but it’s always the best thing to check it out yourself and make your own opinion. Before that, I was a typical german teenager, writing HipHop tracks, not really having ears and eyes open for anything else going on in the world musically and cultural-wise. I was just hoping to become a star with all that bling-bling, cars and girls, because of seeing all those music videos on mtv. *Laugh*
• What’s in your studio? What software do you use? Fan of Ableton? Fan of Logic? I ask because you done your audio engineering course in Berlin and I’m sure readers would like to know your angle on this?
I think a very important thing is the room you are producing in and the monitoring. I just built a new studio with a room in room construction. As monitors I'm using 2 different pairs of speakers. I have 2 Klein+Hummel o300 and a pair of Yamaha NS10. I switch between them during the production progress with a Novation Mainstation. I'm also using an Akai MBK for playing and controlling as well as a KORG Triton LE. All this is connected through a RME Fireface to my Quad Core Mac Pro. As Sequencer I only use Apple Logic Studio 9 with a lot of quality AU Plugins like Waves, SONOX, Sonalksis, Native Instruments, Aturia etc. For recordings I'm using several condensator or dynamic microfons like MD421, SM52 or TLM102. Depends on what I need to record. I'm also really happy, that I have my old Steinway piano in my studio right now.
• When playing out, what’s your bag –big room with 1000’s small and intimate 500 or less?
I have to say, that the music I usually play doesn’t really distinguishes if there are 1000 or even 200 people. A crowd of 1000 people can like a totally deep and slow sound, as a crowd of 300 people like it more peak-time orientated or as it is usual, the other way around. This is why I always go to the event 2 hours before I have to start playing to feel the vibe of the club and get a chance to listen and “analyze” people’s reaction to certain sounds, elements etc. My case is full of music, new, old or actual. Whatever! I always play only music I like, but there’s no rule. The style/mood can be different….
• Any issues in the industry you would like to share? Come on don’t hold back. From rudeness and diva types to the ongoing debate about vinyl/digital for instance.
Hopefully, people will recognize, that they should start thinking about quality music again. In times of social media, web 2.0 and digitality, too many self-called "artist" releasing their songs, made out of a few loops on several digital "labels". There are so many brilliant musicians out there, which dont get recognized as they usually should do, because of the huge amount of same sounding loop-stuff being published. I really hope that listeners, party-people and dancers are realizing about what's happened to EDM in the past few years. People ("artist") try to earn money in the quickest way by just releasing rubbish and buying magazine articles and features from famous artist. And some try to get their fame by flooding the market with loads of their bad production only to be mentioned as often as possible. This, in my opinion, has nothing to do with music. Music was originally made to give something to people... not to take only their money.
• Who are you shouting about right now, DJ/ producers?
Some guys I always did to like Steve Bug, Jimpster, Martin Buttrich and also new artist like Benoit & Sergio, Andre Lodemann, James Teej, MANIK, Lee Curtiss, Superlounge or Terje Bakke.
• Finally, what’s your plan for the rest of 2011?
As I’m able to finally go back into my studio, because construction works are about to finish, I wanting to be creative again so badly. I will start to produce some tracks, having in mind that I want to release my first album in the beginning of 2012. But I don’t rush my self. Not every track is a release or even an album track. Sometimes less is more.
Gig-wise, Ibiza madness will continue again. I’ll be playing several gigs around the island for example at Space for WE LOVE. I’ll be touring the US- and Central-/Southamerica again a few times and Asia is finally on the plan too. I’m really looking forward to this, as I have never been there playing.
Written By Richard Seeley