When you first started out, what did you think was the reason for the closely knit network of DJ’s in Dusseldorf around 2000?
There was a lot going on, which was good for those established DJ’s coming from my home town. Unfortunately, everyone was just focused on their own thing. It was really hard for me to get in there. No one, wanted to give a spot for an upcoming DJ. That’s why I started producing. I knew that would be the only way to make it from there on. The guys just missed the point in helping youngsters to grow. That’s maybe also a reason why there’s not really something going on there any more.
As a teen you were into Hip Hop and rap-style writing. You moved onto making Techno from those roots. What do you think Hip Hop offers you musically when producing today, if at all, and why do you think so?
Hip Hop offered a lot in the past. Unfortunately, Hip Hop doesn’t sound like Hip Hop any more. It’s cheap trance music with some “auto-tuned” vocals at the moment. I’m really unhappy about that, because this is what also makes people get tired of electronic music. I still love to listen to things like Dr. Dre, Nas & Tupac. This is what Hip Hop is about, laid back music, with lyrics that make a few poets look weak.
When you first started DJ-ing you were known by a few different aliases one being, N.I.G.G.I. What would you say were the reasons for the varying names and why did you use them?
N.I.G.G.I. was an alias, that we used when I started a project with Tassilo from Pan-Pot, ages ago. I used to do more techno orientated stuff. It’s a mixture of both our last names. But I realized, that I should focus on my own project first. Also Tassilo was really busy with his own project named Thomas.
When you left Dusseldorf in 2005 and moved to Dance music utopia city, Berlin; what expectations did you have and how did they measure up to what you experienced?
Th first reason I went there was for my studies. But for sure another reason was that Berlin is the mecca of EDM. I knew that I’ll get another chance because in Berlin there’s a lot of creativity and people who are looking out for new people. My expectations have been fulfilled. I made a lot of contacts, which also helped me to release my first stuff, for example the remix for Booka Shade.
How much of your own famously impulsive & self-critical personality filtered through into the character of the beats on the stunning and bumping ‘Paranoid Funk’ album, and ultimately leading to the album title?
I would just say, everything. It’s just pure ME. I wanted to show, what I am. A producer with his own thinking of music and its styles. Luckily Poker Flat gave me a platform to let me do what I needed to. That was wherever my head and my personality took me to.
Alex Niggemann – Paranoid Funk by Poker Flat Recordings
Take us through the making of the track ‘Curious’ if you will.
Honestly. It was originally a remix I did for some friends. In the end I didn’t use a lot of their files, or you couldn’t recognize them any more. So we decided to do it as a track for the album, but all the other tracks were hand-made. I played every single instrument on my own and with keys. It’s definitely an album that has the same musical background as I have.
You’re a known perfectionist with your music. What was your first response to Mark Poppcke (your friend and Soulfooled label partner) when he submitted ‘Assign me’ to Sportclub Records in 2008?
First, I was shocked. How could he just give it to someone? Especially because it wasn’t finished and good enough in my eyes. But that was just for a short moment. I was really happy, when I finally realized what had happened to me. My first release had been born.
What one or more quality piece of insight have you gained over the years when it comes to managing and running a record label successfully?
Don’t give a shit about what others do. Be special and for sure only sign quality music, even if the next release will be six months after the last one. Music is a gift and shouldn’t only be a product to make money.
Your own imprint, Soulfooled works on a mantra of creating a platform for readily available EDM that is representative of the latest trends in Dance music. This is an exciting concept, what interesting releases can we look forward to from Soulfooled this year?
There is a lot coming up. There has just be a new EP featuring new hot guys like Balcazar & Sordo, Mario Aureo and Nico Lahs. Up next there will be a “Detailed” EP from Francys, an Italian young blood. He has recently got a lot of attention with his first EP on Highway. He’s one of our main talents and I tell you, he’s f#*king good.
Last but not least, we just finished our first compilation, featuring most of our artists. That one will be out in July.