NOK had quite an introduction to South Africa two years ago at Earthdance. He first played on the Friday night where he was well looked after in the whisky department as he delivered two hours of Hamburg styled prog trance to the eager beavers. Let’s just say he was a little uncertain on his feet by the end of that first set. Sunday he closed the event in real style despite the slightly inclement weather. Love & Light have snapped him up for a return visit to our shores as he joins Liquid Soul and Yotopia on the decks on 21 December.
You last played here at Earthdance two years ago. How was it?
NOK: It was a great experience… I met many great people and had 2 great sets where the last one was a funny experience due to the massive storm. I remember Pixel’s laptop was blown from the stage…
Thinking back to your 2 sets and what you now know about our dancefloors and people, would you have done anything differently had you known what our parties are like, beforehand?
NOK: Hmm good question but I think no… I enjoyed the crowd so much and the nice community. I realised the people are very open-minded.
Progressive trance has really blown up big time in South Africa now. Is it the same everywhere or were we just slow to catch on?
NOK: I think it’s mostly everywhere in the world – in some countries its gone down a bit in popularity but for most it’s still coming up big time .
What’s changed in your life as a producer since your last visit?
NOK: That I have a totally new studio …and working one some new releases. We are planning a remix album for the beginning of 2014 and we already have some very promising remixes done. I am very happy about how it’s going at the moment. And finally I am aiming on working on a new album for the end of the next year.
The Hamburg sound (offbeat basslines, gated FX and VOX) ….is there still life in it or are we in need of a refresher?
NOK: Sure there is still life… but a refresher can always be good. But I think there are a lot of promising artists coming up like Morten Granau, Ranji, Unseen Dimensions and many more…
Is the triplet still relevant?
NOK: I would say yes because it’s a kind of rhythm and no kind of style…. a change in the rhythm during track can sometimes be very important to grab people’s attention.
“I have a totally new studio …and working one some new releases. We are planning a remix album for the beginning of 2014 and we already have some very promising remixes done.”
Last time we spoke, I asked you about the ‘good old days’ and you said “Back then the music was very special. Each song had its own character. Nowadays it’s hard to make something completely new.” – With all the full on (Israeli) artists now jumping on the prog bandwagon it seems that there is a lot more ‘full-on’ progressive around. Are you enjoying where it is all heading right now?
NOK: It’s a normal way I guess …people see other people having success so they try to do the same way….for sure sometimes I have the feeling it’s getting too much with everything sounding too much the same …but in other ways it brings new artists, new ideas and new ways…
Do you ever find yourself wondering, ‘what if the progressive (or psy) scene dies out? Then what?’
NOK: For now I can see no end as its still growing all over the world…I think it will continue to develop and provide new ways of it again. Maybe new styles …who knows?
What global music event would you recommend South Africans try and go to at least once in their lifetime?
Guilty listening pleasure: Name one song on your iPod, iPhone, iPad (or whatever listening device you use) that friends would be surprised (or horrified) to know you like…
NOK: The White Buffalo – The Matador
Ultimate wish-list: Name one song you’ve always dreamt of ‘officially’ remixing but doubt you will ever be able to.
NOK: There are quite a lot but it would be very interesting to remix some old Massive Attack stuff.
Any final words for South Africa before your Love & Light gig?
NOK: I am very excited to come back to SA and celebrate the Love & Light Festival with you guys.