Education & Bass
The Tempa legend Nomine recently announced a new live music event called Education & Bass, coinciding with the launch of the launch of his new label, Nominesound. The label’s first release sold out on day one, a project of 4 Nomine produced tracks with collaborations featuring iustina and X=X. So who better to arrange this kind of event, than a producer/DJ who has been around for over twenty years, once known as Outrage and for his releases with the iconic Metalheadz label.
Whilst enjoying our food we continued to explore Brick Lane, making our way over to Rough Trade, passing by tons of amazing graffiti, proceeding to dig through the vast and diverse collection of records in store, and the finally heading over to 93 Feet East.
Live Production, Mixes & More!
As we entered the venue, it was clear that the structure of the event would be much more relaxed than your typical music conference or education based event. (Comparing it to the Brighton Music Conference, which felt a lot more ‘corporate’). The first session we we managed to witness was the multi-producer production session between Nurve (Otherwise known as Demon), Appleblim, Nomine and X=X. They had been working on a project in Ableton for around an hour and a half and despite how abnormal the environment for them all, to be collaborating on a track live with multiple people in front of all of us present, produced a really great quality, forward thinking track. It reminded me of watching a similar live production session at the Brighton Music Conference recently, and how taking yourself out of your comfort zone can produce fascinating results.
(Nomine has announced that everyone will be working together to finish the collaboration in the near future).
At any point, should you wish to, it was made clear that you could suggest a production idea for the track they were building, another reason the event had such a great atmosphere. Throughout the day there was a sense of unity, all of the artists were approachable and the sessions very engaging. Before the first live set of the event, Nomine stepped up to give us a quick look at how he works inside Logic Pro, explaining his methods as he progressed, and providing various production tips. The most important of which, or at least to me, was the idea of mono mixing, rather than stereo (Nomine recommended that anything under roughly 500hz could be mixed down in mono). One of the main reasons for this method of mixing down a track is that it makes you instantly aware of any possible phase cancellation problems (two audio signals cancelling each other out), and so they become much easier to fix.
Next up, Cocktail Party Effect, otherwise known as Kasket, who was worked with both R&S, and sister label Apollo, flew all the way over from Berlin to perform a live modular set. His performance was amazing, a great example of music that ignores genre’s, an exploration through electronic sounds and using analogue gear in a similar way to how you would compose a track, continuously adapting and building on the set as it progressed and adjusting the sounds to the moment. This was personally my favourite performance of the day.
It was around this time, mid to late afternoon, when James Jessop began creating some live graffiti, adding another interesting and inspiring component to the unique event.
The Bristol based, long time resident DJ at FWD>>, Appleblim, founder of label Apple Pips and co-founder of Skull Disco, performed another impressive live set, exploring various funky, progressive, electronic sounds, further emphasising the bonuses of bringing various different genre’s together to create this no boundaries style event. Nurve stepped up next for a dark and relentless set that really suited the mood in the room at the time. Despite recently announcing the last release under his Demon alias, the set felt like a nod to his “inner Demon”. Although we had to leave a bit earlier than planned, luckily the whole event was recorded by Chew TV. It was no surprise however to see one of the most influential and revered Drum & Bass DJs of the 90s, DJ Storm, smash the dance floor after catching up with what we had missed on the full archived stream.
Exclusive Nomine Interview
What motivated you to start the Education & Bass event?
Well, I wanted something regular in London, that’s different, that brings different crews and different genre’s together. I wanted education, and I wanted it all kind of in one place, so, anyone could come along, learn, be introduced to different sounds they may not have been introduced to in the past. Collaborate, socialise, and just have a good time really. And the reason I did it for free is because I just wanted to give something back to, well, whoever wants it really.
Nice! Can we expect similar events, combining education and live music in the future?
Yeah, June the 3rd I’ve got something lined up at Cafe 1001 round the corner, but its a friday, and it’s gonna be 5pm-1am. So, similar concept, different day, people come out of work, have a few drinks after work then you have the people coming out at about 8 or 9. So hopefully we can build it like that. What I might do, if we can do it like this is alternate between a Friday and a Sunday, so you kind of hit two different people.
Yeah, I think it’s great because obviously its free and any up and coming producers or anyone interested in electronic music in general can just come down and get a feel for whats going on.
Yeah yeah, come down, have a listen, whatever you wanna do, you know.
You’ve recently launched the Nominesound record label too, is there anything you can tell us regarding future plans or releases on that side of things?
Yeah, we just done my record, came out last week, it sold out, unexpectedly on the first day, so i’m really happy about that.
Congratulations on that!
Thank you! and so yeah, now I know it kind of works [The label]. I took about 8 tracks from Cocktail party effect who did that live modular set, so he’s gonna do a 4 track EP and then I’m probably gonna work on an album with him, cause he can just like jam out like that [the live modular set], and write a fucking album in two hours!
So, he could just chop that up right there [the live modular set] and that could be an album to be honest. So yeah, everything is modular, analogue, and I love his uniqueness. I’ve got a lot of kids sending me a lot of fucking amazing music and the reason i’ve gone direct without a distributor, without anyone else is because I can break even without selling as many records.
If i’m with a distributor I have to sell 300 records to break even. If i take on a new artist, I’m not gonna sell 300 records. If i go direct, I can sell a lot less, still break even and it not hurt my pocket and not hurt the project, because it means i can just keep going, build them up as an artist and hopefully they’ll sell more and more as they go along. If they do sell 300, thats a result, they’ll get a big cheque and they’ll be happy. So that’s the direction for the label, take on new artists, take risks, have no rules to genre. Fuck genre, I don’t care. Genre’s are important, they’re needed, but I don’t want to restrict myself, or the label, to one genre.
Considering the first release sold out on vinyl on the first day, will you continue to release on physical formats in the future?
Always. I’ve already mastered the next one, I’ve got a little cheeky one coming out on a 10″ white label. It’s gonna be between Nominesound 1 and 2, its not gonna be catalogued but its just gonna be a something that i’m putting out that I think people will be into. So that’ll be coming out probably in the next 2 months and nobody knows about that at all so you’ve got an exclusive scoop on that one haha. [TEAR001] But yeah, vinyl, i’ll keep going until vinyl doesn’t sell at all.
Nice one, cheers! So, obviously coming to these events is good for up and coming producers but have you got any other tips for those people looking to progress to the next step of their career?
Be pro active. come out to these events, go to raves, get a load of usb’s done up with your music on and a little bit about yourself. Don’t put 100 tracks on there, put 4 of your favourite tracks that show your variety as an artist and be consistent. If you don’t get feedback the first time, so what? It might be the 6th or 7th time the person listens that they get back to you but if their familiar with your face, and you’re not in their face like gurning, or anything like that then yeah.
This is what i did with Goldie before i got signed to Metalheadz. Everytime I saw him, he got a cd. in the end he’d come up to me, shake my hand and wait for a CD. then i got signed. its too easy now to think that you can sit behind Soundcloud. I get sent so many tracks and its very hard to listen to them all.
If you gave me a cd now, i’d probably be obliged to listen to it because I’ve spoken to you so yeah, be pro active. Don’t sit behind your screen. Labels get a million tracks sent everyday, put it in the peoples hands. The chances are if you’re at a rave, someones gonna be with the DJ that represents that label that you’re trying to contact, maybe the label manager, maybe the A&R. So get to know their faces and just get yourself down to events.
Lastly, I’ve been aiming to cut some tracks to vinyl to give to certain DJs, do you think this is viable or should i think about a different format?
Take some. but because most DJs now play with like just USB sticks, they haven’t even got a record bag. If its Mala, and he’s got his record box, cool, he can chuck it in there but just be aware that i’ve been given 4 or 5 bits of vinyl today, i’ve had to find somewhere safe for them and put them away and its been a bit awkward carrying them. I appreciate getting them, but obviously i haven’t got a record bag so just give it to people that are playing vinyl so they can chuck it in there and they’ll have a listen.
Regardless of your experience with music production this is a fantastic, free and unique experience I would highly recommend getting involved with even if you just want to listen in to whats going on and do your own thing, as Nomine himself said there are “No rules”. A special thanks to all the artists who performed or produced live, Charlie Jennings for providing photos and Nomine for hosting and arranging the event and sparing me some time for the interview.