I first interviewed the Queen of Dark Tech Nicole Moudaber for her debut release Believe back in 2013. Now with her “Breed” EP she joined up with Skunk Anansie’s front woman Skin. On this release she makes her love of drums ever more prevalent, and created a strong tough EP her fiends on the dancefloor will devour. Her signature sound of deep, thick driving basslines is distinct as her look and her authority behind the decks.
It took over a year to create “Breed” which spearheads a new brand of innovative, pioneering techno. I feel Someone Like You is one of the top releases of summer 2015. “Breed” consists of five tracks: Don’t Talk To Me I’m Dancin’, You Like This, Someone Like You, Organic Love (Mood Mix), and These Walls Are Made Of Water, all available on beatport now.
In prepping for her make-up date at Coda I met up with Moudaber to talk about “Breed”, MOOD Records, and entering a new arena such as working with a vocalist. This is what she told me.
NM: I was a massive fan of Skunk Anansie. We actually know each other from Ibiza as we both have houses there and we would always bump into each other and say “hi”. But one day we shared a flight from Portugal to London and we sat next to each other for two and a half hours and chatted all the way. That’s where I popped my famous question, “will you sing on one of my records?”
It has taken you over a year to produce the “BREED” EP on your own imprint MOOD Records. What was your process over the course of 12 months? Was it recorded in Ibiza? London? Did you and Skin send files back and forth over Dropbox or were you in the studio together?
NM: Initially I sent her the skeletons of the tracks so that she could get the vibe of them. She heard them and she liked them! Then she came down to my studio in London and we did everything together there. She wrote the songs there and then and we recorded the vocals in the booth. After that, the process was down to me and to work with what she had given me. It took a little bit of time because it’s a new area for me to work with vocalists and especially with established and iconic songwriters in the rock world like her. So I wanted to do justice to what she had given me and not just slice it down to a sentence or two and put it on top of a house/techno record. So I had to work the full vocals into a techno track without making it sound cheesy and without scaring house/techno DJs into playing it. In the end, although it took me a while, I think I nailed it.
The video for Someone Like You is simple yet extremely powerful. Did you and Skin have a goal or message you wanted to present with this video? Is there a specific reason it was shot in black and white?
NM: We wanted to focus on the song so we didn’t want that many things going on. I actually didn’t want to be in the video because videos are not what I do but Skin made me do it. I felt a bit self-conscious because I normally don’t do these things but Skin insisted and I agreed to it! She coached me on how to sing the song. The video was shot in Berlin, and once was it was done I asked to please focus the video on her since it’s not about me, especially since Skin is so intense and I wanted to show that intensity in the video. Creatively, it worked out and I am quite happy with the results. It was a long journey for me to complete the “BREED” EP and now that it’s coming out and I see that people are loving it, it gives me great pleasure. It’s something that hasn’t been done before and I took a leap with it and it’s been an amazing creative journey.
Rob Fernandez was one of NYC’s greatest promoters and he arranged the Nicole Moudaber & Friends Coney Island Party. Since he is longer with us what is a fond memory you have of him?
NM: It hurts a lot to talk about Rob…
We used to hang out a lot together. From the parties in New York, Miami, at festivals like EDC, Governor’s Island in New York, all of it, he was behind me. What I remember most is his laughter. I actually remember one specific time at The BPM Festival two years ago where I did a show with Chris Liebing and after that we all partied at the hotel. And I remember sitting on his lap at 8AM in the morning as the sun was coming up and we were just chitchatting, laughing and having a great time. That I will never forget.
I hope to be channelling all of my positive energy along with my guests and all of the people that are going to show up at this amazing event as tribute to Rob for his son and his family. It’s going to be very special.
We missed you when you couldn’t make it to Coda last time but we’re very glad you’re feeling better and excited for your gig on Friday especially since the “BREED” EP is coming out. Can we expect you to play some of your new material?
NM: Oh yes, I can’t wait. I tested out some material last weekend and there are some amazing new bits that I just finished, and some with vocals as well! So I’m really excited to try them out in Toronto. And I’m so happy that I’m making it to Coda because it was really painful for me to not show up last time and I never cancel unless it’s really serious. Toronto is my little city and I’m ready for it!
NM: I don’t have a preference because they’re both equally intense so I enjoy playing both. And to me it’s all about creating an experience for people that pay money to come and see you. So for me as an artist, I always give my 150%, whether it’s for 200 capacity or 20,000 capacity.
What can we expect from you and MOOD Records going into 2016? Can we expect a tour with Skin sometime in the future?
NM: We’ve actually played a lot together in the States. We did MoodRAW in LA and Brooklyn, MoodNIGHT in Miami, Output in New York, so we did quite a lot together. Right now she’s recording a new album with Skunk Anansie so for the first part of next year she’s going on tour with that. We definitely plan to come back to the studio and do some more tracks. I’m actually releasing an EP from her on MOOD Records next year! She goes under Juvenile and it’s an amazing tech-house EP. She doesn’t want to go under the name Skin because that’s for her other projects but her DJing is amazing and our recent back-to-back set on the terrace at Space Ibiza was electrifying. So there are definite plans to do more together. I’m also aiming to do a remix package for the “BREED” EP on vinyl and digital for sometime in December. I have Jamie Jones onboard as well as Pan-Pot, Scuba, Carl Cox, Chris Liebing, and the list goes on! So it’s a very exciting package for everybody.
Raquel Richards – EDM TOR