Happy Birthday Innovate! Interview with Nick Sentience
Reported by mostwantedkat
Submitted 05-07-06 17:44
Nick Sentience needs no introduction. If he does then you probably made a mistake with your web address. You’re currently either experiencing a dance music revelation courtesy of HarderFaster, or wondering where the back button is . . . . If you’re not here by accident then you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about. He is one of the most inspirational, creative and innovative characters in hard dance history.
Two years ago, Nick, his first lady Nicki S and promoter Craig Paxton put their collective music-loving heads together and came up with Innovate. Their mission was simple — to blow the doors off the existing scene and let some fresh air in. Out were tired sets from high-profile acts bored of their own sound. In was a policy that actively encouraged djs to try new things. Live sets? Not a problem. Latest equipment? Bring it on. Brand new track burned off the same day? Let’s hear it.
The word spread quicker than soft butter on toasted Hovis. Finally, here was a party that wasn’t afraid to take chances with its music policy, a place where djs could experiment freely. Somewhere that wasn’t about gimmicks, dress code or who sat on what side of the celebrity VIP rope.
Innovate was, is and always will be, about the music. I caught up with the man behind it all as he prepares to take over The Fridge for one hell of a second birthday celebration . . .
What’s the essence of Innovate? What makes it different from all the other hard dance nights in London and the rest of the UK?
Nick: The main thing about Innovate is that it was created as a platform for djs and producers to road test their new material and play their favourite tunes from the past that they consider “Innovative.” We live in a time where producers and djs can work on a track and play it out immediately in a club, so the dancefloor can be hearing where a producer’s head is at right then.
What makes an Innovate dj?
Nick: An Innovate dj can have any one of the following attributes: either a very experienced, accomplished producer and up; up and coming fresh new talent who is turning heads; or a dj who can rock a party with quality music!
Did the events that happened at the Fridge in the spring (the club was temporarily closed due to a drugs raid) have any effect on the last Innovate in May?
Nick: I think it would be impossible for it not to have. There were definitely some people who would have been there that steered clear that night, but there were also a majority that came out and had a great night and we appreciate their support. At the end of the day, every major club in London has been raided, and they always bounce back after a while.
You’re playing a live set on Ableton on the night. Have you ever f*cked up royally?
Nick: Erm . . . probably. That’s live for you! I think the biggest was in the early days when I was doing the band version of Sentience with Martin (aka King Roc) and Tom Neville. We were playing at Pickle and I was using one of the old Akai sequencers and it just froze mid set! We had no choice but to walk off stage . . . well gutted.
You said in a recent interview that one of your personal highlights from last year was the Extreme Euphoria vs tidy events at Es Paradis in Ibiza. Are you looking forward to playing there again this year?
Nick: Ha, I’m doing this interview on the plane to that very gig in Ibiza! It’s going to rock. I really did have the best time out there last year, and I’m doing the closing party in September. Nice.
What can we expect from your new album out in August?
Nick: This album is going to be called ‘Dance Planet’ and is going to be an album aimed at both djs and clubbers. The idea of this is that I do a mix CD, but then put all the tracks on a separate CD unmixed so all djs can have the full length versions to dj with from CD immediately. My last album ‘Universal Language’ had some varied styles of music on it (breaks, trance, hard dance) on it, but this one is very much club music.
You always been as much in to the production of music as the actual djing — have you been in your element hidden away in a studio making tunes all day long?
Nick: I do like to work with people in the studio, you can see from my back catalogue that there are a lot of collaborations. I like having someone to bounce ideas off, but sometimes it’s cool to just do my own thing.
Do you think it’s impossible to be a dj without being a producer these days?
Nick: Not impossible, look at Eddie Halliwell, he’s never been in the studio! But mainly these days I think writing a track is a great way to get your name out there.
How do you go about making a tune? Does it come to you in two seconds flat in a minute of inspiration while you’re on the loo, or do you take a more methodical approach to it?
Nick: Erm . . . I don’t recall many lavatory moments to be honest! But sometimes it’s easy and in two days I’ve nailed it, other times I sit there and f*ck all happens and I just tinker. Sometimes I have a month or two where I really don’t produce much, and then bang, I’ve done four tracks in a week. Never can tell.
Everyone knows you’re a massive Prodigy fan. What is it about them that blows your mind?
Nick: Probably just the sheer energy of the music. It’s relentless and always got a great concept. There’s no doubt Mr Howlett is the master, they are still rocking it as headliners after 15 years. That’s a long time! Listening to Prodigy on headphones pretty much taught me to produce. I got right inside the construction of the music.
How important is it for you to experiment with a variety of different styles?
Nick: When you’re a full time producer it is essential or life would get very boring. I can do a certain amount of hard dance then I have to do some breaks or electro to do something different. Then I feel like doing hard dance again.
If you could remix any of these tunes, which would you pick and what would you do with it:
Michael Jackson — ‘Bad’
Madonna — ‘Vogue’
Abba — ‘Super Trouper’
George Clinton — ‘Freakin’
Beethoven — ‘Fifth Symphony’
Holst — ‘The Planets’
Nick: Hmm, probably Madonna as it’s already kind of dancey so it would be quite easy to mutate it. I’d have to f*ck it right up though. Really twist it.
What’s your favourite gadget of the moment?
Nick: My TomTom Sat Nav. I had a flat tyre on the motorway on the way to Stansted Airport today and missed my first flight, and it guided me straight to Gatwick to catch a later one. Big up the sat nav . . . I’d have missed Ibiza otherwise. Boo.
If you could pick your dream team to play in the world cup (country and death not a problem), who would you pick and why?
Nick: I can’t do all eleven, it would take all day! But I’ll do a few . . .
Goal : Skeletor from He-man, cos every time you tried to shoot you’d be so shit scared of him you’d miss.
Defence : The Cuban Brothers from MTV: Every time you tried to attack they could do one of their amazing breakdancing moves and you’d have to watch it and then forget you are playing footy.
Attack : The Rock and Hulk Hogan as they would just pick up the other teams defenders and lob them out the way. then do the same to the referee if he had a problem with it.
Describe yourself as a dictionary definition.
Nick: A male with brown hair (often dyed blond) with an obsession with all types of electronic music. Watches too much Star Trek and 24 and means to do more exercise but only manages sometimes. Oh and I eat too much junk food then have to detox when I see the sign of my late twenties belly appearing!
All images courtesy of Nick Sentience and Most Wanted PR. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Innovate - THE 2ND BIRTHDAY!
Saturday 15th July
The Fridge [map]
22:00 - 06:00
£12 Tickets / £ MOTD
£12 TICKETS ON SALE NOW!! MOTD. WWW.TICKETWEB.CO.UK - 08700 600 100
VINCE: 07835 626 226 (Midlands)
MARIA - Never Enough ticket agency: 07813 684 399 (Buy 5 get 1 free)
** For a special HarderFaster members guest list please email: email@example.com **
Click here to buy tickets
t’s been almost 2 years now since the inception of what has become one of London’s most respected and consistently entertaining parties. Innovate residents Nick Sentience and Phil Reynolds are known around the globe for their outstanding productions and awe-inspiring sets and people flock from all over the UK and beyond to see them perform in what they now consider to be their spiritual home – The Fridge.
Innovate has always been the party which has aimed to provide exactly what the clubbers want. Whether that be less DJ’s and longer sets, more Live Acts, or bigger and better production, we are Inspired by you to Create the Innovate experience.
In celebration of the last 2 years we have enlisted the talents of some of the finest DJ’s and entertainers to have graced the decks at the Innovate parties and have combined them together with a whole raft of the very best emerging talent on the scene to create one mother of a party come the 15th of July.
As if one fantastic party on the 15th wasn’t enough for you, why not get warmed up for the evenings celebrations in style with our good friends at Addiction. The guys behind the superb free parties at Freedom Bar and the highly successful Addiction Digital label are once again raising the bar with another one of their legendary boat parties. The last party was a complete sell out and the interest in this one already has been huge, so much so that they have had to get a bigger boat!
Featuring the talents of Spencer Freeland, an amazing Live PA from Nick Rowland alongside the likes of 2PhunkedUp and FunkyFranky, who will also be joining us later on in the evening, there really is no better way to start the day.
For more info check out - http://www.addictionclubbing.com/
To buy tickets for this event please visit - http://www.addictionclubbing.com/Tickets/?event=22
Keep a hold of your ticket stub from the Addiction Boat party and you will gain access to Innovate’s 2nd birthday for only £10!
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The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
| From: Gordon Darley on 5th Jul 2006 18:36.39|
Nice read Kat, liking your style Proper looking forward to the next Innovate, one party that'l never let you down. Nick,(and of course the others) you rock!
From: Dubster on 5th Jul 2006 19:37.56
Great interview with a great guy about the greatest of all nights in London.
The only thing that can make me disapopinted about being at Dance Valley is missing Innovates birthday !
Happy birthday to all involved, I hope the night goes as well as it possibly can.
Roll on August and that album!!!!
From: 2 PhUnKEd Up on 5th Jul 2006 20:20.36
Happy Birthday Innovate!!! - Party at Craig's place before & after Innovate. Okay Just Kidding about them being at Craig's place! Its gonna be happening at Town Hall Parade, Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RJ!
From: dani d on 6th Jul 2006 01:11.15
Happy Birthday Innovate and all involved!!Witcked interview Nick you legend of hard dance
From: Letty Bird on 6th Jul 2006 01:51.11
Well done my lovelies! Am REALLY looking forward to the 15th.... xx
From: Letty Bird on 6th Jul 2006 01:54.49
AND as for you Nick...am expecting a QUALITEEEE SET!!! hehe stoked I am here! x
From: AVFX on 6th Jul 2006 03:16.41
A big shout goes out to da man called mr nick sentience from the new york massive, keep up the good work bro, catch ya on da flip side xx
From: onthebass on 6th Jul 2006 07:17.09
Wiiiicked interview. Sorry I can't be at your 2nd b'day Innovate, but looking forward to your tour down-under in August
From: Tina Martin on 6th Jul 2006 09:47.38
If god was a dj.. it would clearly be Nick Sentience!! lol! Wikkid interview..
From: Type 1 on 6th Jul 2006 09:51.33
Legend! its been wikid working with you for the past 6 months! big up ya self!
From: Richard Launch on 6th Jul 2006 10:19.25
Rock it Nick, wish I could be there.
From: Danny Gilligan on 6th Jul 2006 12:02.02
nice interview matey
From: Mike Harris on 6th Jul 2006 12:58.56
HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!
From: Frenzy Marc on 6th Jul 2006 13:22.26
Good article - I'm looking forward to this event!
PS: He's playing in Bournemouth on the 22nd July. If anyone's from the area and want the chance to win tickets visit www.frenzyclub.co.uk.
From: NickiS on 6th Jul 2006 20:10.33
Nice one Mr S. I'd hate to have to shoot a goal against Skelator ... he is well evil!! Rock on Innovate!! x
From: Red5 on 6th Jul 2006 20:52.33
Loving your footy selection Nick!
Just realised I'm in Dance Valley, so will be missing the birthday celebrations!
Honoured to have played at Innovates last birthday (has it been two years already?!), it truly is a party that sets itself apart.
Big up everyone who's made Innovate possible + fun - you know who you are
From: anushka007 on 7th Jul 2006 10:18.30
That was fun read, Nick Sentience = Genius love his style and all of his tracks, looking forward to celebrate bday in style
From: Gordon Darley on 10th Jul 2006 01:15.36
.....on the rocks!!!
From: Andy T on 10th Jul 2006 12:15.32
Can't wait for this party, and of course the 'almost sold out' pre-party
Bring em Both right ON !
From: dj madness on 13th Jul 2006 17:17.40
happy birthday, wicked interview
From: ronjac on 13th Jul 2006 19:53.05
Happy birthday Innovate !!!!! cant wait for the party xxxx