The Re-Birth of Nemesis!
Reported by Jessica Alici
Submitted 08-05-18 11:11
Nemesis is back! After a ten year hiatus from techno – delving into a plethora of genres from house – techno – trance – psy trance – downbeat; it’s fair to say that there aren’t many sub-genres of electronic dance music left for him to infiltrate! For the last 20 years he’s been releasing music under approx. 40 different aliases (Underground Nation of Rotterdam, Clubbers Delight, Alichi Chevalier, Cosmic Warrior, Dave Holmes, Steve Morley, System E & Sons of Shiva)! Releasing on iconic labels such as Direct Drive, Rotterdam Records, Motor, BMG, Cream, Slinky, Nukleuz, Tidy & Iono Music!
Despite his career’s meandering twists and turns, one thing has remained a constant – his love for techno! His love for the genre stems from his early clubbing years and has never left him, even when his musical journey led him into different directions. Recently the lure back became too strong to resist and Nem3si$ has been reborn. Back bigger and bolder then ever, Nem3si$ has returned to the studio and delivered the first batch of timeless tracks, resulting already in signings to Iono Black, Gain Records and Krafted Underground.
We decided to grab him for a quick sit down and chat – whilst we still can!
I think it’s fair to say if we cut you open we’d see music running through your veins! It’s most definitely in your DNA. Tell us how your musical journey begun. Were you composing whilst in the womb?
Well, where to start LOL – I must have been at least dancing whilst in the womb as my mother kept telling me I was kicking about a lot! My real journey however started when I was about 4 years old and my father started teaching me music theory and the piano. Within a few years I was invited to play at school performances and some local classical music events. From then on I learned to play the trumpet and organ which got me to play in a marching band and many church services.
Your love for electronic music didn’t take long to kick in. How did your obsession with synthesizers and hardware manifest?
I think my (what some may call) ‘obsession’ with electronic instruments started around the age of 8 years already. The first instrument I got from my parents was an organ and soon after I got my first synthesizer. It took real shape once I started to play in a few bands, and then I kept asking my parents to take me to music shops which were selling all these shiny ‘toys’. My parents were awesome and sacrificed an awful lot to provide me with all the tools I desired for my music. I could never thank them enough for all the love and support they gave me during their lives.
As well as being a prolific producer, your other passion is DJing. Tell us about this journey and what DJing is to you?
The first time I actually started to be really interested in DJing was at the same time I discovered what was then just called House music. This was in 1991 when a friend took me to a night club playing all these wonderful new crazy sounds. After that night I was hooked and decided to throw the towel in on my classical music and try to create and play this new exciting genre.
When I learned how to mix, it became clear to me that with just two records you could be so creative and make it as crazy and complicated (within limits of course) as I wanted – it then became a sort of addiction. Once I started playing out, I discovered there was much more to it than just doing a cool mix. I learned you had to read the crowd and try to take them on a journey with you. It still is the most unbelievable feeling on the planet and I think I can say for me it’s an addiction, those moments behind the decks are like being touched by God or some other higher being. In short, as crazy as it may sound: to me – it’s a religion LOL.
You’ve been quite outspoken in the past about illegal downloading. Can you expand on why you feel so strongly against this and the knock-on effect you feel it has on the music industry?
In simple terms, it’s killing an already challenging and fragile industry. When labels don’t sell records, artists don’t get paid, studios don’t get hired and everyone in the chain of creating the music won’t get paid. It means many artists are forced to do other things to make money, putting their music on the back burner, and often never making music again. Keep doing things like this and eventually no one can afford to make any music…. It’s not just the illegal downloads, you now have these streaming services who give such a low royalty rate that I call it criminal. I mean, 0.0001p per stream against 0.50p on average per sold song is just mental.
Over the years you’ve infiltrated a multitude of different genres and smashed it in all of them. What do you think has helped you in being successful and creatively on point in this vast amount of styles?
I think my classical music background helped me the most, it makes it pretty easy to dissect music and understand how a certain genre works. Over the years playing around with synthesizers, samplers and drum computers I gained a lot of experience in creating sounds and I have been lucky that I was allowed to have a look in some amazing studios with super talented engineers and musicians. But the main thing you need is to feel the music, love what you create and it will resonate with people who listen to your music.
Do you feel you’ve changed over the years as an artist?
Oh my God yes! So much!! When you become more experienced and you learn new things it will influence your taste and the way you work. This in turn reflects in what you write and how you produce it. I think you never really stop changing or evolving as an artist, the mind won’t allow you to hang in one place really.
What do you love and what do you loathe about being an artist?
That is a good question! For me it’s pretty clear, I love creating music, DJing, and the fact you can touch people’s hearts with something as simple yet intricate as music. I absolutely hate most other things surrounding it. From the sometimes soul destroying quest of finding suitable labels who you can trust, to the politics that are involved in the industry…..The crazy thing is that after saying all that - I still absolutely love the music industry with a passion and couldn’t be happy doing anything else. After many knocks and disappointments over the years - it’s still exciting, intriguing, rewarding and where I feel I belong. I could not live without the music and the performances!
You’re now concentrating more fully on Techno music. What brought about this switch back and focus?
As an artist you evolve and the changes that come with it forms your career, sometimes something as simple as an unexpected success can take you into another direction than planned, as you, for example; had a contractual obligation to a follow up single or EP. When that in turn was again successful you can find yourself in a totally different genre than planned. Which is kind of what happened with my career in a way - however - in the early years of my career I did do a few techno and acid releases under various guises and a Nemesis release about 10 years ago. To fully commit to one genre, you have to feel ready and really feel comfortable with that decision to make it really work, that time in my life and career has arrived and I can’t express how exciting it all is - it really feels like I’m back in 1991 in some way. Of course, there’s also the added bonus that I can work with vinyl again. In most other genres that’s not the case anymore and I really miss it to be honest. It’s difficult to explain the joy I get from playing vinyl - right from taking a record out of a physical sleeve -, the feel of it, the smell of it! Than the way you physically need to interact with the record and the turntables to mix with it when DJing; is totally different to mixing with a mouse and a laptop, or even with CDs. The warm sound you get from playing vinyl as opposed to digital CDs is incomparable too. It really is very special mixing with vinyl. I would say to every DJ who hasn’t tried it yet - to give it a go and do it at least once in your life!
Will you still be dabbling in any other styles?
I guess the lure of doing some house tracks and chasing the long-standing dream of working on big commercial projects again will always be there, but it would be more of a side project to keep things fresh in my head. And of course who would not want to have at least one time in life - a shiny golden record on the wall that you can look at and think; wow did I really do that?!
You’ve already signed tracks to Krafted Underground, Gain Records and Iono Black - well done! Can you describe your current sound?
Now that is not as easy as it might sound to be honest LOL - Nemesis is all about not having ‘a sound’ and thereby committing to the limitations of it. The idea was to be artistically as free as possible on every single track I make. I have totally abandoned my usual way of working on a track and the only thing that remains is that I start with a kick drum. After that anything is possible. In many other styles you follow a pattern of layering the sounds, like balancing a kick and bass sound, then lay the grooves on top, after which you play your stabs, melodies, pads etc. Now I just play whatever I feel like doing next which could be just a simple snare drum or a bleep that only comes back twice in the whole track. Sometimes I just end up creating a sound for ages and forget about the track itself ha ha ha.
If you could be in charge of the world for a day - what rule would you change or law would you introduce and why?
Oh wow, there would be too many to change I fear. There are so many problems that one simple change could not really affect it, however you have to start somewhere I guess… I would introduce a worldwide law which would see every leader of every country having to take a personality test, IQ test and a thorough vetting of their track record, connections and possible conflict of interests in their lives. It would spare the world a lot of issues - things like collusion, fake news, manipulated social media and fraudulent voting campaigns spring to mind.
Lastly, where do you hope to see yourself a year from now?
Still doing everything I love with my music, playing all over the world and making a ton of new records. As I always say,there are so many more tunes to be made, shows to be played and hearts to be touched!
Nemesis - thanks for taking the time to do this interview & the very best of luck for the future in all you do xx
Watch out for the upcoming release dates for the new Nemesis tracks on Krafted Underground, Gain Records and Iono Black!
In the meanwhile to hear his new sounds click here:
To hear a new promo mix click here:
To follow him on social media click here:
Images courtesy of Nemesis. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By Jessica Alici:
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A quick catch up with Tristan ahead of his set at Goa Cream Festival
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.