Launching Frequency of Space with Nikki S
Reported by Tara
Submitted 22-11-15 15:29
Certainly no stranger to HarderFaster, Nikki S has been one of the driving forces behind the London dance scene since the heady days of her sell-out Endorphin events in the early noughties. After years promoting events and managing artists and labels, it was perhaps inevitable that she’d eventually follow her passion and start DJing and producing. Now all her hard graft is finally paying off, for she was signed to first Liquid then Alchemy Records earlier this year, then in April her debut EP Mechanical World went straight to No. 2 in the Beatport charts.
On the eve of the release of her incredible debut album Frequency of Space and the album launch party at the Alchemy and Psy-Boutique Party on Saturday 5th December at The Steelyard – where she’ll be playing live alongside psy trance legends Sonic Species, Earthling, Shane Gobi, Hamish, Renegade DJ and Bahar Canca – we managed to get this true diva of dance to slow down for a few minutes for a long overdue chat…
You first started producing psy trance in 2008 and here we are 7 years later on the eve of your album launch. When you first started DJing all those years ago, did you ever envisage you’d come this far? How has the journey been for you?
It’s been a great journey. When I started DJing I had been a club promoter, artist and label manager for a number of years. DJing and learning to produce was something I did for fun, my passion. I’ve always hoped it would be a way for me to give back and share some of the magical experiences that I had on the dance floor when I started clubbing.
In April 2014 I got serious about production and set myself the goal of making an album. The project has been a lot of fun and satisfyingly challenging. When I started producing I dreamt about getting a track signed to Alchemy Records alongside some of the artists that have been my biggest inspiration like Sonic Species and Burn In Noise. To have my debut album signed to Alchemy is:
• Quite honestly mind-blowing
• Seriously cool
• Fucken awesome!
You’ve already released an EP Mechanical World earlier this year on Liquid Records, which went straight to the top on Beatport. Did you expect such an incredible response to your first release?
You can only hope to do that well on your first release. It’s mad, because you can slave over your tunes. Editing, mixing, testing and tweaking. You give it your best and don’t release it until you’re happy with it.
After that it’s up to the dance floor and whether or not your style of production fits/resonates with the other DJs in the scene. I am obviously very happy with the response and grateful for all of the support.
With music being such a huge part of your life, what would you say is your musical ethos/philosophy?
Produce what you love. Put in sounds that you love. Inject your energy.
I like to draw inspiration from magical moments that I’ve had on the dance floor and imagine the shape, energy and effect my tracks will have on the dance floor.
Your latest single ‘Adrenalin Flow’ epitomises to me your approach to music – full on euphoric beats meticulously crafted to get the dancefloor going mental. How would you describe the Nikki S sound?
Outdoor festival vibes with a range of hip-shaking funky grooves and more serious driving beats, splattered with psychedelic sounds, acid hooks and hints of euphoria. I also like throw in some tribal elements, ethnic, sci-fi and rasta vocals for good measure.
The album is called ‘Frequency of Space – is there a theme or concept behind it, or is it more a collection of your favourite productions to date?
It’s both. It is a collection of my favourite tracks produced with my sets in mind, and there is a theme/concept to the tracks.
Albert Einstein said “Everything in life is vibration”. Therefore, everything in the universe has a frequency; sound, light, atoms, thoughts, stars, the chair you’re sitting on. Everything! Whether seen or unseen, it is made up of energy which has a vibrational frequency.
I love space exploration, both outer and inner space, and wanted each track to have a vocal or sample that is positive, empowering and connected with those topics – e.g. extra-terrestrial life, evolving consciousness, the energy of thought, and the future of mankind. I know it’s totally cliché for psy trance, but I honestly don’t give a shit… I love it… and when I’m on the dance floor that’s what I wanted to hear in tracks.
We go to these parties to release the shackles of everyday life, open our minds, explore alternative dimensions, expand our consciousness, ponder the possibility of life on other planets, appreciate how amazing the universe is... and to have a good time!
It’s all serious stuff without taking yourself too seriously!
The album is getting some awesome reviews from top names in the scene and a little birdy told me that your Alchemy label boss Shane Gobi has been playing your tracks at festivals over summer and getting a great response. Do you have a favourite track to get the dance floor moving, or are each of your children special in their own way?
Yep, the tracks have been tried and tested by Shane, who is an absolute legend with a wealth of knowledge and experience from signing and releasing mind-blowing albums from Sonic Species and Burn In Noise to doing a 6-hour closing set at Boom Festival 2014. His feedback and seal of approval have been extremely valuable.
For me each track has a different energy and purpose and I love to drop ET Life or Listen to get the hips shaking. They are fun and cheeky but uplifting at the same time. When I want to get serious and twist things up I’ll drop something like Energy of Thought.
From selling out your first Endorphin event at the Fridge with over 1400 people through the door, playing the main stage at Brixton Academy before Astrix and Infected Mushroom to being signed by psy trance heavy weights Liquid and Alchemy Records, you’ve already had some incredible achievements. Having done so much, where would you like to see things going in the future? Are there any dreams you still want to fulfill?
There are plenty more dreams and goals! I’d love to see and experience more of the world through the music and festivals. Festivals like Boom, Ozora and Universo Parallelo are definitely on the wish list!
On the production front I think every producer would say they always want to push their boundaries, evolve and/or refine their sound. I want to do both; advance my productions and expand my creativity. What’s great about the psy trance scene is that it’s global and there are so many different shades of psy, with an abundance of amazing artists and events to stimulate and inspire.
You recently played your first live set – did you enjoy it as much as DJing? How did you find the experience overall?
I found the approach to a DJ vs Live set very different. Your job in both cases is to rock the dance floor. DJing allows and requires you to be flexible. Read, react and respond to the dance floor. Live sets are you presenting yourself as an artist with all of your own material. There’s a lot of preparation and planning, but it’s a total buzz playing a whole set of your own tracks and watching it go off!
Having already played all over the world and with forthcoming gigs at Rainbow Serpent Festival in your home country of Australia and Psy-Boutique in Turkey in May, it’s safe to say that your music has gone global! With so many new adventures on the horizon, how do you find time to hold down a day job?! In your limited down time, what do you get up to to stay grounded?
Yes, it’s all very exciting and there are some great gigs coming up. It can be full on trying to balance it all that’s for sure ... But I’ve never been known to sit still for long! As for down time, I haven’t had much of that over the past year. When I do get it, I love spending time with friends, family, travelling, eating and watching movies.
You’re a co-founder, resident and promoter of Astral Circus, one of London’s few psy trance club nights. AC has been very quiet of late, will you be returning in the new year with more events? What do you reckon is the secret of a good party?
A decent venue with good sound. Great music with well thought-out progression and programming of the acts. Plus a dancefloor full of your mates and up-for-it party people! Anything on top is a bonus, and we try to add a lot of bonuses with decor and visuals.
But yes, Astral Circus will be back in 2016!
The launch party for Frequency of Space is on Saturday 5th December at the Alchemy & Psy-Boutique party at The Steelyard where you’re playing Live in the main room alongside Sonic Species, Earthling, Shane Gobi, Bahar Canca, Renegade DJ and Hamish. This promises to be a very special night to remember! Why should readers come along on the 5th?
Honestly ... If you love psy trance ... why wouldn’t you!?!?
The music is going to be off the hook!! In addition to a killa main room line-up there is a seriously tasty alternative room which features an exclusive psy-breaks set from Nick Sentience where he will be unleashing some of his new album material for the first time!
On top of that, the venue is stunning and underground at the same time. The decor will be fab. And most importantly the party will be full of friendly, smiley, up-for-it party people!
Bring it on!
Buy Frequency of Space on Beatport.
Nikki S links
Album CD pre-order link
Nikki S Bandcamp
Alchemy Records Bandcamp
Launch party links
FaceBook event page
Images courtesy of Nikki S and Alchemy Records. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Alchemy & Psy-Boutique Festival party with Nikki S album launch
Saturday 5th December
The Steelyard [map]
22:00 - 0:600
Limited Early Bird ticket - £10 + Booking Fees
★ Online Tickets ★
Also cash, credit card and phone sales:
Access All Areas Network Ltd
2nd Floor, 30c Camden Lock Place, London, NW1 8AL.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7267 8320 & +44 (0)20 7267 6148
Click here to buy tickets
Alchemy Records joins forces with Psy-Boutique Festival for a night to be remembered! We got so much to celebrate with you!
The next Psy-Boutique festival will be held in Turkey on a private beach and the cream of the cream Alchemy artist Shane Gobi and Sonic Species will be there, as will newly signed Alchemy Records artist Nikki S. In fact her album will be launched at this event so brace for impact as this girl rocks!
A very special guest Earthling will add a twist while all supported by other dancefloor fillers Hamish, Renegade DJ and Bahar Canca.
Room two will be techno vibes by Psy-Boutique alternative stage artists including Simon Mercer, Nuno Deconto flying from Berlin, Calemma with his unique sound, a techy set by Ebru, Phiorio with minimalist approach. New and excited Vanty will warm up and Nick Sentience will close the night with his psy breaks side-project.
Psy Trance. Minimal Techno. Techno. Breaks.
Sonic Species (Live)
Nikki S (Live-Album launch)
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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.