Welcome to the new Digital Divide. If you buy, play or listen to nothing but MP3s and the new release section of Beatport is your conduit to the international dance scene, you may find yourself missing out on some of the brilliant new music pressed to vinyl on a daily basis. After being left for dead by many (including me), vinyl is back in a big way, both as a standard of quality and a means to extend the lifespan of each new release. (And even earn a few bucks in the process – sometimes significantly more than a strictly digital release.)
If you are passing the record stacks without so much as a glance, the single most interesting new producer you’re missing out on is Nicholas. As I wrote in a review in last month’s 5 Magazine, Ken from East Coast Boogieman turned me on to the Italian Deep House producer about a year ago, pointing me in the direction of this shadowy figure who had attracted a rabid cult following on Soundcloud.
“I was making music just for the fun of it. I had no master plan,” Nicholas remembers. “I never thought about getting my music released and stuff like that. I was just making tunes and uploading them on Soundcloud for my friends. So it was quite surprising.
“I’ve been making music since I was very little. Of course in the beginning I was just foolin’ around with demo software. But about 5 years ago I started making dance music with professional equipment. Originally my sound was very different than the music I’m now known for – I was making more deep techno music, very inspired by records like Dennis Ferrer’s ‘Sandcastles’ or Ame’s ‘Rej’.”
Uploading his early tracks to Soundcloud may have helped jumpstart Nicholas’ career, but he resists the idea of releasing his music as strictly digital downloads. “To me it’s not really a proper ‘release’ if it’s not on vinyl or CD. It’s a real joy listening to my own music on a turntable. I can’t get that emotion from a file. I also love the whole aesthetic behind a record, like the artwork. That to me has to be as good as the music. Sometimes I decide to release on someone’s label depending on their artwork and packaging!”
And though he’s getting booked throughout Europe now, he still doesn’t look at this as his day job. “I think it’s tough to live just on music. So for me it’s good to have a back-up plan. I have a master’s degree in law and I’m working as a lawyer intern, so my life is all about balancing music and lawsuits!”
In addition to the gorgeous Free To Be EP (out now on 4Lux), Nicholas is releasing a two track EP on Hometaping Is Killing Music and more 12″s on 4Lux are in the pipe.