Getting to Know: Nadja Lind
Getting to Know: Nadja Lind. Interviewed by Priya Sen.
Beautiful, vivacious, a twinkle in the eyes while performing like a monster…. the lady in question packs up all these irrefutable qualities in a nutshell, and I am so damned delighted to get her as a first, to the pages of Euphoric. An electronic dance music goddess whose music I celebrate every day…
Behold Nadja Lind
She gives Tech House, Minimal, Techno and Dub a fabulous, electric jolt. Beyond her beauty lies a brain of wily outstanding musicality, pretty much at a premium in the Djing scene of these contemporary times.
Nadja’s gig trotting ways, productions as a solo artist or even her other face at Klartraum with partner in crime Helmut to being one half of label boss at Lucidflow has got most of Europe in it’s Deep strong-hold. In an other-wise male dominated industry, she is the star of the art form. More-over Nadja is no stranger in our Indian shores, in particular her gigs in Goa are still talked about with much excitable frenzy, and what’s more Nadja Lind can really make you dance.
To the uninitiated.. her powerful music, weaved with perfection and a sparkling personality behind the console all spell out clubbing trouble. So without any further ado, please welcome the eclectic beats feline Ms. Lind in a first time India coverage where she talks about her music, machines and more…
1 Nadja a big welcome to the pages of our magazine. Can you tell us about your early days in the music business, how did you start off, what made you incline to take up Djing?
Thank you very much. It’s a big pleasure for me. In 2003 I asked a friend of mine who is a Dj to show me how to mix vinyl. Immediately I bought my own setup 2 x Technics 1210 and a crappy mixer and started building up my own record collection. It took me months to get my first set together.
NYE 2003, I performed my first official Dj set in front of several hundred people. I was a nervous wreck but all went well. I enjoy listening and sharing music so much that I overcame my panic and fear. This is probably the greatest gift I got through music.
2 Any initial musical influences you would like to mention, it could be records or artists that you grew up listening to?
I’ve always been loving music since I was a little child. I learned how to play block Flute and to read notes, sang in choirs and later in high-school learned how to play the Guitar. As a teen I sat down many times (by choice) to watch Mozart’s The Magic Flute which is a 4-hours Opera. I love the sounds of Bob Marley, Rhythm & Sound, Marc Moulin, Missy Elliott, Slayer, Mos Def, Frank Farian, Betrich Smetana, Metallica, Nina Hagen, Lulu Rouge (I just did remixes for them), Nile Rodgers, Michael Jackson, Michael Cretu, Aretha Franklin…
3 Here I am most curious to know, that as a female trying to break in to the industry, did you find any hurdles… and or have issues of maybe someone not take your obvious talent seriously?
Not so much in terms of the Dj-ing but in terms of producing and live-acting I experienced some ignorant and narrow-minded encounters. But I don’t blame anybody, it’s just rather unusual that a female producer actually does create her own music. Usually you have the name on the cover because it sells better and behind there’s either a ghost writer or a production partner who does the studio work. This is not only for female artists very common but in general.
It’s just not what I want. I enjoy the creational process itself. It would be painful if I was just pretending something that I am not. I personally just like to be genuine. It’s such a joy to play with sounds and being creative and get a direct response from the party peeps when I play my music out in clubs on a fat sound system. Being a DJ is fun but being the creator is where I get most Euphoric
4 When was it exactly that you got driven in to producing and what are the qualities you have always aspired to bring in to your own tunes?
I was interested in music creation from the beginning but didn’t have the self-esteem or trust in myself that I could actually do it. But in 2004 I asked friends who knew a bit about producing and after a while I bought myself the production software Reason 2 and a tutorial book and locked myself in for 3 nights and 2 days. A very frustrating experience. Nothing has ever touched my soul so deeply and triggered such a wide range of feelings in me like music does. I’ve always had the deepest admiration for producers. For me they were like magicians – out of nothingness they create something which you can not sense nor see or touch but nonetheless move me to tears or give goosebumps of joy. If I could evoke at least a little bit of those feelings in my listeners my aspirations would have become reality.
5 Having played about a decade, how do you feel about Techno or the deeper, underground releases of today which you play, vis a vis the tunes of that time. Are you happy with the way things stand right now?
I am being sent hundreds of promos every week and there’s some really good stuff being produced by all kinds of interesting people from around the world. Which is nice in the first place. Although there are also not so nice examples of non-creative boring and even annoying approaches like taking an old hit from the 80’s, putting a crappy filter on top and sell it for their own track. That sucks in my opinion.
If you don’t want to confront yourself with all the efforts it takes to make music you don’t have to but then don’t call yourself a producer. I wouldn’t call myself a lawyer or physician either just because it’s hip? Also I think trying to compare the process of music creation from 20 years ago to nowadays is like comparing horse carriage with automatic gear – there are pro and cons on both sides but it’s not comparable. My opinion is: What is past is past, discover what is possible nowadays with all resources available and follow your own flow.
6 Could you share with us information about how you started your record label ‘’Lucidflow’’ and your co-conspirator Helmut Ebritsch’s role in the entire company. Also, a big chunk of the musical action lays with the other project of Klartraum of which both of you’ll are bosses. For people who don’t know much about one or the other, how would you describe Lucidflow’s vision in comparison to Klartraum and the activities under either?
I’ll start off with Klartraum – it’s the project name of Nadja Lind and Helmut Ebritsch is producing and performing these productions live as a duo. We started Klartraum around 2006 when we had our first release on Night Drive Music. I met Helmut – who has become my best friend – on a musician platform on the internet and soon after we met to make a track together. I think around 2007 we started performing our tracks live. Since then we have been performing as Klartraum Live around the world e.g. Fabric London, Australia, USA and across Europe of course and constantly developing our live performance and set up.
Lucidflow is the label we founded in 2009 together to have the possibility to release our own music in the first place and also give new talents and artists we really like a chance to release their music.
The process of sending out demos was just so painfully slow and unresponsive that we decided to do our own thing and being in charge of which music and artists we want to have on our label. It’s turned out to be one of the best decisions – it’s a lot of work and a lot of fun. Every month you will find a new release and amazing artists. Lucidflow doesn’t stand for one particular style it’s more about the deepness and the certain something. You won’t find any mainstream sound there.
For some years we have released digitally only but last year started pressing vinyl as well.
Our first vinyl Nadja Lind & Paul Loraine ‘Making A Difference’ (remixers: Funk D’Void, Silicone Soul, Helmut Ebritsch) was No.1 in the vinyl charts and sold out so we decided to carry on. 2nd vinyl was Klartraum ‘Beyond Illusion’ (remixers: Paul Loraine, Silicone Soul, Steve Rachmad). Next will be out 21st Sept with Klartraum, D. Diggler, David Alvarado and Alexi Delano. No. 4 we’ll have the 2nd part of our Secret Moon Remixed in November with Ian Pooley, Vince Watson and Weisses Licht.
7 Can you give us an indication of the differences in performing as Nadja Lind and under Klartraum Live. What are the aspects that make either of the concepts interesting for you as an artist and if you could speak a bit about the variations involved in these above mentioned alias?
When performing as Nadja Lind since some years I’ve played Dj sets of only my own productions and remixes. I know some Djs who would call this live performance but in my opinion I think Dj set is what it is.
In contrast when I perform with Helmut as Klartraum live we have a lot of equipment with us (APC40, Livid Controllers, iPad, Korg Wavedrum, Akai Keyboard, A&H DB2 Mixer, K2 controller, RME Babyface) and we play on 2 synchronized Macbooks so each of us is in charge of different elements of what is being played live together. All our tracks (hundreds) are cut into tiny little pieces (like 16bar samples) and being mixed together during the show. So there’s always something new happening in a live performance.
I used to do live performances as well but since my time is very limited and I am working around the clock anyway to keep up with all the label work, productions and Dj-ing I couldn’t maintain an extra live set.
8 Tell us of the darker project we’ve heard that you are starting up with Helmut by the name of ‘’Luci-fer’’, we are also looking at a collaborative effort with Silicone Soul…where do they stand in terms of development, currently?
Luci-fer was invented to separate the typical deep Klartraum sound from our darker and straighter Techno output. It’s not our main focus but once in a while when we feel like doing straight Techno we will do that under our Luci-fer alias.
The Glasgowians like Silicone Soul, Slam and all the Soma crew always have given us great feedbacks on our releases and one day we uploaded our track ‘Pain Relief’ on our Soundcloud profile and the Silicones asked us if we could send them the wav to play it out and also told us they have loved our music from the very beginning (since our 2nd Klartraum track ever – ‘Endnormalisiert’) We were of course chuffed! I’ve got countless Darkroom Dubs + Silicone Soul vinyl in my collection and recently had the honor to mix the 10th Anniversary Darkroom Dubs CD which has just been released. They appeared on the 1st Lucid Vinyl ‘Making A Difference’ with an amazing remix besides Funk D’Void and Helmut and on our 2nd vinyl as well with Paul Loraine and Steve Rachmad. The guys are just great personalities and artists and I am sure we will continue our collaborations on Darkroom Dubs and Lucidflow. Slam have also announced we will do something together in future.
9 You are veering in to producing Dub and Chill out as well, what are your thoughts behind this expansion and also diversifying so radically?
There’s no hidden agenda. It’s just what I love to do. I started producing meditation music in the first place to have some relaxing and refreshing drone waves e.g. to relax in a plane or in the hotel room before a gig. Then I started releasing my ‘Turning In Meditation Series’, getting responses from around the world that they really help which is very nice. They work for me as well. I’ve put binaural beats on top which helps to ease the brain waves into a deep relaxing state and from there lead forth to a normal relaxed but awake day-state again. You can try them out. I am currently working on my ‘Turning In Meditation Vol. 3’.
10 We know you’ve come to India, Goa in particular and played there last season of 2012. What do you know of our clubbing circuit. Are there any highlights you’d like to mention?
I actually came to India to play in 2004 and 2005. I played in different clubs in Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur. India is great – I love this country. Goa was a highlight in itself! Playing at Shanti was truly amazing! I hope I’ll be back to India next year.
11 Which are the tunes, that you’re excited with at the moment. Your top 5?
I recently came across Brett Jacob’s ‘Clie’ which has excited me so much that I even bought the track (that hasn’t happened in a long time). 2nd Lulu Rouge ‘Sign Me Out (Klartraum Remix), 3rd Lulu Rouge ‘Sign Me Out (Nadja Lind Remix) 4th C-Rock & Patrick Testor ‘Enjoy The Music (Yapacc Remix) on Lucidflow 22nd Sept. 5th Klartraum – Diving Dancer (Weisses Licht Into The Deep Remix) soon on Lucidflow…
12 When you sit to make a track, is there a specific quality or goal you have in mind that you like to compress within it’s body?
Sometimes I just feel the urge to sit down and try out some synths or new effects and just being playful and I am absolutely clueless about what will be the outcome. Sometimes I know exactly what I want and I manage more or less to get it done. There have been also times where I didn’t feel like making music at all and nevertheless just had to finish a track or remix and then enjoyed it or the other way around – I feel totally inspired and sit down, then within an hour I get frustrated. Creating music includes playfulness and also discipline and of course you have to know your gear. I want to express a certain expression or deepness that triggers certain feelings- of joy or sadness, calmness or total excitement.
13 Could you talk us through a little bit of the German club scene. What’s standing out for you. Happy that you’ve made a nice niche for yourself as one of the most respected female artists to come out in the last decade?
The city where I’ve lived since 2006, Berlin is outstanding. It’s the only place where you can literally party 24/7 around the clock. It still amazes me once in a while although I almost never go out if I don’t play myself or as Klartraum. I am a very shy and withdrawn person. I love to be in my studio, when in Berlin meeting friends in the park or in a cafe or my studio is the thing to do. Berlin is the most amazing place for musicians, artists in general and promoters – you get to meet everybody there no matter which part of the world they’re from. Germany is a good place for electronic music in general.
14 Having been a Promoter, Dj/Producer, do you have anything that comes to mind about the influx of wannabes with their big room tricks and quick money making schemes?
I really can’t judge or say what’s right or wrong. I rather concentrate on being genuine and being myself and spreading what I consider to be great music. The reactions and feedbacks speak for themselves.
15 Please run us through Darkroom Dubs and Soma, any thoughts you’d like to share on these two veritable biggies?
2 of the most respected electronic big music labels which have accompanied me in my record bags from the beginning. I am very happy and grateful that they have been so supportive. Some years ago Orde one of the founders of Soma and one half of the duo Slam even asked around for our email address to send us his personal feedback on our ‘Beyond Illusion EP’. He must get thousands of promos every week and this really means something. I made several Dj sets for Soma podcast and also my last one for Darkroom Dubs radio – you can have a listen on my Soundcloud/nadjalind or also Klartraum profile.
16 Where can we find your radio shows, you seem to be hosting some really ridiculously fantastic mixes and advocating the best of underground?
Every 1st Friday Nadja Lind on Sonic.fm Argentina (10pm CET) every 4th Thursday of the month my Lucidflow show on Frisky Radio NYC (04 PM EST/NYC, 10pm CET)
2nd and 4th Thursday Lucidlfow show on Sceen.fm (1pm CET)
17 What’s the rest of 2013 looking like for Nadja Lind, where can we find you playing. Any upcoming releases and gigs you’d like to share with us as special mention?
I’ve got a couple of gigs in Berlin- Morlox and Tresor, some in Holland, Kenya and an Australian Tour again in December.
Release-wise I have my next EP with Paul Loraine coming up on Wolf Trap again. An amazing Klartraum ‘Secret Moon Remixed’ Album on Lucidflow (remixers: G.Pal, Alexi Delano, D. Diggler, UGLH & Lucio Spain, Vince Watson and many others… I did remixes as Nadja Lind and Klartraum for e.g. Robert Babicz, Lulu Rouge and more.
At the moment I am working on my own stuff as well as projects with e.g. Paul Loraine, G-Man /Ex-LFO.
18 Signing off with the last one….if you were to choose an artist you’d like to be stranded with on a deserted island, who would that be? Thanks a million for talking to us at Euphoric, you know we love you ) Dr. Steven Wolinsky
Thank you very much for your interesting questions and the opportunity at Euphoric Magazine.
I want to thank you and everybody who has supported me and my music. I am very grateful. Have a joyful and inspiring day. )
The magical creativity of Nadja Lind puts her in the fore-front of clubbing, with much help from her classy demeanor and purity. Not only has she taken Berlin by storm, she is also highly regarded in the dance scene as a performer whose work is much respected and her technological superiority unquestioned. The underground has a new dictator, whose formidable work is shining like a star. A Dj/Producer whose really got the ‘It’ factor, a direct reflection of how clubbers celebrate the extra-ordinary talent of Nadja and her absolute brilliance in the pulsating sounds she brings.
The dance floor just got better with her at the helm of the proceedings. The Techno radar in future, seeks her out as the Dj to make shapes with….
Interviewed by Priya Sen