This week we catch up with Alex Nemec who has been on a real production tear this year. After a bit of down time following the disbanding of Alex & Filip the Slovenian producer has come back strong with a string of impressive productions with the UK’s Nik Feral. This newly formed production duo already have a nice discography of 9 originals and two remixes over the course of the last six months. Alex’s Mirabilis imprint has also been reborn and has just celebrated its 50th release. Alex and Nik have a new remix out this week on Praveen Achary’s Juicebox Music and we had a chance to chat with Alex just prior to its release. A transcription of the interview is below and we hope you enjoy it.
1. Diehard progressive house and techno fans are most likely familiar with you but let s give new fans a bit of a background. How did you end up where you are today in the electronic music industry? Give us a brief history of how you found your way to producing, DJing and owning a label.
Alex: Djing was my first love. I started djing more seriously in 1998 playing mainly house stuff. The love for progressive came later, around 2002 i think. After all the nights behind the decks, I started exploring the world of music production. I’ve bought my first midi controller and some software, but haven’t seriously learnt or done anything since 2005. In the summer of 2005 I meet Filip on a gig and I asked him to teach me some stuff in the studio. The rest came by itself: we got along well music wise and we started working as Alex & Filip. Mirabilis was the next step after 4 years being locked in the studio together. And the first step on the techno scene came out of a joke one afternoon. And it got us signed to Fergie’s Rekluse and Spektre’s Respekt in less than a week after.
2. You’re now primarily producing solo, for years you were part of the Alex and Filip duo. Why are Alex & Filip no more and how are you enjoying working on solo productions now?
Alex: Alex & Filip ended because of mine and Filip’s views on music went apart. He was feeling the need to do something different and went onto EDM, dubstep, breaks kinda sound. I really don’t see myself there so we decided to end it. Beside he has done the last few remixes alone on his own due to some health problems he had at the time and he had the studio moved to his place and I really felt there was my touch missing, that I had no word in ‘our’ music and I decided to put this forward and A&F ended after. I got the need of moving forward, but it wasn’t that easy since I am still learning the mixdown process. I am now doing quite some stuff with Manchester based Nik Feral. I write and arrange the track on my own and he adds his touch and mixes all down later, or he puts down the idea and then drops it over to me to develop it and so on. It is a year now after A&F ended and I find my self enjoying it more then ever! …still missing Filip in the studio, it was so nice to have all those chats and fun 🙂
3. Mirabilis went through a bit of lull there for a bit. There was a stretch of many months without a release but now things seem to be rolling again. What caused a break in the action for the label and what does Mirabilis have in store for the future?
Alex: There were 2 months with no release in fall 2012, it was due to me & Filip going apart. It was a hectic period as Filip went out of the label too. With all the mess Mirabilis also didn’t have enough releases so all had to wait a bit. I had to do it all by myself from promoting, signing etc… I also had to find a new designer and all that. It wasn’t easy to do it all, so I took some more time for it. But once I got it all together things went back to normal. we are all excited for what is about to come in the next months! There are scheduled releases from Marc Pollen, Vid Marjanovic, Simon Firth, Autophase among others.
4. You have a new remix out on Juicebox Music, it’s something you’ve done with UK producer Nik Feral. How did this project come about and what can you tell us about the remix? How did you guys go about tackling it?
Alex: Well, Praveen asked me if I was up for doing a remix for Juicebox and of course I said yes. Me and Nik just had our first release on Freshin out at the time and I asked him if he was willing to help me out. A few months later Praveen delivers this great track and I went to work. The parts were great and I managed to do a good version over the weekend, then sent if off to Nik who added his touch and mixed all down. It was good but something was missing. Praveen thought so too. So I had the idea what it was and Nik made that happen on his end and the result is the best remix I was ever involved with so far. Really pleased with it. Thanx to Nik and cheers to Praveen for having us!
5. How are things in Slovenia? What’s happening there in terms of electronic music and nightlife?
Alex: In the terms of nightlife, there is lots less going on compared to few years back. I am barely playing some shows a year here. Most of the clubs push more cheesy sounds. We have few good nights and clubs like Ambasada Gavioli which has hosted most of the big names, Digweed’s Live in Slovenia was recorded there. On terms of music production there is lots of movement – many good new producers out there with lots of ideas! Well, most of them are into techno and / or techhouse nowadays.
6. You’ve recently started a Mirabilis radio show, what can you tell us about that? will there be monthly guests and where can we hear it?
Alex: Well, haven’t started it yet, but it has been in the making for the last year and we are finally launching on January 2014. The show won’t be run by me alone, but also David Forester and Gasper Vidmar, 2 cool lads, together we will try and deliver some stunning music every month! List of radio stations will follow shortly on the label’s social networks. It will be a 2-hour monthly show with us hosting the first hour and he second there will be a guest mix. we will be hosting big names and try to give exposure to young talents. We won’t fit to one genre strictly, so expect stuff from all directions!
7. As a DJ and producer you’ve always seemed be somewhere in the middle of techno and proggy tech house, where do you see your production sound going in 2014?
Alex: I guess that’s my sound. I dig the techy grooves but also I feel the need of some progressions and melodic elements in my sets and productions. I kinda hate those sets that seem like endless loops. Personally I try to take the dancefloor on a roller coaster with me.
8. Your love for Henry Saiz, King Unique and Marc Marzenit is well known but who are some of your top up and coming producers?
Alex: Hmm, yes, those three are defo my top 3 all time producers. I think there are to many to mention but Christian Smith, Dosem, Jamie Stevens, Steve Ward, Sonic Union, Rob Hess, Drumcomplex all could fit in my top list, as for the new comers: there is a long list of those too! Mirabilis’s own Vid Marjanovic, Mehmet Akar, Neil Browne among others are doing some great stuff. Cactus Twisters are also on fire I think. Kevin Di Serna is on top too. Fehrplay has lots of good stuff out too.
9. What do you do outside of music, i know you’ve got a regular job but what do you do exactly?
Alex: I’m in marketing / sales in the automotive industry. It is not bad and I can’t complain, but I wish I could live out of music production and djing. Most of my time is dedicated to my two little princesses and I am more than busy with them! ..and they love daddy, and I am soooooo happy with them!
10. What are you working on in the studio right now? Anything you can tell us about?
Alex: Currently trying to finish up a colab between myself and Mark Ridout (who sung Triangle ‘We Found It’) and I think Autophase will also be involved in this I believe. I have contacted Mark a while ago, still in the A&F days, but we never finished that. Now I have started it from scratch and now struggling with the right arrangement. Then I have a colab with Verve going on and a rolling techno groover with fellow country man Alexander Madness. Also working on a new techno oriented EP with Nik Feral for a certain big label. It feels so good to be back in full force!
11. What in the electronic music industry irritates you the most?
Alex: Can I have a pass here?
12. What was the first and last record you purchased?
Alex: First vinyl single I bought for djing I think it was Gala ‘Freed from desire’, have bought some Italian dance records before but can’t remember properly. Must have been some Alexia singles for sure on Cd as I was quite a fan I can remember.
13. What artist or track would you love to remix?
Alex: Tuff one! So many! Wouldn’t mind remix UNKLE or some Infusion tracks, maybe XX or London grammar? One track I always loved, but not sure if someone can do it justice is Anarcrusan ‘In my mind’, but would like to have a go.
14. Alex Nemec Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Food: I like to eat good food, so can’t just throw a list here. Something special were my big kiddo’s cookies for sure.
Drink: I love my big cup of coffee every morning. Also like to have a cold coke here and there. Havana Cola is my fave drink for the nights out. And there is always place for a good glass of wine.
Drug: Never done any aside few joints when I was in my twenties. I guess it is not for me. But I am certainly addicted to music!
Animal: My dog Danny, but I am an animal lover all over.
TV Show: The shield, Breaking bad, Homeland, Entourage, Masters of sex…
Movie: Miller’s crossing, The others, Django, Reservoir dogs, Boogie nights, Scarface, The fog….
Video Game: Haven’t played any in years, beside on my phone.
Album: London Grammar ‘If you Wait’, Henry Saiz album is also lots on rotation
Track / Song: Too many 🙂
Producer / Band: N.E.R.D. , Henry Saiz, Prodigy, Tosca, MAW, Matt Thomas (KU)…
Record Label: microCastle, Tronic, Bedrock, Lowbit, Suara, Outpost, Inflyte…..
Nightclub: Kursaal, Purosangue events, Groove2go, Sounds of Belgrade nights – played for them quite a few times and the events were always packed and with good vibe!
DJ: Sasha, Umek, Digweed, Spektre, Tomy Declerque, Marco Bailey…
15. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Alex: Bent – Always (Ashley Beedle’s Mahavishnu Remix).
Alex’s remix (in conjunction with Nik Feral) of Diego Azocar ‘Homenaje’ is out now on Praveen Achary’s Juicebox Music, you can purchase the release: here