One to Watch

NADJA LIND: STAND UP, LEARN YOUR LESSONS, DO YOUR OWN THING…

Today we caught up with uber prolific Berliner Nadja Lind, co-label boss of the highly respected Lucidflow and other half of live act and studio partnership Klartraum. She’s a bit of a busy lady..

nadja lind

You’ve been DJing for over a decade now. Can you tell us a bit about how you got started, and what led you to producing your own material and running your own label? 

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.

I’ve always had the deepest respect and admiration for producers – for me music feels like magic; it’s nothing you can touch but it can touch every tiny nerve fiber within your body. I wanted to know how to produce this scentless, invisible, untouchable magic that resonates with the impulse of life itself. It was a dream of mine to play my own produced tracks in a club and everybody would freak out and I am extremely grateful to have achieved this dream! The decision to set up my own record label Lucidflow came about because it was a painfully slow process to send my own productions as a demo to other labels and in most cases never got a reply. It turned out to be one of the best decisions ever.

For the past couple of years, you’ve only really been playing your own records out. What brought you to the decision to approach DJing in this way? 

In the first place I’ve been producing a lot and enjoy to play this to people. I also set up and did Nadja Lind Live performances but to maintain and update a live set is a hell lot of work besides producing on my own and in co-ops with other artists and projects e.g. Klartraum plus Lucidflow plus travelling and last but not least I also had a full time job. I started dj-ing on vinyl only and after a couple of years travelling with heavy cases when I switched to CDs and then Traktor I got very confused since I am a rather visual person. Meaning I always knew how the cover looked like or where in my record bag and on which side to find the record I’d love to play next in my set. I got overwhelmed by all the promos I am being sent and it’s hard for me to remember tracks by just titles and lists… For me a dj set is always in flow and never static – it always changes with the mood and the vibe in the club itself. So apparently I have a better connection to the tracks I actually produced myself and for me music and playing out to people means something – it is not just a job for me – it is always about soul and connection and a cycle of energy between all people involved otherwise I would be bored to death.

Can you tell us a bit about the current scene in Berlin? Do you think it’s in a good place just now? 

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 or meeting friends in the park or in a cafe or my studio. Last week I went to see/hear Deadbeat and of all the nights – there was a total power cut so I couldn’t get to hear the music. But for sure Berlin is an awesome place for musicians, artists in general and promoters – you get to meet everybody there no matter which part of the world they’re from. I love Berlin and it was one of the best decisions in my life to move to this city.

July 1st sees the release of your remix of Saytek’s ‘Nuinio’ on RLS. Can you tell us a bit about how that came about, and how you approached the remix? How has the reaction been to it so far? 

Saytek and I’ve been working together for a while now and he has released on Lucidflow and did an amazing remix on my Brain Candy Album and will also be part of the Klartraum Secret Moon Remixed album that is about to see the light later this year. When he sent me the rmx parts – the track didn’t even have a title yet. I found out the title when somebody posted some excitement on my facebook wall after the promo had been sent out. So the reactions are quite positive. I really love this remix and I had the remix done and mastered in few hours. These always are the best tracks if they just ready to be brought to light or something. For me it’s absolutely a summer track and I can’t wait to play it out on the amazing Fabric sound system on 10th August.

What other productions under your own name can we look forward to? 

I’ve got several tracks finished in all kind of different styles: Dub, Chill, Deep-House, Deep-Techno, Techno, Tech-House… and am very happy about the outcome of some recent collaborations with e.g. Quintin Christian, Vandermeer and Deep Spelle and some other collaborations. At the moment I just love if I am being sent sample packs or basic Ableton projects and modulating them, doing the arrangements and just finishing up tracks. Later this year there will be another release I did with Paul Loraine on Wolf Trap. I also did a couple of remixes e.g. on a new Robert Babicz track and on an ep by Grünbox that is to be released in August on Lucidflow.

Together with Helmut Ebritsch, you also release music under the name Klartraum. How does the process of working with him differ from working by yourself? What do you have coming up by way of releases?

We’ve been ‘Klartrauming’ now since 2006 and our way of producing together has changed a lot. Nowadays we have two synchronized systems and we always work in parallel so each of us can hear everything what the other is creating at the moment – or of course can switch to headphones if it get’s too confusing. So we are extremely fast. When we sit down usually some hours later a track is born and mastered since we are running a mastering service Agile-Mastering.com and the whole sound is being routed through the mastering unit and mixed and mastered on the fly. When I work on my own I more or less work the same way but of course it is a difference if you are on your own or some other influence is in the same room. I love both – working on my own and with others.

We’ve got some Klartraum remixes coming up on our own label Lucidflow and a big project: Our 2nd Album Secret Moon will be remixed by a bunch of amazing artists such as Ian Pooley, Alexi Delano, Terry Francis, Saytek, Deep Spelle, Vince Watson, Nuno Dos Santos, Trinity & Beyond, David Alvarado, D. Diggler, Lulu Rouge and many more…

Also we have our beloved track Angelo remixed by Robert Babicz, Warren Fellow which we plan to release on Lucid Vinyl again plus some unreleased Klartraum. We’ve got a few tracks ready but we haven’t decided yet what to do with them…

You guys have also been taking Klartraum out as a live act. What’s your live set up like, and what can people expect to see and hear at your shows? 

We use the Allen & Heath DB2 digital mixer + internal sound card + filtering and awesome fx and to connect my KorgWaveDrum to + RME Babyface sound card. Each of us has a MacbookPro with Ableton8 + Sonalksis Multiband Compressor synced via LAN connection + APC40 + LIVID + K2 controllers + Helmut plays an Akai49 Synth. People can expect DEEPNESS and a live recreation on the fly of older and unreleased Klartraum tracks – so even we are being surprised on what will be the outcome. We don’t press just scene after scene, we have cut our tracks into tiny pieces and we both play and re-invent our tracks live and in real time. It’s a lot of fun.

You and Helmut have been running your record label Lucidflow for a few years now, and it seems to be going from strength to strength. Can you tell us a bit about where the label is at, and what you’ve got in store for us in the second half of 2013? What prompted the recent decision to start issuing vinyl? 

Yes Lucidflow gets some really lovely attention from listeners, djs and artist all over the world. I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all the supporters – this means a lot to us and I am very grateful! We have some amazing deepness in pipeline e.g. Riccicomoto and Helly Larson + Klartraum remix is coming next. After that will be Grünbox again + a remix I did for him. Then we will have Hatikvah, Helmut’s project together with singer Florian Schirmacher. C-Rock, Yapacc will be next. In between we will have some single prereleases of the Secret Moon Remixed Album I mentioned previously (Alexi Delano already delivered his awesomeness and so did David Alvarado and Weisses Licht… I am really looking forward to this project!).

Compilation-wise we will continue with Lucid Sounds, Lucid Moments which is more chilled out, Dark Matter for techno lovers and From Dub Till Lucid Dawn. My personal goal is to make an awesome Reggae/Dub compilation but this will take some time to get it done. Also I ‘forced’ Helmut to do a Best Of Helmut Ebritsch compilation and an album. Our decision to issue vinyl was basically because people kept on asking for wax. It’s much more work and expensive but also it is a nice thing to have your first vinyls on your own label and it’s a reason I started playing vinyl again.

You’ve been interacting a fair amount with my fellow Glaswegians Silicone Soul recently, including your upcoming gigs at Fabric with them in August. How did that interaction come about, and will there be further opportunities for collaboration with them on the horizon? 

The Glaswegians 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. I had the honour to mix the 10th Anniversary Darkroom Dubs CD which will be released these days. 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 artist 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.

Electronic music is staggeringly male-dominated, even by the lights of areas such as physics, mathematics, philosophy and computer science, which have terrible reputations for this. The explanation for this probably has a number of different elements, but it’s hard not to suspect that, as in other areas where women are so poorly represented, a large part of the problem is that they aren’t welcomed and encouraged, most of the successful role models are men, and so on. Do you think that’s right, and if so, what steps should we be taking to make the industry a more welcoming and supportive place for women who want to get involved? 

For an explanation of this phenomenon we only have to look back for a short period in time then we see the obvious reasons why women still don’t see their potentials even nowadays. Women have always been suppressed and restricted. Girls and women are still being taught to ‘behave’ and don’t take themselves too seriously and think of others first rather than taking care of themselves.  It takes courage, trust and a lot of (emotional) work and time to evolve and develop out of long established patterns and systems. But in my experience if you stand up, learn your lessons and do your own thing you will be welcomed and respected for what you do no matter of what sex you are. I enjoy producing with men and they have been good friends and supported me on my way. I’d love to find a female counterpart though. That would be very nice.

What are the other challenges facing DJs, producers and label-owners at the moment? You’ve talked in the past about struggles with piracy; are things heading at all in the right direction on that score, or are they just getting worse and worse as we digital formats continue to dominate?

Piracy is very sad and a big problem. Maybe there will be another solution – I think Spotify e.g. is going to an interesting direction. At the moment it feels a bit like Wild West.

Is the house/techno scene in a good place just now overall, or do you agree with those who suggest we’re stuck in a rut?

All I can say is that there are some incredibly talented artists and some touching music being released this is where I want to focus on.

What’s the next step for Nadja Lind? 

Currently I started co-ops with some artists such as Deep Spelle, Quintin Christian, David Alvarado, Warren Fellow, Brendon Moeller, Saytek, UGLH and shortly Lulu Rouge (I am super excited!)… also some more Nadja & G-Man is in pipeline and not to forget Paul Loraine. Some remixes here and there…

I mixed the upcoming DJ Mag Germandy CD, Darkroom Dubs 10th Anniversary CD, started 2-weekly ( 2nd and 4th Thursday Lucidlfow on Sceen.fm (1pm CET) Monthly (1st Friday Nadja Lind on Sonic.fm Argentina 10pm CET) and Lucidflow show on Frisky Radio NYC (4th Thursday of the month at 01 PM PST | 04 PM EST/NYC  10PM Berlin (04 PM EST/NYC, 10pm CET) 30.06.

I’ll be exclusively on www.OpenLab.fm an amazing radio + visualisations run by Robert Miles (9pm CET) Some gigs coming up next in B018 Beirut, Fabric where we perform Klartraum Live with Silicone Soul and Of norway in Room2 and will also be performing a dj set with Terry Francis Room3, some venues in NY…

Release-wise I will see what to do with my tracks and the outcome of all the collabs. I am sure all will fall into place at the right time.

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