Sometimes you don't choose your life, life chooses for you. This is what happened to Mauro Nakimi, an awesome producer from Spain who spent the last three years working on his brand new album "Multimorphic". To understand the main concept behind his opus, we asked Mauro to introduce himself a little bit and go back to the origins of his passion for music. This is where it all began and where he acquired his non-compromizing character.
Chris Nexus 6: Could you please introduce yourself a little bit?
Mauro Nakimi: I'm just a man who believes in his convictions full time, extremely transparent on the way to show how it works and defend the music still as an art.
What is your musical background? What are your main influences, and who are your favorite artists; present and past?
It's hard to tell because I don’t come from the typical Electro/Techno roots. I grew up with influences from bands like Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream and a few of the first underground electronic band tests from the 70’s and 80’s. In the mid 80’s, my elder brother managed an illegal pirate FM radio at home, one of the most popular programs dedicated entirely to Funky Music, and of course Electro Funk; that was my first contact with Electro Funk culture, Breakdance, and all of the creativity showed to the world during those years. I feel really lucky having grown up surrounded by synthesizers, decks, and thousands of records at home since I was a child. I think it’s relevant to understand who I am right now. Nowadays, I try to listen to less music as possible in studio during composing periods, because I always try to keep the personality in all that I make.
Apart from music, do you have other influences like movies or books?
Probably all 80’s movies that I saw in my childhood ;)
Yes, I agree! :) Which ones? Any Sci-Fi and Horror ones from John Carpenter, or more commercial ones like E.T.? Could you give us examples perhaps?
Of course. There are some. My first Sci-Fi and Horror Film was "XTRO", and Carpenter's “The Thing” or “Christine”, and “In The Mouth Of Madness”. Also commercial movies like “D.A.R.Y.L”, and one of my favorites: “TRON". In most cases, I think of people who remake movies just need to go to Hell!
"I try to write a message in every song, to show how I feel..."
How did you meet Electronic Music? Tell us about your first parties and how did you hook up with Raves?
In 1989, after finishing the Primary School, my parents had several economic problems. I started to go to High School, but 1990 was really a hard year for me because too many changes came at the same time. My parents couldn’t help me with money, so I realized that I needed a job to be more independent from them, buy clothes, records, and stuff like that. Finally in the summer of 1991, I got my first job as a DJ at a club for 21€ per night. After that, I lived entirely to play/make lives and compose music until today, 26 years later.
I see. Often, your choices influence your life but in your case, it's funny how life influenced your choices and the way you lived. So let’s talk about Multimorphic a bit. Could you please explain to us what it's about and what’s its concept? What were your intentions and what will be the result?
Oh, Multimorphic is a really different point to understand and show the way music works, with a real connection between artist and listener. Showing how the album is made, showing the instruments that I use to make it. Keeping attention in all details to convert the work into something different, never made, with no digital edition and with more than 30 relevant worldwide artists on it.
That’s a hell of a Project! How did this concept come to your mind?
The concept came after living from the inside and trying the digital market and portal shops throughout the years. I came to the conclusion that I had to find a new way to understand the business because the digital market is a real CANCER for the music. I wanted my music to be released in physical format and not on a forgotten computer music folder. Of course, it demanded timeless works, something hard to find in this current market saturated by made easy music loops.
The title of the album makes me think of Alien species that can change their appearance several times. What’s the main idea/concept behind Multimorphic? Would you consider the release as a Sci-Fi masterpiece?
The name of the album means that every single track can be played on live in many different ways. Techno and Electro tracks have the same speed, 124 BPM and the three downtempo bonus cuts also. It gives the opportunity to combine live black note rhythms and broken beats simultaneously, to change the morphology of the songs. This lead me to name the album Multimorphic (Multiple-Morphology). I consider the album and concept as something really different. Both let people follow the work as a progression and so people who daily discover the work will consider the album as a masterpiece (or not ☺).
How do you describe your sound in general and your album in particular?
I want it to be as personal and timeless as possible. I try to write a message in every song, to show how I feel. Good days, bad days. The harder is to keep on having the same illusion that I had when I started. I try to be strong, knowing that I’m going against the river without never giving up. I'm defending a real art music album, that will probably be one of the most complete compilations of music and artists of the underground electronic music culture worldwide when finished.
Integrity, no compromises...that's how we could describe your behavior then?
Definitely yes! Intregrity, looking for my own success and remain firm on my rights and convictions, that’s the key for me.
A man, instruments and a camera. How important are the graphics and the visual aesthetics for you? Can’t Music work without visuals?
They are important if you try to tell something with your music. The graphics, the images help describe all my feelings behind the music.
The album marries various musical genres from Electro to Techno. Could you please introduce them and explain to us why didn’t you stick to one style; for instance, just 100% Electro?
The reason is that I’m really open to make the music that I feel, no matter the style, and it’s really helpful to keep the personality in general on my career. Sometimes I make Techno, but of course I make mostly Electro because this genre is not corrupted, it still gives me the same feelings that I had when I started to listen to it in mid-80s. Also I make uptempo Electronica, Drum & Bass, Jungle, because in the early 90's, I used to play a lot of Breakbeat UK Hardcore. Right now, I'm running two side projects with different names. The first one is "Soul Murderer", with the first album "Uninformed Society" coming out this year. It sounds more IDM and pure Electronica soul. The second project is called "Plainkillaz", and focuses on a dark downtempo approach with vocals. "Overdose", the first album, is due in 2018. At the same time, I’m thinking of developing the next album of Mauro Nakimi that, I promise, will be a fusion of images and state-of-the-art music.
You started the album in 2014. Three years in the making. You obviously had to make choices and sacrifices. According to the final result and quality of it, there's no regrets. But which were the sacrifices you made?
First, I got tons of gear and tried to find out the sound that I was looking for; more than 50 instruments to get the perfect combination of machines, until I found the better setup to make the album. I made the entire album with an Akai MPC 1000, an Access Virus Indigo 1, Novation KS Rack, and a Spectralis 1. Then I started composing the tracks and record them live, taking my time to choose a real progression on each track and tell something. In the middle of all the composition process, my father passed away. It was really a punch in my mind that determined the character of the album. After saying to him the last goodbye, I came back to the studio and wrote "Universum"; one of the bonus tracks and for much people apparently one of the best songs of Multimorphic.
On the press kit of your album, you mentioned "You still believe in music as an art". What do you mean exactly? Would you say that lots of artists are making music for business only or making music as sort of like Kleenex if you will?
Yes, of course the music has to be an art, but I’m not the kind of person who every day is talking shit on other's medias, thinking that I’m right and the others are wrong, telling how the scene should be and stuff like that. I really believe that this kind of behavior is for frustrated people, unsafe with their works. I’m really clear with my convictions and I let my work do the talking for me. I respect all kind of opinions about the scene, music, and business, but I never get involved in these discussions. I just make music and how music business, friends circles, and people try to convert opinions on reality doesn’t matter. For me, acting like this is simply a waste of time.
So would you say perhaps lots of the current productions are lacking emotion or personal implications?
Always, and what always happens is the fact that in the most emotional moments of my life, I develop the most prolific music compositions. Music without emotion is not music for me...like some Electronic modern styles that are now on top.
Let’s talk about the format. The album comes in an amazing box with T-shirt and lots of goodies. How important is it for you to get a physical result?
The album comes in a hand-made format with plenty of details, and I try to make it very professional with a very limited edition box for music collectors as the Multimorphic Red Limited Edition of only 10 copies, but normally I made all limited editions of 300, no repress, no digital editions warranted. At the final stage, I'm going to release a special box, only 50 copies, including the eleven vinyls. I’m proud to tell you that the list of artists involved into the Project features so far Alek stark, Boris Divider, Cristian Wünsch, Gotshell, Krenzlin, Gez Varley (LFO), Plural, Alex Cortex, Resonance, Ōcktawian, James Wolfe, Larry McCormick, and Robert Armani. Much more will be announced later on as the album will gather together more than 30 artists.
About the remixes, the album is complete with several collaborations as you said before. Could you explain to us how you selected these artists?
At the moment, I can only talk about the scheduled releases. I’ll announce more in a near future. At the end, we'll have more than 30 artists. Why I choose these artists? Simply because they connect with the album, believe in my personal convictions and I like the way they understand the music.
Is there for you a debate between physical and digital releases?
No, I’ve never been involved in that kind of discussion. The people are free to believe what’s better for them and I respect that, but I don’t want to be featured on the digital market anymore and hope people will also respect my decision.
"I don’t want to be featured on the digital market anymore..."
Please describe your creative process. How do you usually start a track? From an idea, from scratch or a white paper, from just a beat perhaps?
I always start from a melody, and then start to compose the differents part of the song. The parts are always recorded in real time. Rhythms and melodies, bass lines, etc, on my MPC. After that, I record live on my computer. I never use the computer to make music, just for recording.
How do you catch and maintain the attention of the listeners? Do you have any tips?
After I develop the concept of the album, I focus my works on the live format. I connect every week to my studio and make a live song or jam live songs. It’s really a good way to connect with people and show how my music process is. Actually on my social media sites, I have done 19 live connections and now I'm going to make the second mark of my Studio Lives with a new setup. I also have a really good presence on the most important music magazines in Spain and some international mags also, despite the fact that I feel I’m a real underground artist.
Regarding your musical career, what are you the most proud of? If you had to, would you make it exactly the same if you did it over again?
I would say the ability to react to falling down, open wrong doors to find the right one, keeping on my convictions, having many offers to convert myself into a massive market muppet, and still believing for many years that is not the way to do what i feel. Now, I’m collecting the results.
What about your studio? No computers, nor laptops...all analogue stuff. Why? Which instruments do you use the most and why?
The reason why I don’t use computers to make music is that I worked teaching music production for many schools in, and outside of Spain, developing mastering and production learning methods for few ones and doing personal production courses with many people around the world. I find it too easy to make music with computers and don't simply feel it. One of the most important things for me still is to do my job with music. Right now, I use an MPC 1000 as a sequencer, a Matrixbrute, an Access Virus Indigo 1, a Vermona DRM 1 MKIII, TT 303 Bass Bot, Novation KS RACK, and some new stuff that I’m getting for the new setup like an MFB Dominion and old gear that I'm still using for more than 20 years like my Roland Space Echo RE-201 among others…
How do you judge the current Electro and Techno scene? How do you see the evolution of our music? Do you think Electro music progresses, or regresses?
Electro has still the essence but sometimes it needs more exposure and of course people with new points of view but in small proportion. Too much innovation may corrupt the genre like Techno now. There are so many people making really good Techno and on the false and underground clubbin’ scene so many people who name Techno to whatever they hear.
Do you keep on listening to Electro? Which artists do you appreciate? Which artists you'd like to work with?
Yeah, I listen and like a lot of Electro. AUX 88, for instance, a band who played from the early nineties and is right now a really awesome one. Being connected on social networks with Mr. Tommy Hamilton, a true legend, who said amazing things about my music is priceless. Of course, I listen to Alek Stark, a really good friend and a guy I respect a lot. He made possible the amazing editions of my vinyls. I listen also to people like The Hidden Persuader, who makes real personal Electro. Lektroid…I love his Electro music but I do love more his ambient works. It would be an honor for me to get AUX 88 as part of the Multimorphic project, everything is possible.
Talking about Spain from a foreign look, we often think about Ivan Arnau, Alex Stark or Boris Divider. How is the Electro scene in your country?
I don’t know Ivan personally but he makes really good Electro. I saw some videos playing live and I respect him a lot. Alek and Boris are really good artists in my eyes. Alek is doing really unique Electro in many variants, and Boris right now makes very vanguard music based on FM synthesis that I appreciate a lot. Sincerely I can’t talk about Spain's Electro Scene because I never fall into it. I always see friends proclaiming Electroheads to other friends and believe that their opinions are reality. Of course, I know separately many people that are really good persons that I respect a lot. They know perfectly who they are and don’t need to be named here.
What are your forthcoming musical projects and outings?
So still working on the Multimorphic outings. The second one is at the pressing plants at the moment and there are 9 releases after this. At the same time, I’m developing my next album, due to release by the middle of the year. Then the two side projects I told you about before, "Soul Murderer" and "Plainkillaz".
Which advices woud you give to someone who'd like to launch a musical career?
Study and analyze what’s outside the box, and then develop something different, on the style you want to grow as an artist. Always try to be yourself and make a sound and a name that people, after listening to your work in only 10 seconds, will instantly get in their mind. Be personal definitely.
Few words of conclusion to the Electro community out there?
I really think that we are the purest style of Electronic Music at the moment. We are a small community compared to other more massive styles, but sometimes I see tons of vanity inside. Electro needs more union in order to give it a solid place on the worldwide circuit. Electro artists need to be sure of their works and understand that we all have our own space on the scene. See the rest of artists as partners and not as enemies. As a conclusion, I'd like thank the Technobass crew, specialy you Chris and Santino as well for giving me the opportunity to express my point of view about music, and talk about my works and some other things out there. PEACE, CREATIVITY AND ELECTRO FOREVER!!!
Beautiful, well said! Thank you Mauro, and huge thanks for your time in doing this interview with me. Can't wait to see what comes next! :)
- Mauro Nakimi's website
- Mauro Nakimi's Bandcamp
- Mauro Nakimi's YouTube channel
- Mauro Nakimi's Discography
Reviewed by: Chris Nexus 6