As I start to prepare this post at 3:24AM on a Wednesday morning, my headphones blast N U A G E S' "for you". I bet some of you might think I'm exagarating, but honestly the amount of goosebumps waves on my body is insane. That dude's music is something different.
Our history with him goes all the way to 2013 when we started Stereofox. One of the first tracks I've featured was his song "Dreams" and to this day I find it absolutely fascinating.
The thing about N U A G E S is that t here isn't much about him on the Internet, so having him as a guest for our interviews meant a lot. In addition, the exclusive artist mini mix he created is absolutely stunning and it's exactly what I thought it would be (tracklist at the bottom of the post).
What's the inspiration behind the track selection and how would you describe it in a sentence?
It's basically a selection of songs by some of my favourite artists, songs which have inspired my music over the years.
So, it's been around 5 years since you started N U A G E S. Did you ever imagine to reach and touch so many people with your music?
I started making music without really ever intending on other people hearing it, but decided to upload a few tracks and the reaction I got was generally positive, a few blogs got involved (yours included) which definitely helped spread the music.
I never really expected my music to go anywhere, so it's amazing to receive positive feedback from people, and to have dedicated fans who support the project.
How would you describe those 5 years?
It's all been at my own pace, which I like. Its also really encouraging to listen back to the music i have released and to be able to hear the progression I've made.
I often find myself listening to your music late at night. It gives me a seriously weird and mixed feelings between being utterly relaxed and on the edge of something big about to happen. Is that something you're trying to create?
I suppose in that moment you're able to experience the music without other distractions, without it being just the soundtrack for other things which are going on, it allows you to really think about and feel what you're listening to. I guess most of my music was created with that introspective headspace in mind.
What's your favourite setting to listen to your music (if you actually do after releasing it)?
I listen to music all the time, when I’m walking, on the train, at work, always have my headphones in. I listen to works-in-progress on repeat to pick them apart, but once i release something I tend to not really listen to it again.
Your early stuff like "Dreams" and "Wait" are rather more lo-fi, while "Lost" and "Let Go" are on the other spectrum of electronic. Does your sound evolve or it's a momentum feeling?
All of my music stems from a simple loop that stays pretty constant throughout, then I layer sounds on top of that, I don’t really start out with a clear idea in my head. Each track evolves from that original loop, so the aesthetic/vibe really comes from that one starting point.
I used to experiment a bit more with found sounds, recordings on my phone etc. which I've sort of shifted away from, but i plan to go back to that. That's the whole Shlohmo / Bad Vibes influence…
I have to say - "Lost" is probably one of the tracks who can seriously make me feel emotional. Is there any backstory behind the track?
To be honest there’s no real deep backstory to it, i sampled a lot of post-rock tracks on Lost which i guess gives it that emotional / cinematic element, and the speaking track i stumbled upon and it just seemed to work really well with the whole vibe. There’s quite a few layers in that track actually, although overall the idea comes across quite simple I think.
By the way, how important are the spaces in N U A G E S? Do they represent something?
Haha, not at all actually, it was a bit of a thing back in the bedroom producer / soundcloud days to use spaces, no vowels etc. but all it does is makes it really hard for people to google you...and more mysterious? I don't bother with spaces anymore :)
Do people in your daily life know about the project or you keep it rather low key?
I actually keep it really low key, hardly anyone in my daily life knows about the project, I seem to tell more people who i don't know about it!
Is music a full time thing by the way? Does production take most of your day?
No not at all, music is just a hobby for me, evenings and weekends and whenever I get the time, it's a good way to switch off, just me and my laptop. If i get an idea I like i can spend hours working away, but often just wasting time!
What's the biggest thing you had to sacrifice in the name of music?
I wish i had a deeper answer to this but in all honesty i haven’t had to sacrifice anything, I fit my music in around my day to day life so never miss out on the more important things.
I know that Shlohmo's Bad Vibes is quite influential album for you. What other records in the recent years have inspired you to create music?
Yeah Bad Vibes is definitely the album that got me interested in making music, and also the album that led me on to listen to so much more. Day to day i listen to all sorts, shoegaze, electronic, hip-hop, i think it all lends itself to the the sound in some way whether its the textures or the atmosphere or the beats. Burial is another big influence, the vocal elements and the atmospheres.
What's ahead of N U A G E S in 2017? Any live shows planned?
I'm hoping to start working on an EP, no live shows planned unfortunately as I don’t really have a performance set-up and it would just be me playing tracks off my laptop, but watch this space!
Stream more of N U A G E S's music on his Stereofox artist profile. This guy is simply incredible.