Another day, another FKOF Artist Highlight!
Our latest chat sees us sit down with German producer/ DJ Noclu, a guy who’s been making waves with tunes both in his home country and further afield. With recent releases on Duploc, Subway and Hatcha’s very own Hatched, we caught up with Philipp to find out more…
Noclu! What’s good? Hey man, I’m good, thank you. Hope you guys are, too!
Introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do? My Name is Philipp, I’m 25 and living in the beautiful town of Münster in Germany.
In the real world, I’m working as an IT guy, looking after servers and network thingies. When I come home from work and the “Noclu Signal” is glowing I become Noclu!
We’ve worked with a few talented musicians from Germany over the years (shoutout you all!) – what’s bass music doing in Deutschland these days? I listen to both FKOF mixes and artists a lot – it always gives me a little smile when the artist I’m nodding my head to is from the country I live in.
Dubstep could use a little push here in Germany – but I can only talk about the scene within my reach here. There may be the sickest parties going on around me that I don’t know about! I hear a lot of events in Berlin or Cologne, so I think I maybe need to step out a little more…
But I’ve got to say, the (relatively small) city I live in has a pretty good scene. Dubstep, dub, reggae and DnB are all played almost every weekend AND! we’ve got a big soundsystem scene here – 6 systems! Almost every weekend there’s a different skankout.
There are enough heads to fill a room with a system and have a good evening with the deeper stuff; that’s for sure!
How did you get into dubstep? YouTube and Soundsystem culture!
I was 17, searching the for the term “Bass music” on YouTube and artists like TesLaRok, Skream and Benga etc popped up. Hypnotised by the basslines, I started listening to this kind of music and searched for other artists.
At this time, I was still producing hardstyle and hip-hop sounds – thank God not much of the hardstyle is online haha! One weekend, a good friend of mine came to me and told me “look at this flyer, they’re playing dubstep tonight”! That was the first day I experienced dubstep the way it needs to be experienced. A small room, dim lights and a BIG Soundsystem (Bigup MSF Soundsystem, I love you guys). From that day, I was infected and needed more – so the day after that party I produced my first dubstep tune.
You’ve had releases with our friends Subway Music and Duploc. What do you look for in a label when trying to sign material? I mostly check their releases and the picture the label shows to the outside world; nice music and nice people is preferable!
For example, Duploc. I love when a Duploc upload or release pops out in my feed. It makes me think “what has sneaky sneaky Pieter planned now”?! Since we (Pieter and I) first got in contact a few years ago, we’ve become friends – I definitely owe him some beers. A label needs to be professional, handling contracts and artists well – too many artists get “pulled over the table” by unprofessional labels, sadly.
What makes a good record label these days? Have you considered setting one up yourself and releasing your own tunes? A good record label provides great music. Organising parties and label nights is good too, but I’d say is optional. There are so many labels out there that put out good music in different ways! Some release vinyl-only, some digital-only and some love to send out tapes with hand-drawn artwork.
These days it’s like everyone has their own label. I mean even my cat has one (I don’t have a cat)! It’s a good thing for the scene’s diversity and a good thing against the majors (F*ck them). My only issue remembering all the names haha!
We do have our own label (Sublime Audio) where my soundsystem crew and I put out some strange music. But we haven’t done much yet due to time-related issues. We’ll be focusing on it more in the future, though!
What’s your production workflow for building tunes – what’s your DAW of choice? My DAW of Choice is Ableton (got me the Suite for my birthday, yayyy)!
I love Ableton’s workflow and the minimalistic design; everything works flawlessly. I’ve worked with Reason, Logic and Ableton – but Ableton was the best thing for me.
My workflow is really, really different, I don’t have a point like “start with drums” – I just start, sometimes with a melody, drums or maybe even some strange noise that somehow magically transforms into atmospherical noise and then somehow into a piece of music.
What’s your one top tip for producers looking to make a dubstep tune in 2016? My tip for producers?
Don’t spend too much time looking at what others are doing. In my opinion, there are too many tracks out there that sound the same. Be creative, be weird, be yourself and you’ll make music others like!
I mean, look at Gantz‘s Spry Sinister! The offbeat vocals on this one give me the creeps as a drummer, but the tune is innovative. I really love that tune and I think a lot of people love it too- because it’s different!
On the “hard dubstep” side, there are some great innovations too! But too many producers sound the same, using the same samples. Be creative!
What have you got coming up during the next few months – any new releases or appearances playing out? I have some tunes in my pipeline, most of them head in a very deep direction. Wait for a project coming with CoMa and a remix album coming soon too! More dubstep coming soon. Keep an eye on Subway and Duploc! I’ll try to spread my music in every possible direction too!
Photo by Blume Blau
What can you tell us about your FKOF mix? I loved mixing this one! Focusing on the deeper ones, the rollers and tunes that make the system shake the dancefloor!
I played some of my originals and tunes of artists I really like. I don’t really care for playing the “newest” and “freshest” tunes, but if I like them then I’ll play them!
There’s one or two cheeky bootlegs in the mix – how do you go about putting the bootlegs together? Tehehe, the bootlegs, yeah! I do these mostly to play out and make people wonder, “who did this?” (I’m a fan of the dubplate scene) haha. When I really really love a song, I sometimes get creative and add my own touch to it – always hoping to make the original artist happy. I try to contact the original artists before I make it and ask if it’s okay (for example, Bukez was down with it)!
Who’s your favourite dubstep producer or DJ at the moment? Who are you rating and why? Hmmm… I don’t really think I have any favourites at the minute – many people make really great mixes! I want to see Enigma Dubz sometime soon, though; I think the energy he brings on stage is incredible!
There are so many producers making so much great music! But I’ve got to say, if a list of favourites existed, Bukez Finezt would be at the top. That guy is a shuffle on two legs. Does the trap stuff, the hard stuff and the deeper tunes.
The last few weeks, I’ve noticed him going into the direction of the kind of “Soundsystem” tunes. I really like the direction where he’s going!
Any final words or shoutouts? Yeah! Shoutout to all the people that fuel the scene instead of talking sh*t. We need more people working together as this dubstep thing needs to be pulled on one rope. Shoutout to all producers that trade sleep for music! Shoutout to the people who give away their tunes for free! Keep your head up and don’t be too much of a perfectionistic.
I really have to thank Sam! Without him, you wouldn’t be reading this! Bigup to Duploc, Subway Music, Hatcha, my friends and of course my cat!
Click to DOWNLOAD (300MB)
- LSN – Oblivion [Uprise Audio]
- Jack Sparrow – Hold and Pull [Deep Medi]
- Juss B – Braata [FKOF]
- Genetix – Dreadbomb [Big Tuna]
- Noclu – Desert [dub]
- Skream – Mood to Funk [Digital Soundboy]
- Bukez Finezt – World Riddim [Hatched]
- Noclu – March of the Elephunks [Hatched]
- TMSV – Haze [Artikal Music UK]
- Bukez Finezt – Under Control (Noclu bootleg) [dub]
- Noclu – Roller [Free]
- Bukez Finezt – You Don’t Belong Here [Subway Music]
- Proxima – Trapped [Tempa]
- Kahn – Abbatoir (Noclu bootleg) [dub]
- Otz – Warrior Dub [dub]
- Kollektiv Turmstrasse – Let Freedom Ring (Noclu bootleg) [dub]
- 040 – Let It Be Known [Butterz]
- Joker – Purple City [Kapsize]
- Shandy – Crack [New World Audio]
- Sukh Knight – Ninety Nine [Stripes Records]
- Noclu – Tell Dem [DUPLOC]
- Otz – Sanity [FKOF]
- Sorrow – Iscariot [Self released]
- DTR – Walls of Babylon [Foundation Audio]
- Goth-Trad – Sinker [Deep Medi]
- Noclu – Pulse thief [Free]