An Interview with… Nathan Fake

Twenty-five year old DJ Nathan Fake has a reputation of being notoriously shy and well mannered. Whilst the latter is certainly true, Nathan had no qualms about talking to his fans, including myself.

The Norfolk born producer has been the discussion of much genre debate for tech heads and the like. Using unique blends of accentuated reverb’s and midi synth’s he takes his audiences from epic ambient landscapes to punchy, downright banging bass-lines. Friend, Vincent Oliver, provides the artwork that accompanies his performances, which altogether adds another layer of intensity.

Nathan took the electronic world by storm with his first release ‘Outhouse’ at the tender age of twenty. He has collected a loyal following after the anthemic ‘Drowning in a Sea of Love’ album. Few electronic-oriented British acts have been able to push into the widespread music market and reach the electronic dynasty such as Aphex twin or Four Tet, but many view Nathan’s work as having the emotional depth to transcend the natural fanbase.profile2

Now touring with record label boss James Holden, and good friend DJ Petter, Nathan is set to keep on improving his reputation.

Playing through what he describes as ‘a laptop with some controllers and shit’, Nathan headlined for Edinburgh based, techno event pioneers ‘Kapital’, their night at The Caves on March 1st. Afterwards, I caught up with him to see what he had to say for himself…

Q: Aye Aye… Hows it going?
A: good thanks.

Q: Enjoy the gig (1st March)?
A: yeah man it was wicked. It was my 2nd time in Edinburgh and I really like the city, it’s the first time I’ve had a full on club gig though… really cool. Its always fun going somewhere with Petter too.

Q: Any plans for coming back to Edinburgh/Scotland?
A: not as yet… though hopefully quite soon, Scotland is always a really fun place to play.

Q: What’s happening for you in the near future?
A: I’m off to Japan with some of the Border Community label crew in June, which should be brilliant; we’re playing a festival that is set in the mountains in the middle of Japan. I actually went a couple of years ago with Vincent, this time I’m going with James (Holden) and Petter…

Q: What’s the most unusual gig or audience you’ve played a set to?
A: shit I don’t know… it’s hard to single one out. I once played an Italian restaurant in Japan, that was pretty bizarre.

Q: What or Who Influences your music/sound?
A: all kinds of stuff… I grew up listening to stuff like Orbital and Mogwai. Also place and time influences me, if I’m in a happy place or time then I’m usually a bit more productive… it can be really random though… my friends and stuff…. people I meet…. meeting new people can be really inspiring.silouette

Q: Would you ever consider changing your sound/genre?
A: I’m gonna go all artisty ambiguous again but I don’t really know what my sound/genre is. I reckon its natural to do loads of different stuff: like a painter wouldn’t paint pictures of trees his whole life. Maybe some do, I dunno. My last album was pretty different to the stuff I’d put out before and I’ve done different stuff since then I guess… though it all has a common thread running through it.

Q: Have you been musically trained at all?
A: no, I studied music technology at college for a while but dropped out.

Q: As an artist, does your music represent anything for you? or what did ‘drowning in a sea of love’ mean for you?
A: drowning was really personal I guess, when I wrote all the songs for it I never imagined it would be released! The titles might carry something, and they mean something to me, but the thing I like about instrumental music is that the listener can attach their own meaning and memories etc to it, it can really strongly remind you of a certain time/place or feeling a certain way. I definitely get that with a lot of wordless music.

Q: Recently, the sets seem to have been less beat oriented and slightly more ambient, you’ve been described as following in the foot steps of outfits like Four Tet or Boards of Canada, has there been a deliberate choice away from “techno” say, to more chilled electronica?
A: I dunno… I think my live set is pretty full on. I’m definitely not trying to sound like Boards of Canada or Four Tet no. Nah, there’s been no deliberate move away or towards any kind of sound. Playing live is all about rocking out so I’m not really into playing ambient shit in my live set now.

Q: you’re originally from Norfolk. Does it have a big electronic “scene”/music culture?
A: not that I’m aware of… but there are quite a lot of free parties and some festivals that go down on the coast. I didn’t experience much of it while I was growing up though; my school was full of meatheads and jocks.

Q: What was school like?
A: full of meatheads and jocks.eyes

Q: Any mischievous schoolboy antics?
A: no I was shit at PE so was generally regarded a failure.

Q: ..you’ve chosen to stay what some might call a ‘bedroom’ DJ, and not really use big studio’s? James Holden not got a studio for ye?
A: no James hasn’t got me a studio, Border are a record label not a housing association! I’ve just always worked like this…. working in a big studio would be weird. I just like getting home and making tunes…

Q: Some say the dance culture is synonymous with drugs, do ye reckon?

A: yeah it probably is for the most part, I guess that’s pretty much how it started. I’m well not interested in dance music though, all dance music is total shit and the dance music scene is populated by the biggest spazzes in the world

Q: If you were God and you had the power to ‘smite’, who or what might you ‘smite’?
A: people who make dance music…

Check out Nathan on his continually evolving Myspace page.

Don’t forget to have look at all the great artists at the Border Community

and their Myspace.


One Response to “An Interview with… Nathan Fake”

  1. […] the rest of this Interview here Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)LA Times Kills Column Advocating Princely CD […]

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