feeder insider w/ Ali Nasser [en]
Ali Nasser is the man who just keeps coming back. Why is that? Because of his experience in the musical industry, both in terms of the history of his productions and the technique he uses when creating sounds. He started like the big composers, with piano lessons, then in 1998 he moved on to the turntables at Web Club, while his constant curiosity and determination to evolve landed him a job as a sound engineer at Yama Studio. He started producing and soon made an impression with his remix for Woman Key, released on the Be Chosen label and which caught the attention of heavyweights like DoEasy, Connaiseur, Soweso, Supernature Records or the more recent Pleasure Zone. In 2009, Soweso brought Ali to the Sonar Festival in Barcelona where he drove the crowd crazy together with Kabale und Liebe, Audiofly, Steve Lawler. With Ali Nasser as supporting act, Sasha and Art Department took Romania by storm in 2014 at Sala Polivalentă. In the meantime, Ali joined the Sunrise crew to even out things and share with the Romanian public the same euphoria that he had spread abroad. On the 4th of June his latest album – All We Need – is launched officially right over at Misbits, but until then let’s find out some news from Ali himself.
keywords: supercharged creativity, laidback, dream state, depth, techno
“Alo? No…Ali!” Haha, good one! Hello, Ali!
It’s with that crazy Lucas that I like to… spend most of my time.
My favorite piano tone is… I love each and every one of them.
When making music I use all sorts of tools, though I do have my preferences, especially towards… the Akai MPC.
First thing I tell myself before getting a haircut… this one’s the last.
When I get together with my brothers we really enjoy… telling stories.
The man who just keeps coming back is… a biblical example.
I found something similar to the Web Club in… Eden.
Alexandru Bogdan: Hello, Ali! We’re really excited that you’ve agreed to chat with us. On the 4th of June we’re bringing all we’ve got while you, All We Need, at the official launch of your latest album at Misbits, what were the challenges you came across and how did this album shift the course of your musical evolution?
Ali Nasser: Hello, thank you for inviting me here. The challenge was to put together 8 tracks for the album and another 3 as a pre-sample, all under the same umbrella while keeping together the warmth and harmony of the flow. Bearing in mind the fact that I don’t follow a specific path in general, I enjoy diversity in music and try as hard as I can to expand my horizon and steer clear of patterns.
I’m inclined to think that my music reaches out to a larger spectrum of people who don’t want to only listen to one style or sound. The idea behind the album is for it to be played in the house, car, or club, it’s sensitive, mysterious and uplifting, it’s neither underground nor commercial, it’s somewhere between the two worlds.
I don’t sense any shift at the moment, be it good or bad, but appreciation and encouragement coming from the public and from fellow artists are standing out more and I’d like to officially thank them for it.
A.B.: Your kid is gorgeous, funky fresh, supercharged creative, so you’re also a father, how is the music scene getting along with your family life, is there a different Ali at home than at the club or do these two personalities come together in perfect harmony?
A.N.: Personality and character remain unchanged, though of course there are some differences between my attitude at home and the one I generally display to outsiders, but all this time my child is part of me, I carry him in my thoughts and in my soul and it’s what gives me spiritual balance and keeps me focused. It’s easier and faster to make decisions as a dad, his arrival triggered a kind of decision-making instinct.
A.B.: You recently made a remix for Monica Anghel’s “Spune-mi” (Tell Me). What was the inspiration behind this choice? Surely you know Rhadoo’s contribution to Alexandra Ungureanu’s tune, “Lumea visează” (The World Is Dreaming), do you believe more such projects would elevate the music market in Romania?
A.N.: Unu’ (Bogdan Popoiag) is the man behind Lumea visează and I think of it as being a timeless piece, something special infused with the jungle/DnB generation, it made sense for Rhadoo to be aware of this and bring part of it into his production to introduce it to his audience, since they’re both from the same generation, they know each other and everything about this remix probably just came naturally.
Unlike Rhadoo and Unu’ (Bogdan), I don’t personally know Monica Anghel, although she is a renowned folk artist andowed with a special and pleasant voice, while her track Spune-mi is a classic. I wanted to bring parts of her track into my music, so I sampled and integrated it into what I was making and labelled it as an edit, it’s not an official remix.
I believe such remixes and edits have a personal touch, they showcase another approach, another perspective, I’m not sure they’d elevate the music market but they would lend support to the artists and would represent musical progress.
A.B.: In 2008 Get Away EP came out on Derivat Records, followed by RA EP in 2009 – tech vibes sprinkled with some funky sax, debauchery and champagne – then Creative Sens came along on Mitu Recordings, what happened back then, seems like a deep ripening process took place, sparked a change, maybe you can tell us more about this?
A.N.: I believe this ripening moment took place in 2012 when I signed with Pleasure Zone (Feel EP) and in 2013 (Time EP), when I managed to arrive at the desired set-up and produce tracks backed up by more experience. Another highlight was that I had the freedom to get it all our, no boundaries placed by the label. Naturally I went on with All We Need Album Sampler EP followed by All We Need Album LP.
A.B.: You mixed Audiofly’s tunes, put your talent to work on Daso and Nick Curly releases – you guessed it, we’re getting to this subject – the Studio. Is it home, or somewhere else? How do you go about producing something, or remixing, do you have any steps you follow, lighting candles, incense, any magic potions?
A.N: I generally work from home, but sometimes switch to one studio or another. I make remixes on request and if I like the original track, I remix it. Once the idea strikes it’s enough to start working. I enjoy working night and day on a project, I noticed that the state of mind alters between them, you can combine harmonies, reach a balance between bright and dark, it’s freaky!
A.B.: Beethoven used to find his inspiration while gazing at the Rhine for hours on end. How was your childhood and what inspired you to walk down the path of music? Beethoven, for instance, didn’t receive much support from those around him, how was it for you? What do you think would encourage those who don’t really find understanding towards their passions?
A.N.: Beethoven: different times, different situation! It’s hard to compare that context with ours and almost impossible to compare myself with what he did, still I received my family’s support to make music ever since I was a kid and had many days when I just sat and “stared at the walls”.
Those moments of “boredom” are in fact the times when your mind is not challenged or stimulated in any way. These are actually good opportunities to listen, pay more attention to what is going on around you and with a bit of practice you can easily integrate it into something creative and unique. In other words these “dead” moments can help you be more creative.
A.B.: What do you think about our music scene and the way Feeder fits it?
Since we have festivals, clubs and renowned artists on the market, it is clear that we are above many places in Europe, even if we are to talk about what is happening overseas.
A.N.: Feeder is old school and it became tradition. I’m happy you guys are back.
A.B.: Came across something on mixcloud called White Jail podcast, proper treatment for a Sunday afternoon, the name excited me so much I couldn’t help asking about the idea behind the title?
A.N.: The mix was done for the White Jail brand/label in London, so not my idea.
A.B.: Thank you!
A.N.: Thanks to you too.