- Rolling techno.
- Nadia Struiwigh immediately turned heads with her debut album, Lenticular, on CPU Records. It wasn't her first record, but it was an auspicious release at an auspicious time for a label that was at the centre of a revival of early '90s IDM and electro styles. You could use those terms to describe Dutch producer Struiwigh's music, but you'd have to also mention ambient—just check out her last album, Pax Aurora, for Rotterdam powerhouse Nous'klaer Audio—and techno, which is the subject of her new RA Podcast.
Those familiar with Struiwigh only through her records might be surprised by this mix, which is over two hours of alternately atmospheric and pummeling techno. It highlights the versatility and potential of the genre, as well as Struiwigh's own outlook on it. She was a techno DJ before she started making the softer, weirder stuff, and she can recognize the music's innate emotional qualities, even at its most functional. As she says below, her intention is to "glue the best of both worlds" to create a "rare energy" with her DJing and production.
What are you grateful for these days?
I think it is very important to remind ourselves of the good things in life, especially in harder times. My gratefulness changes each day, but at the moment I am very happy to be back in Europe and be around my friends and family and be supported by amazing people, feeling the music scene. I lived the last two and a half years in Australia, so I was divided from my musical influences and from everyone that I love. The last four months have been life-changing for me privately and career-wise :) (big shout out to my mates).
How and where was the mix recorded and can you tell us the idea behind it?
So as I'm just back in The Netherlands again, I live in a sort of farm place temporarily which is surrounded by nature. Such a lovely space for when I am not on the road, so that is the place I recorded this mix. The tracks I chose are quite trippy with industrial influences and have a firm punch, that carries the vibe throughout the whole set. When I listen to techno, experimental and ambient music, I love the feeling of being in a sort of hypno state which feels like a train that is just endlessly rolling. I always select the tracks up front for a podcast, as my intention is to guide people along the whole journey with a steady build-up. When I am gigging, I am always improvising with the energy from the crowd, there is nothing like it!
Your music is often spoken of in terms of "ambient," even when you're making or playing dance music. How does your love of ambient music inform the way you make dance music?
Yeah, it is true! So I started making and playing music by acknowledging that there is more than a hard punch we dance to in dance music. It is not just only a kick drum, there are layers that create a specific emotion or give us a memory. Ambient and experimental music are genres I grew up with, they create dynamics and atmosphere on a more abstract level than some other genres. It also highlights deeper emotions. Combining this with dance music glues the best of both worlds and it does create rare energy. Somehow I do love the complexity of electronic music :).
By the same token, this mix is a little harder than we might have expected, especially given your last album for Nous'Klaer. Are you moving in a new direction?
I started off as a techno DJ years ago. Things were pumping and it was really going well, however, I pulled myself back from it and explored different sides of music. I was not ready and positioned at that time to fully commit myself to that lifestyle and I wanted to add more depth to dance music. The night always inspires me, and the adrenaline drives me. Being back again feels like things turned into a full circle to me. So I would not say a different direction, I rather would say that I am open-minded and I welcome all kinds of music genres into my life, but I certainly want to focus now more on club and dance settings. I will always keep making and playing ambient and experimental music, just to be clear, one doesn't need to exclude the other :).
What's one political or social cause you want the world to pay more attention to?
I can't say it often enough, but human and animal rights. The balance has been off for a long time, and I am happy to see there is a small change happening in the world, but it is just the tip of the iceberg. It is necessary that we wake up to this truth and that we stand up for everything that is alive and treat each other with respect. I probably sound like a massive hippie now, but love is the answer.
What are you looking forward to in the near future??
Certainly gigging, the next date will be the 2nd of September in Tresor and later in October there is a nice gig planned, playing live before Voices From The Lake at ADE. Next to that I collaborate with some amazing brands like (Native Instruments, Ableton, Korg, Modal, Arturia etc..). I'm a massive gear nerd and I create content on my Instagram about it. I'm also working on a new album and EPs, and a new uptempo hardware live set, so I'm stoked to share that once it is done over the next months.