- One of the year's most talked-about producers lays down two hours of shifting tempos and dazzling beats.
- If you haven't heard of Nikki Nair at this point, we'd invite you to come out from under that rock you're living in. But jokes aside, the last 12 months have been the Atlanta producer's year. He's toured seemingly endlessly, has found his way into a number of local scenes and has put out records for labels like Dirtybird, Lobster Theremin and Scuffed Recordings. If that weren't enough, he's also been putting out an illuminating series of monthly singles on his Bandcamp that show off both his restless muse and his seeming ability to both perfect and put his own stamp on any sub-genre or style he tries.
People usually use some form of the word "bass" to describe Nikki Nair, because of the way his music flits between dubstep, drum & bass, electro and more. One moment he's making staggering hip-hop instrumentals that would have fit right into the old LA beat scene, the next minute he's making pneumatic techno or uptempo stuff that would fit right in one Juke Bounce Werk.
His voracious appetite for new sounds comes across on his RA Podcast, which is a sprawling two-hours-plus of genre hopping and careful mixing, hopping from mood to mood like a 2-D video game platformer. It starts off perhaps a little slower than you'd expect, but weaves through countless Nikki Nair tracks, older selections from Wolfgang Voigt and Drexciya and mind-melting club tracks from newer producers including DJ ADHD, Despina, Limewax and more. If you want to know what the hippest, most inventive dance music sounds like, bridging continents and oceans, this mix is it.
What are you grateful for these days?
I know I am insanely lucky to get to do any of what I'm doing right now—to travel around and play my music for people, and to meet and collaborate with some of my heroes. I guess it always feels like it could end at any moment. Right now I am grateful that there are people who want to hear my music.
How and where was the mix recorded, and can you tell us the idea behind the mix?
I recorded this at home in Atlanta with CDJs. I wanted to include new music I like, recent tracks that me and my friends have made, as well as some tracks that were pivotal for me through the years.
I guess with every mix I make I attempt to make it as coherent and meaningful as possible in spite of having music that may not normally be mixed together. I'm never sure if I've found a balance, but hopefully this is a step of improvement in that long-term effort.
Your career has taken off in a big way in the last year. With all the exposure to international scenes, crews and labels, has your sound or approach to music changed at all in the wake of touring, etc?
I feel like my approach to making music changes continuously anyway because there's always new music coming out and I'm always finding music I haven’t heard before. So I couldn’t say whether any changes in how I make stuff are because of touring or just what would have happened anyway.
What's one thing you've learned about DJing since you started touring and traveling so much?
Every city has at least one or two staggeringly good local artists who are at least as good as most touring artists. So if I'm going to play in a place I haven't been, I try to keep that in mind when I'm preparing stuff.
What's one social or political cause you want the world to pay more attention to?
There are too many. But here is one: https://arc-southeast.org/
What are you looking forward to in the near future?
I have more music to release this year, and the busiest touring schedule I've ever experienced, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.
Underground Resistance - Illuminator
ECB - Vader Beatas
Epitome of Hype - Let the freak (remix)
Dukeyman - Music
Stefan Ringer - bmorewstefan
Nikki Nair - that's right
Ciel (unknown artist 003) - girls only want 1 thing and it's music!
K-LINE - Ed Gull
Nikki Nair - too far quon
DJ Doom - Dungeon Crawler
Peter Tall vs Xpando - Tricked (Bonus Beats)
Nikki Nair & Hudson Mohawke - Set the Roof
Carbon - Brutal Hotstepper (Nitro Deluxe vs Ini Kamoze)
Introspekt x Bored Lord - limb by limb
Octoptic - Underdog
Silas - 4x4 Breabkbeat
Nikki Nair - hard beep
Head High - It's a Love Thing (Nikki & ADHD Edit)
Despina - Blure
Chloé Robinson + DJ ADHD - Redbull
Nikki Nair, Thys, ADHD - Son
Nikki Nair & DJ ADHD - Dis One
Nikki Nair & Danny Goliger - I Like Millions
Nikki Nair - yo
DJ ADHD - Blem
Drummy - Turbine Squelch
Gremino - Bleak Rocking
G Jones & EPROM - R.A.V.E.
Low End Activist - Signal To Noise (Tek Remix)
Black Rave Culture - Pay Me
DJ Floor - Four / Four
Nikki Nair - special for you
Helix - Californian Orange
Angela - Kites (Original Mix)
TEK.LUN - Reafter
AshTreJinkins - On Fumes
Kush Jones - C DIDDY
Mike Ink - Rosenkranz feat. Mono Junk (Melodymix)
Drexciya - Take Your Mind
Parris & Call Super - Poison Pudding
Nikki Nair & Sam Binga - The Only Way Out
Nikki Nair - Buggy
DJ Seduction - Sub Dub
Nikki Nair - heartbreak tool
Kenmochi Hidefumi - Bombay Sapphire
ABADIR - Mutate
Slikback - THROUGH YOU
Nikki Nair - ht1
DJ Floor - Station AB
Nikki Nair & Hudson Mohawke - Generator
Gammer - Quit feat. Hudson Mohawke (Extended Mix)
DJ Seduction, Unknown, Sy - Vigilante Hardcore (Original Mix)
Limewax - Uncomes
DJ Hazard - Tactix
Squarepusher - Significant Others
Mike Parker - The Demon's Platform
errorsmith - Pick a Bone
coffintexts. - off rip
Caroline Polachek - Go As a Dream