NOMADsignal swung by before the end of 2021 to talk about his latest release on Coldharbour Black and what’s to come in the new year.
The sound of trance, techno, and progressive continues to be a driving force in the dance music scene and has brought forth a plethora of new talent for fans to feast their ears on. One of those artists is NOMADsignal. This Miami-based DJ and producer has laid claim on an increasing amount of territory in the realms of trance and euphoric techno since first emerging on the scene with releases on Coldharbour and Coldharbour Black.
Back in 2020, NOMADsignal left a lasting impression with releases like the RBMK EP, Rontgen / Radiotracer / Absorber, and “Thorium-238” under his Isotapes alias, while also remixing Markus Schulz and Adina Butar’s “In Search of Sunrise.” This past year saw him further grow his discography, releasing a progressive mix of “Thorium-238” and “Spellbound” on Coldharbour, along with “Exclusion Zone” on Coldharbour Black.
To close out the year properly, he dropped another stunner, “Make Me Crazy,” on Coldharbour Black as well. According to NOMADsignal, this one is all about “sensual seduction, subtle indulgence, and allowing things to exist without judgment, if only for just a few brief moments” – and he successfully delivers that in its runtime of just over three minutes.
After the release of his latest tune, we caught up with NOMADsignal to dive deeper into his production process, how he approaches the mixes and mashups he creates, and what he has plans for in 2022. So listen to “Make Me Crazy” on Spotify or your preferred platform, and read on for the conversation with this rising Miami-based artist to get a piece of his mind!
Stream NOMADsignal – Make Me Crazy on Spotify:
Hi Nicholas, thanks for taking the time to chat with us today, and hopefully you’ve had a happy holiday season so far. You made your grand entrance into the scene just a few years ago and have since begun to pick up momentum with releases on Coldharbour and Coldharbour Black like “Thorium-238” and “RBMK.” What has it been like gaining support from this imprint and its darker sister as well?
Working with Coldharbour is and has been fantastic. They have been very supportive, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. The main imprint has been a home for my trancier side alias ‘Isotapes’ releases, which have been specially made for the In Search of Sunrise compilations (16 & 17), while Coldharbour Black has been home to the bulk of my releases. The two separate labels make it easier for listeners to anticipate the songs I am putting out.
The most recent tune to grace our speakers is “Make Me Crazy,” which also marked your final release of 2021 as well. Can you walk us through the production process on this one? How do you get yourself into a darker techno mindset?
The funny thing is I was working on another song, trying to add more percussive elements. I dropped in that hypnotic drum sample that you hear throughout “Make Me Crazy,” but it didn’t quite work. Suddenly, however, I got this idea to generate a whole new song from that one sample, and that’s when I saved it as a new project, which became “Make Me Crazy.”
When writing Euphoric Techno like “Make Me Crazy,” I look for an intense emotional response or deep expression in the melodic aspects of the record. The main dance sections have to be groovy; they need to make your body move and inspire passion. I think the interaction between the kick drum and the sub-bass provides the groundwork to create this sort of sexy groove that eventually becomes quite a sensual experience.
While trance and techno share common roots, your ability to create in both worlds is impressive. Who or what were some of the earliest influences that drew you to those two styles specifically?
Thank you. One of the first artists I ever listened to was Robert Miles, “Children.” I was quite young, in the 3rd grade. I think this was my first exposure to Trance. I had a math teacher who would play it. Eventually, I found the Anjunabeats imprint and Above & Beyond. Shortly after, it was Tiesto, Markus Schulz, and deadmau5, through the 2008-2012 era of EDM. It wasn’t until more recently that I began drawing influences from Techno. I do like UMEK, Space 92, and Jay Lumen, among others, in more recent terms.
Your EOYC mix featured a number of fantastic tunes but one of the things that stood out to me was the mashups you layered into it as well. Do these pairings just come to you when you’re messing around on the decks? What’s your approach to mixing overall?
Thank you. Some of my mashups have actually come spontaneously while mixing at home; however, I also prepare them in the studio, working on Ableton, where I can make deeper and higher-quality edits. When it comes to mixing I prefer to mix harmonically — it just comes out better when you know how to mix two songs that are both in the same key or have the next song match harmonically. You can influence the energy levels of the dance floor just by changing the key of your mix!
Pacing the mix is essential, and being aware of listener fatigue. You want to start a mix and build it as you go along, creating a progressive dramatic effect, not blow everyone out of the water in the first quarter of the set only to have them tired and wanting the show to be over with already. I’ve learned that the hard way.
The past few years have been rough for everyone in the dance music scene with many shows only recently beginning to limp back after being put on hiatus. What has it felt like to get back into a groove now that we’re back in action?
It’s wonderful that events are starting again and that I have been able to travel. Traveling to NY, Houston, or even playing in Miami again has felt wonderful and I am looking forward to more traveling in 2022, beginning with the Orlando Groove Cruise in January. The pandemic has however allowed me to plan for the future, define my sound further, and work on much new music.
Miami is a true dance music destination with impressive nightclubs and festivals, and of course, Miami Music Week itself. Can you share what it was like growing up in a city that has been so prominent for dance music culture?
Well ironically, I was born and raised in Miami until about 15 years of age and then moved slightly north to Parkland, Florida, before moving out for University, etc. So, now that I am back, over the last several years, I’m really experiencing the dance music scene here more for the first time. I think the scene is still young in Miami, and there is much opportunity for me to contribute to a global reputation for its dance culture.
Building off that, where would you take us on a night out (dinner, drinks, and clubbing of course) when we come for a visit?
I love sushi, and one of the best sushi places I’ve been to is Uchi, in Wynwood. There are plenty of microbreweries in Wynwood, and there’s also a lot of culture and unique art there. We could go to Club Space for Techno, but I will admit I like the fancier club LIV, even though I have not been there in a while.
Finally, what are some of the goals you hope to achieve in 2022?
Besides writing more Euphoric Techno, I’d like to further define my presence in the dance music industry with both touring and with music releases on Coldharbour Recordings, collaborate with more artists, and broaden my fan base.
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