Berlin’s Alex Niggemann is blurring any remaining boundaries between House and Techno. Boundless energy, a fearless approach to hard work, a love of musical diversity and undisputed, exceptional artistic talent, have seen Alex’s global profile grow at an exponential rate. A classically trained pianist who gave up the ivory keys to follow his technological dream, his constant flow of critically acclaimed releases since 2006 have seen him rise ever upwards. His ability to fuse the best of both old and new influences, to create an entirely new sound that leaves behind rigid definitions, is the mark of a true visionary.
We had the chance to talk with him aligned to the release of his new Balance Series compilation.
Electronic Groove: Hello Alex, thanks for chatting with us. You just released a new ‘Balance’ compilation. How was the track selection and production process?
Alex Niggemann: There are a lot of different factors involved than just choosing the tracks. You don’t really know which tracks the label will be able to license in the end either, and sometimes when choosing tracks they might not really fit into the final version at a certain time with a certain track that you imagined it to fit with. When selecting tracks, I needed to be prepared to possibly replace them. I also didn’t know how many and which tracks could fit in the final mix. It is a bit like being a soccer manager. Making sure every position is doubly covered, being flexible and able to react to certain changes, still making the whole team work together at his best.
Electronic Groove: What approach did you have when compiling the tracks for this one?
Alex Niggemann: The main goal was that the whole mix itself was more important than the single tracks. I wanted to create a perfect journey instead of just choosing my favorite songs. The end result, the mix as “one piece” needed to be tight.
It was a different approach than the one I would take for playing Live. But still, I didn’t want to move too far away from my DJ-sets and the whole range of music I produce, so I choose music that on one hand could really identify with “my style” and on the other could stand for the different stages of a long set. The selection and transitions needed to keep the listener while still summarizing the whole night in under 80 min.
Electronic Groove: You’ve been running your AEON label for a good few years now. What was the reason behind its conception?
Alex Niggemann: Well, it was always my plan to have a label that represents the sound that I play. A label that is flexible and diverse like my productions are, but still mirroring myself and being different from others. I also wanted to give a platform to talented artists that I really like, and support them using my name to give them a bigger stage/audience, so people get to know their music. I’m really happy to find people like Denis Horvat, Speaking Minds, TVA and more who share the same interest, vision and style although all being different in their expression, when it comes to music.
I’m glad the label is having a very good run, people know and like it, plus we are given the chance to travel with our sound through the world. We had a lot of showcases this year and will have even more stages and events coming up in 2017.
Electronic Groove: Are there any new releases coming up you’re excited about?
Alex Niggemann: Well, there is this EP coming in January that will be introducing my new project called The Shadow Self. It is different music to what you have heard from me before, but it will also have club mixes.
There will be a new EP from me on AEON in February and maybe I finally get some more time and continue working on a second album. Besides that, there’s a lot of hot stuff coming out on AEON.
Electronic Groove: Also, you just held a label event at ADE this past month. What can you tell us about it?
Alex Niggemann: Actually it was our first big showcase at ADE and it was just amazing. The whole production, co-done by some promoters in Amsterdam, was really great. We sold out within days after announcing and it was a really super opportunity to attend ADE with the AEON family and introduce us in a bigger way. Definitely not the last one!
Electronic Groove: Have you played at any particular gigs this summer that stood out and inspired you to keep doing what you do?
Alex Niggemann: I had quite a busy summer and year actually. A lot of great gigs and festivals. Our AEON Event @ Village Underground in London, KSA @ Elementenstraat Amsterdam, NAME Festival, Strafwerk Festival and my latest gig in Serbia were definitely some of the highlights. Still a lot of great shows to come up before the end of the year too.
Electronic Groove: What was one of your favourite tracks that rocked your sets dur-ing this period?
Alex Niggemann: Sure, Baikal – Pelican’s Flight, Sebastian Mullaert – Windmaker, Denis Horvat – Rondo, Benedikt Frey – Out Of Here (Roman Flügel’s Cosmic Disco Drama Rework) just to name a few…
Electronic Groove: How‘s the festive season looking for you? Any special gigs for new years or will you take it easy?
Alex Niggemann: I will have one or two days off during Christmas, but before and after I’m busy touring. I start December with Extrema Noir Festival in Belgium and end of the year playing CODE, NYE at Greenwood Hotel in Sydney and NYD at Let Them Eat Cake Festival in Melbourne, before heading to BPM.
Alex Niggemann’s Balance Compilation is already available, buy it here.
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