Praised by industry heavyweight Hernan Cattaneo as a “Top production duo to look out for” and reflecting this top notch reputation with their releases for Cattaneo’s influential Sudbeat label, Nature of Music aim to make people move in a way that keeps them lost in ￼the present moment.
Recognized for their deep-atmospheric sound brimming with drum machines and crowned with acapellas, Nature of Music has gained a steady and flourishing following in Toronto’s electronic music scene and internationally. As with most successful artists, their beginnings consisted of playing at underground lofty locations and eventually moving on to showcase their skills in such reputable nightclubs as Coda, Stereobar and Do Not Sit On the Furniture as well as such SXM.
Their partnership focuses on addressing socio-economical issues whilst advocating spiritual enlightenment as a means of spreading awareness on propagandas and political dissidence. Their sound creates a peaceful state of being that is promoted through beautiful melancholic shades of electronic music. Having had an extensive understanding of melodies when it comes to electronic music, Nature of Music effortlessly puts their listeners in a dream-like state, with soft harmonies and forward thinking music that naturally feeds back to the audience, fuelling energy and seduction on the dancefloor, that conjure up a variety of emotions including nostalgia and melancholy. Nature of Music has shared decks with Hernan Cattaneo, Guy Gerber, Anja Schneider, Sasha, Pan-Pot, Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Paul Kalkbrenner, Gui Boratto and many more.
Electronic Groove: First off, thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to sit down and entertain some of our questions for you. Let’s start off with giving us a synopsis of how the two of you met? Was it an organic, did you immediately know you had similar musical interests and goals?
NOM: It’s a pleasure, thank you so much for having us. We met about 15 years ago through a common friend of ours, we used to live close to each other and there was a gym in our neighbourhood that we used to work out at. That’s where we met and pretty quickly we became friends and started to hang out…
We had some background in music that was similar and some that wasn’t. Over time our taste in electronic music became pretty similar though, probably over a span of 6-7 years. We used to listen to Goa Trance and German trance when were kids, but when we moved to Toronto we were introduced to Progressive House. That was really when we got attracted to the scene and the whole culture behind it.
“We always admired artists that used their art to address issues related to socio-political problems, economic problems, we found that to be socially responsible and active, we enjoyed that and respected them for that”
Electronic Groove: The name Nature of Music flows as easily as your music does, who came up with the name and was it born out of a particular set or experience?
NOM: I (Mazi) came up with the name as an alias that I always meant to use at some point in the future, but at the time I was releasing music under my real name Maziar. Nature of Music was the name of my Myspace domain. At the time Myspace was a common space to present your music… When Kian and I decided to work under the same name, I proposed that we adopt Nature of Music as our project name.
The name was picked with a little thinking behind it. We always admired artists that used their art to address issues related to socio-political problems, economic problems, we found that to be socially responsible and active, we enjoyed that and respected them for that. This might be because of our backgrounds (Iranian), coming from a country that has been through a lot, periods of glory and periods of pain and misery. One thing for sure is that throughout history passivity never changed things… it was active people/artists that had ideas and took steps towards them, it started a movement and change followed. “Art without a bigger reason doesn’t serve a purpose other than for entertainment”. Not to discount that to make people feel “good” is already a great move, but maybe that’s not enough when we live in a world where there are much much bigger problems that are hard to ignore. The name Nature of Music was created with this in mind.
Electronic Groove: You just received some good news lately about your release coming out on the label called Techfui. Can you tell us a little bit about this and the label itself?
NOM: Yes, we’re very excited about our new release coming out soon under Techfui. We met one of the guys behind the label through our friend Sadeq. He introduced us to his brother Salah, who is the founder and the creative director of the label. The idea behind Techfui was refreshing. It’s basically a hub of like-minded music lovers from various cities that are connecting each other’s networks and helping one another getting shows in different markets. Salah asked us for an EP a while ago so we sent him 4 tracks, he decided to release 3 of them. Our good friends Yapacc and Alberto Jossue made some great remixes for us as well. Their remixes along with 2 other tracks are coming out on Vinyl in summer, whereas one of our 3 original tracks is coming out in a couple of weeks as part of a sampler pack called “Techfui Components”, along with tracks from Adam Rahman, Artemis Soy (SOY), Bacho, BirdsMakingMachine, Borzoo, Cheh, Cobert, Diamond Setter, Esther Duijin, Hoolz, Host, Lee Roz, and The Bot.
Electronic Groove: What artists have you enjoyed collaborating with or would like to collaborate with? Can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with the Maestro himself Hernan Cattaneo, and how has he contributed to your evolution as artists?
NOM: Over the years we’ve been very lucky to work with artists such as Tigerskin/Dub Taylor, Powel and Yapacc. They’ve inspired us one way or another, they’ve been influential in shaping our sound. Another person that we owe a lot to, is Hernan Cattaneo. As an artist you thrive on receiving support from other artists in the scene and when that artist happens to be someone that you’ve respected the whole way through, it’s truly a special feeling. You feel that your hard work didn’t go to waste… Hernan recognized something in us that perhaps even we couldn’t see as clearly, or at least not at that point. He encouraged us to focus and grow that element. He provided us with a platform and support system that gives us a much larger exposure. Our relationship with him is honest, straight forward and based on hard work. It’s not about favors or anything other than music doing the talking. We’ve learned a lot from him, not just musically but also on a personal level. We couldn’t ask for a better mentor and the universe gave us one of the best. His approach to music fits so well with the messages that we’re trying to transmit with our project.
Electronic Groove: There seems to be a deep spiritual component to your music? Is this intentional or merely a reflection of the listener’s experience?
NOM: It’s definitely intentional. Going back to the name and why we chose it, we’d like our sound to support that idea. To play music and entertain people while giving them some information that may not be presented in the mainstream media. As you said, this could be about spirituality, some eye-opening facts about space, something about environment, etc.
Electronic Groove: Where in the world would you say is the best place for an artist to seriously hone their talent in terms of being a producer and/or DJ?
NOM: Interesting question. Different people would answer this differently. Sure it helps if you live in a city where you’re surrounded by like-minded people that are passionate about the same things, it does help a lot if you live in a city that has a very mature/seasoned scene. But at the end of the day it all originates from within yourself and it can be done from anywhere in the world. So long as you’re inspired, so long as you enjoy the process and that you’re not stopping learning, it can be done from anywhere in the world… Cities that are the main hubs such as Berlin, London, Barcelona, New York, Paris, they are more competitive but they provide visibility. Other cities with smaller scenes present opportunities but you maybe a little less visibility…They each have their own pros and cons.
“The digital medium definitely changed the outlook of the industry”
Electronic Groove: What are your views on old school djing where vinyl dominated the scene vs now where most tracks are never put on any physical medium before or after their release?
NOM: It’s a never ending discussion. The digital medium definitely changed the outlook of the industry. Producers who could make a living from releasing music are no longer able to make a living from doing that. You can find almost any release now digitally on some pirate website literally the next day after it’s released. Also, the cost of digital music is significantly less than what you would have had to pay for a vinyl record. The producer of the record makes close to nothing. As an artist you need gigs to make a living now days, unless you provide other studio services such as mastering, mixing or god forbid ghost production. This has forced producers to perform on stage, and has forced DJs also to make music to get recognition outside of their
We think it’s important to know the vinyl culture and to be able to mix using vinyl. It makes you appreciate the art of djing a lot more, the imperfections in mixing using turntables made things special in a way. But we’re not caught up in that, it has to be vinyl or digital. At the end of the day the crowd listens to the sound, they often don’t care about how the music is being played (except for a small minority) and it’s the experience that the artist creates that makes it or breaks it, not the equipment. As a collector though you do appreciate the physical aspect of a fantastic record that you love, you treat it with care, but you can’t necessarily do that with a .WAV or .MP3 file. Might be fair to say that music feels a little more disposable now days.
Electronic Groove: You’re playing with our hometown underground music man Behrouz, on February 25th, at Coda and for Sebastian Mullaert AKA Minilogue on March 4th tell us a little bit about what we can expect from NOM on any one of your gigs?
NOM: Yes, we’re excited to play alongside Behrouz and Nadia on Feb 25th. We grew up listening to Behrouz’s “Renaissance CD” and his “In House we Trust” Compilation. He is a well respected artist in the scene, a versatile DJ and a complete gentleman. We had the pleasure of meeting him when we played for him at his Do Not Sit On The Furniture club a couple of years ago. We still follow the advices that he gave us and we feel grateful to have met him.
We’re planning a special opening set for that night. You’d always have butterflies in your stomach opening for artists that you have a deep sense of respect for, but from what we hear that’s a good thing. So we hope to put our best foot forward and set the stage for him as best as we can.
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