Undoubtedly one of his country’s finest DJs and producers, Noir is the Danish producer who’s been doing his thing for some time now but has never let the quality of his work suffer an iota. As capable producing house as he is tech-house and more recently, returning to his roots via a harder-edged techno sound. Noir is someone we’ve been supporting here for a long time. One listen to his latest record, ‘Pneuma’, and it’s clear we will be for some time yet. We caught up recently with Noir to discuss everything from genres to pandemics. Here’s what he had to say…
Electronic Groove: Hi Noir, we hope you are doing well. How has the coronavirus impacted you?
Noir: Thanks for the invite. First, the bad, it has taken away a big chunk of my income which came from touring, and the good, It made me stop, think and feel. Both have made me appreciate what I have and made me focus on what’s important in life.
EG: What have you done to keep busy, have you learnt any new skills?
Noir: The emotions have been on its max level because of the world situation, so the music has flooded right out of me. I have done a ton of music, not only as Noir, but under different names. Besides that it has given me time to dive into a lot of tutorials to expand my horizons and seek new inspiration sources.
EG: When do you think you will be back in clubs, and how different will it be?
Noir: I don’t think it will happen until a vaccine is ready and available. So maybe not until next year. I don’t know if it will have any effect on club life. Once a vaccine is in place hopefully all will get back to “normal”. I think we will still have the need to get lost in the music and forget about the outside world. And dance the night away as we have always done.
EG: Something that’s come up a lot recently, but do you personally feel the people who created house and techno have been written out of the story in a way?
Noir: I don’t see this as the case. I still remember and respect everything that led up to this moment in time. In my opinion, most of these guys have become even bigger legends as the years have gone on.
“My biggest achievements come from believing in my owns ideas and trust my ears 100%”
EG: Did you reflect on your role as a house/techno music reference during the Black Lives Matter movement, as many of us did?
Noir: Of course, but at the same time I also felt helpless during these times. But we can and should all make some noise for justice and equality.
EG: Tell us about going back to your techno roots – firstly how and where and when did you get into techno?
Noir: It started at the age of seven with electro including names such as Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Cybotron, and electronic music in general. It then developed over the years and on the way I fell in love with the acid and rave movement of the late 80s. I was still too young to go to the clubs but definitely not too young to enjoy it and play it as loud as I could. Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Jeff Mills, Kevin Saunderson, among others introduced my ears to techno early on and from there I guess the journey as a producer and DJ started. I started DJing when I was 16 years old and started making music when I got my first computer at the age of 18.
EG: And why go back to that harder, ‘techno’ sound now?
Noir: It happened naturally. When you have success you either follow the money trail or your heart. I followed my heart and it led me back to techno. Back to what makes sense in my world. Back to where I feel I belong.
EG: You have been hugely prolific over the years, how have you kept it up? Do you ever have to force it?
Noir: I follow my ears and my heart. I have a natural curiosity in new music, new vibes and I guess that has made me develop all the time and kept me relevant over the years. In the past I have forced things, but… It led me to nothing. I don’t even remember it leading me to success to be honest. My biggest achievements come from believing in my owns ideas and trust my ears 100%.
“The emotions have been on its max level because of the world situation, so the music has flooded right out of me”
EG: How has your studio setup changed over the years? What defines what gear you use?
Noir: When I began producing music I hooked up with friends/people I met as a DJ in the nightlife. Not only to learn more about producing music and collaborate but also to have access to more gear. Back then almost everything was analog except from the DAW. So I started, went through a period with tracks only being produced in the box with software and dived back into analog and down the rabbit hole with modular as well. Today it’s a mix between the best of both worlds, but I enjoy the analog hands-on gear the most and the lucky accidents it sometimes creates.
EG: What have you got coming up/are you working on?
Noir: Next as Noir is my ‘Pneuma’ release on Noir Music which was created during the lockdown and is very much a reflection/emotion from that period. The release is quite heavy, so at the same time, I also created “lighter” and more melodic bits as ‘RAL7016’ and ‘MESM’. RAL7016 is out now digital + vinyl. MESM will be released in September.
I am working on and almost finished with a song featuring RBBTS on vocals. I don’t know yet if that will be a Noir release or under another alias. I have also finished a couple of tracks that I plan to only release on vinyl. And then my next tracks/release are already shaping up nicely.
Noir’s ‘Pneuma’ is out now via Noir Music. Stream and buy here.