Fresh off a joint release with Pär Grindvik, we caught up with Swedish veteran Nihad Tule to find out his motivations, recent whereabouts and future plans.
It’s been a while since your last solo production. What inspired the Landmarks collaborative project? Did it all start from a chat at a bar? Was it something you and Pär always wanted?
True, it’s been quite a few months now. I’ve chosen to focus on other aspects of life, traveling a lot with my partner, trying out different things, exploring the corners of our continent. We initiated the project last year, at the end of the summer. Pär got in touch about having a track of mine on a V/A, after I’ve sent him a promo pack of my recent work.
A few weeks later I sent over a demo I was working on, just to start the feedback loop. Pär was in the midst of his album writing, so we paced quite slowly, but pretty soon considered the idea of doing a joint release instead of a V/A. That also gave me time to toy around with some new gear, doing jams and exploring the sounds. I recorded ’Bleed’ during one of those sessions. Later Pär sent over his first sketches that, almost instantly, reminded me of a track I’ve been having a rough version of for a while, a track very much influenced by material previously released on Stockholm LTD, ‘Air’ and ‘Folium’ in particular. So in that way, ‘Kuortane/Landmarks’ found it’s home; it was meant to be. But the collab wasn’t something we planned in advance, not really, no bars involved neither, it all just happened very naturally.
Will you also be releasing some more solo works?
I’ve kept myself quite busy and done a lot of sketches and demos, playing with machines, trying out different ideas, recording weird sequences, as I do all the time. Me and a couple of close friends have been road-testing some of these for a while, so new releases are in the pipeline for Sloboda and other imprints, just keep your eyes open. I’ve also done a number of more experimental and conceptual audio visual performances with a different project that I deliberately keep under veils. Besides, over the last few months, I’ve been requested for more mastering and engineering work, something I’ve been enjoying more and more. I’m getting increasingly confident in the process as well. So it might look as if I’ve been absent, but I’ve actually had a rich and fruitful year.
What gear did you use for the productions on this project?
For the tracks on ’Landmarks’ I’ve basically used the same gear I’ve relied on for last 5 years or so. It’s a setup I’m nowadays very comfortable with. In the rig Ableton Live is the DAW, it has been for a good decade now. It’s my tracking device, master clock, sketch pad, you name it. Hardware-wise the most important piece is my Sync-Lock, a clock generating device from a small Australian vendor. Got it in 2010, while still in beta, and it gets all my boxes to play together in time. Truly essential! I then got a selection of synths, drum machines and effect pedals. They’ve got the character I like, with sound and layout I can emotionally connect with. Plus they integrate well into my setup and workflow.
Any gig highlights from the past year you would like to share?
Kickstarting ’16 with a 7h set at Bassiani in Tbilisi, Georgia, was a true highlight. The hospitality, crowd, sound system, and amazing (new) venue is really hard to beat. As somewhat of a premonition I played a personal and very barren remix/tribute of Bowie’s ’Let’s dance’ — made just a few hours prior to the gig. Finding out about David’s passing a few days later still gives me the chills when I think about it. In my head I still hear his voice echo in that pitch black room under the national arena.
What can we expect from Nihad Tule/NTTA11/Velež/Taken (gigs, live shows, event series etc.)?
I hope to finish the next Sloboda release in the coming weeks (fingers crossed). By the end of September, I’ll be doing a few gigs in and around Sweden. There is also a new Velež EP being finalized, and a 12″ for Random Island planned. The Taken project is starting to mature as well. We had a very well received live debut at Berlin’s Herrensauna a few weeks ago. More dates to follow this year.
Get the Landmarks EP
Read our review of Landmarks here.
We’d like to sincerely thank Nihad for taking the time to speak to us and Finbar (Wallroom Music Group) for setting it all up.