It was during the last summer, peak lockdown, that Narciss – “Until the day We Meet Again” flitted across on Spotify and proceeded to pump old-school, trance induced drums and kicks into my earphones. With a huge soft spot for trance, and my Spotify radio doing it’s thing for once, this particular track immediately grabbed my attention – a modern, bouncy take on what is one of the most addictive genres in electronic music. Coming thick and fast on Lobster Theremin’s sub-label 1Ø PILLS MATE, Narciss admittedly had little previous output bar his Stadt Ohne Namen EP released in 2018 via Polish imprint DRVMS, offering a soul-seeking selection of clean, hypnotic and melodic techno cuts. Intrigued to find out more, a quick flick to Instagram and a follow later Narciss is brought to life.
With a slew of support from some of techno’s favourite selectors, “Until The Day We Meet Again” was rightly brandished across the scene and featured in a number of HÖR livestream sets over the coming months. A number of radio plays and mix inclusions later, the name Naricss was well and truly on the techno map. It is said that the unique sounds and influences of the German are said to originate from Samurai movies of the 1950’s, Hip-Hop from the 80’s and even 1990’s Anime which all convey a deep sense of underlying emotion – something evident in all of the young artist’s productions.
A couple of months later and a night spent on Boomkat, one of the best EP’s to come out of 2020 appeared in front of me aptly named Language Of Love. Containing some of the tastiest trance-induced techno of recent years, the four-track record is a high-octane affair from start to finish and, quite frankly, is difficult to ignore. Narciss we meet again my friend. Each track would not sound out of place in any international club setting and I’m talking A1 all the way through to B2, with a B-side of such quality that it leads the pack when it comes to the esteemed Lobster Theremin catalogue.
That being said and eager for more, it was in the first quarter of 2021 that Narciss kindly sent across his unmastered follow up for our ears only as we entered another oblivion of bliss. A difficult winter and start to the year for most, the young-star dedicated his new record to his friends that caught and carried him through one of the most difficult periods to date. The Lobster Theremin follow-up Dear DiaryEP provides an emotionally charged journey encapsulated by “an escape from the grimness of the mundane, the fear of contemporary society left at the door as we venture further front left”. Tapping into the mind of one of the most exciting and gifted prospects in the scene right now, Narciss chats to us about all things music and the influences behind his brand new EP.
First of all, how are you doing and what have you been getting up to recently?
I’m doing pretty damn well, thank you. Recently with summer coming in hot, vax numbers rising and infections being low, I feel like life is returning somewhat and that feels very nice. I’m in the final weeks of my Uni-program as well so I’m excited for the year to come.
How have you found life in lockdown? And how has lockdown affected productivity levels overall?
The several lockdowns we had here in Germany were incredibly different vibe-wise for me. The first one was frightening, but productive on another level. I made the entirety oft he Iridescent Adolescence and Language of Love EPs during the first lockdown and really found my musical style through that. The second lockdown was where my mental health took a heavy nosedive and I was really struggling with anxiety and depression. During that time I was very unproductive to a degree where almost all creative output came to a screeching halt, but what little music I made was what came to be the Dear Diary EP.
We’d love to know more about Narciss, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first became involved in music?
Sure, I’m Nick aka Narciss. I’m a kid from Berlin and I like to make music. In my free time I like play Video games and watch Anime, I’m not really that cool of a guy hahaha. I first became involved with music at the tender age of 5 when I started learning the drums. I think ever since then I knew that music was just my big passion, that I love to make. At this point after so much time making it, it’s like breathing to me, I have to do it and I get incredibly antsy and anxious when I can’t make music for a longer time.
We first discovered you after unearthing Iridescent Adolescence last year. We noticed multiple pick ups from heavyweight DJ’s especially of “Until the Day We Meet Again“. Would you say this is where it all started for you?
Yeah for sure. I had released music beforehand of course, an EP on Seelen Records for example, but nothing quite exploded like that one. I think Until The Day We Meet Again especially caught a lot of peoples attention because of its title and supermelancholic vibe. I still see it as one of my best tracks as well, it just feels like something special, even though I have gotten a bit sick of it at this point.
Shortly after, you dropped Language Of Love, a rather splendid trance-induced EP. How happy were you with this record and can you tell us more about the influences and story behind it?
I made both EPs at the same time more or less, so they are both influenced by the madness of that first lockdown. Heartbreak, writers block, occasional bursts of euphoria and an overall confusion about life led to them sounding the way they do. But I think especially Language of Love has aged remarkably. As much as I would like to say, that Dear Diary is my best EP to this date, it does not have that righteous fury and fire that Language of Love’s tracks have. Dear Diary is a warm hug while softly sobbing into a close friends shirt. Language of Love was tears streaming down your face, because your Toyota Trueno AE86 is going so fast, that the wind is making you cry.
You have been busy producing your brand new Dear Diary EP dropping June 4th! How would you describe it to someone who’s not heard it yet?
I’ll try to describe it very quickly again: Dear Diary is me giving myself musical therapy across four tracks. The entire theme and vibe is “I want to get better, and I will.“ That’s why I kinda dedicate it to my friends too, because they got me through that awful time.
What was the creative and production process behind the record?
I honestly just sat down and wrote melodies that made me feel good. Then jammed on my 909 across those melodies. During that time, taking my bike to my studio and jamming there was one of the only things where I could really turn off my brain and just let go of everything.
If you had to pick a favourite track, which would it be and why?!
Phwoar, that’s super difficult. They’re so different but all stand for something very specific. But if I have to, it’d probably be “Ludmilla”. Just so many different layers, emotions and influences coming together perfectly on that one, it felt surreal while making it.
You’ve released via the esteemed Lobster Theremin. Can you tell us more about your relationship with the imprint and how it has helped you develop as an artist?
Man, honestly, Dear Diary wouldn’t exist without Lobster Theremin. James (Asquith, the labelhead) has shown me such deep trust and support in my music from the very start, that I really felt like I could make something super emotional and not exactly “dancefloor focussed” for them. And after Language of Love was pretty much just “heaters only” that was a special feeling to have. Knowing that I could follow it up with something so different and being supported nonetheless. I’m incredibly happy to have been taken under their wings.
First track you want to play the most post-lockdown?
Anything by DJ Heartstring! They are probably my favourite producers right now, and everything they do will just make any more crowd melt like strawberry ice cream. If I had to pick one I think it would be 2Nite U Not Gonna Stay At Home or Sao Paulo Fever (that one’s still unreleased though).
One vinyl you’d save from your burning collection?
Ignition Technician – Social Services, no contest. It just has unparalleled funkiness and exactly the kind of tracks I want to play in every single set (1989 is just perfection). Also it is kinda hard to find nowadays, so that adds to it.
Dear Diary EP Influences
LTJ Bukem – Atlantis
“One of my favourite tracks of alltime. The melody, the vocal, everything is just perfect. Also it obviously heavily inspired Ludmilla. Not just because I sampled the vocal.”
Raär – Leave Me In My Broken Dreams
“It’s interesting, cause Raär makes such different music nowadays. But I think this one is just special. Was listening to it a lot last summer and kind of got caught in it’s vibes, so that probably influenced the EP quite a lot.”
Lorn – Sega Sunset
“I think it’s insane that Lorn called this track ‘unfinished’. Videogame music influences me a lot in how I write melodies and this tune sounds like the soundtrack to the most melancholic and poetic videogame, that was never released.”
Kn1ght – The Big Day
“Aha, the soundtrack to a game that was actually released. I was playing Furi while making the EP last year, and just loved that feeling of INTENSITY the music added. It gives everything a larger than life scale, eventhough the game is rather simple.”
Boa – Duvet
“Quite a contrast to the track before. My friend Stella and me were making a playlist together at the time, for people who were biking through sundowns. I was always listening to it while on my way to the studio. Listening to this kinda music while biking to the Berlin outskirts inspired the vibe of Dear Diary a lot I think.”
John Tejada – Sucre
“I’m going to be perfectly real with you. Blicke was just me trying to make Sucre in my style hahaha. Such a banging and still calm and seductive track. It knows you want to dance to it and absolutely REVELS in it. Love.”
Joe Hisaishi – The Sixth Station
“My favourite track of the soundtrack to my favourite movie. Another one of the Biking into the sundown playlist. The mood I felt while driving home after a studio to this is just like nothing else.”
Joy Orbison – Hyph Mngo
“How could this not be on here. This track influenced my music so goddamn much. It always sounds nostalgic, emotional and banging at the same time. It’s basically all emotions I wanted to have on Dear Diary but rolled into one track, which is incredible.”
Nujabes – Latitudes -remix (feat. Five Deez)
“My favourite of the playlist I made with Stella. It hasn’t exactly knowingly inspired Dear Diary but that laid back vibe it had, definitely painted the way for me being calm in the studio while making music. And ‘Nujabes’ was simply a musical genius.”
Blocks & Escher – Broken (Om Unit Remix)
“A big inspiration for It Gets Easier. The melodies man, the way the track just builds and builds and just when you think it can’t possibly get more insane, it layers another melody on top.”
Plastic Boy – Twixt
“One of the first Trancetracks I loved. Listen to this track. Then listen to any Narciss Bassline. You can obviously hear some influences!”
Blue Hour – Moments (Repro Remix)
“Repro is the most relevant Techno producer making music right now in my opinion. The way he uses samples, the way his melodies are euphoric yet still subtle at the same time. I just love everything he does and his music influenced me and the way I write in so many ways.”