American producer/DJ Naufer takes us through his life as a DJ, the latest release on Nosso and American clubbing culture.
OTB: How are you getting on right now? Have you had a nice summer so far and what have been the highlights?
Naufer: Hey hows it going? Im really really good right now working a lot on music and with LinkMiamiRebels at Club Trade every week. This summer has been great! We've had a bunch of amazing artists come down. I think Guti’s "People like us" was amazing as well as Francesca Lombardos Live act shes been doing with the Nu Deco Ensemble. That was remarkable. Very refreshing I must say.
OTB: Does the US scene continue to inspire you like it always has?
Naufer: Yes! Its very cool to see how the underground scene is growing while still maintaining quality acts and releases consistently every month. This inspires me to make more music as well as up my level of production and creativity.
OTB: So if we had a weekend to go clubbing in US where would you recommend we go? Any places aside from the usuals that you’d recommend?
Naufer: I’d have to say come spend a weekend with us in Miami! We (LinkMiamiRebels) try our best to bring some of the best acts from around the world to club Trade on Fridays and Underground Story on Saturdays. We also, in my opinion, have the best resident DJs. They always bring it!
OTB: Did you have many defining nights out when you were younger that were really influential for you? Who made you want to become a DJ?
Naufer: Growing up in the Dominican Republic there wasn't much of a local scene in the early 90s. It was later in the decade that it started to grow. My brother was a well known local Trance DJ and I use to go with him to all his gigs in and out of town. I’d help him set up his turntables and stuff. I think if it wasnt for him I wouldve never really appreciate proper House music. I remember seeing Misstress Barbara when I was like 12 at an abandon hotel party. She was playing with four turntables and I had never seen that in my life! She blew me away.
OTB: And what were your early raving days like? Great memories I’m guessing?
Naufer: My early days were pretty insane. I was just a kid amongst all these crazy individuals. Everyone around me always celebrated the fact that I was there partying with them. This sparked a flame inside of me that has never dulled.
OTB: What’s been your favourite gig recently?
Naufer: Stacey Pullen played a few weeks ago at Trade and his set was incredible! Since he got on he did not stop. He did an extended set too. I find some artists have a hard time maintaining the energy of the room, but he kept it until the lights were turned on.
OTB: Can you talk us through your studio set-up? What’s it like and what’s it involve?
Naufer: My studio is pretty basic. I have it set up in my living room. I use Dynaudio MK3s for my monitors and then I have a bunch of outboard gear that I use. I record a lot of my bass lines with a bass guitar which i then process in Ableton. I also have a Sub-Phatty, and a Korg XL. Besides synths I like to record a lot of the percussive elements I use on each track. I tend to drive my neighbors insane on those late night sessions ha!
OTB: Have you ever held a residency? How have you residencies impacted you as a DJ?
Naufer: Before I moved to Miami, I had a short residency in a club called Maio in Santo Domingo. Besides that I have played a number of times at the Warehouse and other small clubs in the country. My residencies have forced me to approach DJing in a different way. I play live and since I’ve had to do a number of extended sets, I’ve accustomed my live set up so that I can play for long periods of times without any issues. I improvise a lot live which is one thing I love about using Ableton.
OTB: How would you say your music has changed with the years? What influenced this change more than anything else?
Naufer: Before producing house music I was in a punk rock band. Trying to find a sound that I can identify with has taken me a very long time and I think I’ve finally started to get there. From my earliest productions until now, the sound has evolved into a more dark and melodic vibe which I love.
OTB: So tell us a bit about the latest release on Nosso – what’s the vibe with it and how did it come about?
Naufer: This EP to me is like the overture of what’s yet to come. These two tracks took me almost a year to finish. I have re-recorded the bass lines and rearranged structure a number of times. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to how things should sound, so it takes me a while to actually finish something. There are also two really cool remixes done by Lui- and Kchapa. They are two really good friends that i’ve played with and known for quite sometime. I like what they did since its totally different from the originals.
OTB: How happy were you with the end product and can you describe your thinking behind the track? Was the finished product just like you imagined it’d be?
Naufer: I am extremely happy with them! It took a long time but the final product was definitely worth the work. The way I see things is that these tracks will be out there forever so I have to put in the time and effort to make them to the best of my abilities.
OTB: How would you describe the music you make to someone who’s yet to hear it?
Naufer: People ask me a lot how i would describe my “sound” but I never have a good answer. Personally I dont even know how something is going to sound when I start a new production. I think it’s somewhat of a deep and melodic techno? That sounds about right.
OTB: How do you stay motivated musically? What’s influencing you a lot these days?
Naufer: I like to think a lot about music. Sometimes I create sounds in my head before I sit down in the studio. While I’m driving I get lost in thought sometimes analyzing a certain bass sound or effect chain. Also every week, I tend to pay very close attention to the sets of our residents and guest DJs. I believe this is very important for my learning process.
OTB: What do you think the best thing is about the modern day house music scene? And the worst?
Naufer: The best thing about it is that with the power of the internet we get to discover people from remote parts of the world that we would have never hear from before. I come from an era were we use to make mixtapes haha! So to me this is very cool. The worst would have to be the over compression and limiting that a lot of the producers do. There is a loudness going on and this is horrible. A lot of music has little or no dynamics.
Naufers 'Arnkhaar' EP lands September 9th on Nosso...