New label VINYLMATT MUSIC launches with a stunning EP from producer, DJ and musical polymath Narda, alongside a striking visual identity created by London-based designer Matt Munday.
Narda’s creative and exciting approach to his productions and live performances have earned him releases on over 25 labels since 2010, including Lost Records, Mood Funk, Bobbin Head, Moiss and Random Soul. His signature sound involves manufacturing unique grooves and making original interpretations of quirky samples.
Disco Tech encompassed three wonderfully original dancefloor cuts. Lead track Taking Notes is an idiosyncratic house track with an intricate, percussion-led groove and highly creative use of vocals samples. Bassbites is a storming disco/house hybrid with a phenomenal energy, and Fire Up The Disco rounds off the EP with its slap-bass line, shimmering chords and authentic disco vibe…
Welcome to DMC, Narda! To kick us off, please briefly introduce yourself to our readers…
Purveyor of fine house music in London. Been around for a while. Love music that sounds like it was fun to make.
You’ve been producing for over a decade now, are there any productions you feel especially fond of?
There are those tracks that achieved commercial success like You Know, Kafa Ba and most recently Nothing To Say, which I would have never predicted. I would say one of my tracks this year with Tōnis, Self-Awareness, is one of the best tracks I have ever made, but flew under the radar. Also, my ‘Reprise Mix’ of You Know still gives me the chills towards the end.
A lot of your records make use of samples… where do you do most of your digging for these? Do you have a big vinyl collection you rely on?
For me, the more obscure the better. So, I’ll often check whether my samples have any kind of popularity on YouTube. As for finding them, I just download the entire discography of random artists I stumble upon. For example, my upcoming track with Yakka, The World Today, blends samples from Minako Yoshida, Noriko Miyamoto and Z. Z. Hill, but come together in a way to sound like one single sample.
Tell us about some of the DJ competitions you’ve won…
Back when I started to learn to DJ around 2008, there was a community of DJs on YouTube participating in the TenMinMix competition. At the time, you could only upload a maximum of 10-11 minute videos. Many brilliant bedroom DJs participated, some of my favourites being Nanuq, DJ Taira, Qugas, sherS004, Viktor Birgiss… the list goes on. We pushed each other to make impressive mixes, going beyond simply mixing the end of one track into the start of the next. We would often fit 5 tracks into 10 minutes, unplanned, with CDs. Unfortunately, the competition is no more and YouTube removes copyright-infringing DJ mix videos way more than before. It was the best possible introduction to DJing and to this day I prefer harmonically mixing tracks into each other in the middle.
DJ competitions – at least those that really matter – are a lot rarer nowadays. Do you think there are a lot of people now getting into DJing without properly learning the art?
There are always going be people ready to put in the effort to become good. Back then it was the same. Anyone willing to spend a few hundred hours alone with their decks & some tunes is probably going to get really good and creative.
Your latest EP lands on VINYLMATT, and is the first release on the label. What made you want to work with them?
I met Dom Booth from the label years ago after doing a warm-up set for Enzo Siffredi in Brighton. We stayed in touch, shared a few gigs and even made a track together. He introduced me to the Vinyl Matt concept and the Disco Tech EP was born.
Disco Tech is a really beautiful and varied EP – does the name say it all, in that you were aiming to make something that sat between different styles of dance music?
These 3 tracks were done separately in a period where I was making a good amount of music but releasing none of it. I’ve been making house music all these years but never sticking to just one subgenre. At the time, I was just making whatever I was feeling that week. Many labels only release a specific flavour of a particular subgenre of house music. It’s a special thing these days to release both disco & tech house on the same EP.
Can you talk us through some of the samples you’ve used in these? Or would that get you in trouble??
The vocal sample in Taking Notes was the driving force for making that track, it brought a certain attitude the instrumental wouldn’t have had on its own. It was from a video of someone having a rant in her car, which I couldn’t find today if I tried. Sourcing obscure videos (particularly those that make me laugh) for my music has been a sustainable resource for my music and part of my signature sound today.
Turn Up the Disco is based around boosting the energy of an Italian disco sample. I recently found out Ian Pooley used it on a track too. The vocal sample is from a therapy session scene in Good Will Hunting.
Bassbites took another Italian disco sample that was made popular by its inclusion in Master of None. There’s also a sample from the movie Snatch in there, which I’d be surprised if anyone can point out.
What else do you have coming up this year?
Releases on Cruise Music (Serbia), Moiss Music (Russia), Knuck (Mexico) and a self-released remix of Tuff Ghost with Tōnis coming up in the next couple of months. And that’s if I don’t produce anything more. I might.