Onur Özman & Night Talk
Interview & Premiere
We are delighted to showcase the Swiss-made afro deep tech house weapon crafted by Onur Özman and remixed by Night Talk, who deliver a fitting addition to the four-tracker Frozen Confusion EP released on Smiley Fingers, Larry Cage’s deep techno label.
Each track consists of heaving-hitting dancefloor material that already gained massive support, with the Night Talk Remix striking a perfect balance in terms of tribal and groovy elements.
A highly prolific producer with countless releases on imprints such as Noir, Rebirth, Definition:Music and Fatwax, and remixed by the likes of Hot Since 82, Sezer Uysal and Several Definition, Onur Ozman’s music could literally be portrayed as a combination of well-grounded music and architecture, the Swiss-based Turkish DJ being an architect by occupation in Zürich – and similar to his design work, in quite a futuristic fashion.
Night Talk (Lukas Horst) also made a name for himself in the underground scene with releases on Diynamic, Moodmusic and AYM, the label he founded in 2014. The Basel-based DJ and producer received the support of Solomun in a legendary Boiler Room set at BPM and also teamed up with the likes of Lake People.
So we had a few words with Onur and Lukas to get to know more about them both – another very promising pair of Swiss-based talents.
Sweet Musique: This is your first work together. Have you guys known each before for a long time before, and played together in Basel, Zürich or elsewhere?
Lukas: Onur and I have both been signed by the same booking agency in Switzerland called MITA. So we first met at a MITA showcase a couple of years ago and have been in frequent contact since then. He also invited me to play at his studio for his ‘Original Series’ where he invites producers/djs to play only their own productions. That was fun. A lot of friends showed up and Onur is a really nice host!
Sweet Musique: What was your first experience with electronic music? What type of music did you listen to growing up? Which producers inspired you as you began developing your own sound, and how?
Onur: In stylistic terms I’m surely coming from classic deep house roots. In mid-2000s I started DJing and producing simultaneously in the Istanbul house scene. I surely love very different genres of music but the only thing I can’t live without is the groove. My idol? I’d say Jimpster.
Lukas: I the mid-nineties when I was 14 I started to go to techno and house events around my hometown Basel. It wasn’t always easy to get in so me and some friends threw our own little parties where we started djing. When I reached 15 I bought my first mixer and two turntables. Guys like Dani König from Zurich or Djamin in the French part of Switzerland had their own radio shows, which influenced me a lot at this time. But I also had a few friends playing in rock bands, so I would listen to a lot of indie rock music in my teenage years too.
Sweet Musique: The sound design behind ‘Dadaist’ seems pretty well on point, could you elaborate on which gear you used, and the inspirations behind this track and its remix?
Onur: I’m ready to disappoint you by saying: I don’t use analog instruments. I have no obsession with gear, i think what makes a music is the idea behind it. My technical tip: I always try to give the right frequencies and they will sound “right” no matter which instrument you use.
Lukas: Onur sent me the whole EP and Dadaist with its vocals was the track that stood out for me. In my head I already knew what I wanted, when I began with the remix. I took the vocals and some percussion elements from Onur, recorded some shakers and added some synths like the Moog Sub 37 and some software synths. The mallet synth sound is from a Kontakt synth.
Sweet Musique: We see a lot this euphoric afro-tribal music coming these days, even from long-standing tech house producers. How would you describe the way the underground electronic music genre is currently shifting, and do you enjoy as it stands?
Onur: I’m against this trend. That’s exactly why, I wanted to produce this track and called it ‘Dadaist’. What is ‘Dadaist’ ? It is an art movement in early 1900s, ascending from Zurich Switzerland, which was against the classical treatment of art. The african art was a reference for the ‘Dadaists’ to claim a better source of art then the classical trend of those years. I think they were right – the true art starts with honesty.
Lukas: I really dig the afro-tribal music and also love to play some of it in my DJ sets, but I wouldn’t dare to call myself an afro house producer. I always loved to include organic drum elements in my productions to give my music more soul and already used some African drums in my remix I did for ‘Eskimo’ in 2015. I love to try out new stuff and would be bored to do the same thing over and over in the studio. Regarding the underground music genre it is very hard for me to comment. I think there are a lot of very talented producers and good labels out there but I also get very frustrated when browsing through Beatport or Soundcloud and everything sounds just the same. That’s when I get bored with a music genre. But most of the time it just needs one good record to get me excited again.
Sweet Musique : Onur, being an architect and a producer means you must have a lot of unexpected creativity slumbering within you. Obviously you are very inspired by futuristic and streamlined design in your work. Do these fields compliment each other?
Onur: Surely. There is a fundamental basis of both arts: bringing small pieces together to form the idea. In architecture you basically put different materials together to create a space, a building. In music, producers combine different sounds together to create a track. The principle is the same and I learn a lot from both disciplines.
Sweet Musique: Lukas, you set up your own label AYM with quite some immediate success, Gamma being supported by Solomun two years ago. Where have you planned to take the label since then? How did the idea of creating your own label come about, and what does AYM stand for by the way?
Lukas: Yes, AYM is my own label and the letter stand for Art, Youth and Music. There isn’t a masterplan behind it. I founded AYM because all the labels I have sent my demos to, didn’t reply except of Solomun. I’m greatful he still supports and plays my music when I send him new tracks. I don’t want AYM to become big in any way and I also don’t have the budget to promote my releases the way big labels do it. But it’s good to have your own platform where you are in charge and also have a platform to release your friends’ music. In the beginning of 2018 my new EP is coming out on AYM and for the first time also on vinyl. My good friend Shiffer (also from Basel) did a remix and Kompakt is doing the distribution so I’m looking forward to the release. And of course all the cover artworks are done by my talented friend Anca. She’s a tattoo artist from Basel and always surprises me with her drafts for a new cover.
Sweet Musique: Can you come up with three tracks, from any genre or era, that can best define what you are all about, and why?
1. Jimpster – Sleeper: I think Jimpster is one of the greatest geniuses of our time. At least in my eyes. My productions copy his music unintentionally.
2. Dave Spoon – This Machine (The Timewriter): This track has built the foundation of the tech house sound of the coming decade until now.
3. Andy Stott – Hatch The Plan: Some artists make music to inspire people. I could name Karlheinz Stockhausen or Morton Feldmann but I chose a more current artist, Andy Stott.
1. Kio Amachree – Ivory: I’m a huge fan of the disco and funk sound from the late seventies and early eighties and the production behind it. I also try to incorporate the warmth of these records into my own productions. And from time to time I also play disco sets in my hometown in Basel. It’s hard to choose one song from this era so I decided to go with ‘Ivory’ from Kio Amachree.
2. John Murphy – Sunshine (Adagio In D Minor): I really like listening to movie soundtracks and this one always gives me goosebumps. Movie soundtracks are a big inspiration for me in terms of melodies and I like to add some element of drama in my productions as well.
3. Âme – Rej: Just a timeless club track. I still play it from time to time in my sets. With its perfect groove, perfect arrangement and the perfect amount of melody it still destroys every dance floor.
Thank you. Finally, what’s in the pipeline for you in terms of gigs, where can we find you in the weeks to come?
Onur: NYE I’ll be playing in Affekt, St Gallen. Early 2018 I’ll play in India, and after I’ll also have a UK tour in 3 different cities.
Lukas: Last weekend I just had my first edition of my new event series called RITUAL. I do it in a small location in Basel, which is more known as a live venue than a club. The next one will be in March. Other than that I’m looking forward to some quite Chrismtas days. Well almost quite. On the 25th I will play at Viertel Club in Basel.