A chat with Resom
For a DJ with as busy a gig roster as Resom, you’d imagine the ongoing lockdown would lead to stillness and calm. Instead, having already scaled back on touring and travelling a few months ago, Nadine Moser has been keeping a pretty busy schedule in recent weeks. Among the projects keeping her occupied is a sound triptych - three connected mixes, including one for Patterns of Perception - exploring and reflecting her feelings about this difficult collective moment of ours. Unlike the diverse and eclectic party sets for which she has become known, as part of her ://about blank residency and gigs in clubs all over, here she takes it down a gear and delivers an ambient mix embedded in nature - offering up the perfect soundtrack for a walk in the woods, a long meditative run, or just quiet home reflection as we adjust to the new world order. Below, she fills us in about the concept behind the mix, reflects on some unexpected influences from her East German heritage, and explains why politics are as important for expression as the music itself.
Can you tell us a bit about both the concept of the project and of your Patterns mix in particular: how does this mix fit into the overall series? Since it’s not possible to be together in a club and listen to music on a big sound system, I have been trying to lock myself away in my own acoustic world - with headphones. An energetic world that makes me wanna go for a walk, a run, yoga, work out, or forest cycling trip - with shifting tempi and patterns. I received a lot of mix requests and I realized that I could actually connect them. So the idea came up to connect the sound that reflects within me and of this period to a series. Not that this is a new idea - but I finally felt like I do have the time and the space to focus on it. So it’s going to be a 3+1 sound triptych that reflects a desire of being in nature, walking and dancing and sleeping and opening up through a different time reception. To me, this is a way of distancing myself from being a human creature that does bad to this planet. It’s an attempt to run away from being connected to all those things that happen around me and us, a run away from the human world that's sickening me, makes me bitter, sad, angry, and helpless. (It involves) using exactly that energy and the human-created synthetic sound world in combination with field recordings I collected over all the years. This mix for Patterns of Perception in particular has actually a bit of a longer story. I had a phase of night dreams when I was walking through forests. ‘Patterns of perception’ means to me mainly a trip to a detailed deepness, that makes your eyes close and focus on an acoustic reception. So I decided to focus on what deepens me these days: ambient sounds. I haven’t done an ambient mix in quite a while; this appears to me as the perfect moment. With gigs and touring on hold for now, how are you spending your time at the moment? To what extent has the current situation allowed you more time to focus on projects such as this mix series? I have been actually pretty busy. Last year I made the decision that I don’t wanna live only from DJing anymore, I wanted to play less gigs because the touring is exhausting my body too much and I felt my brain and mind is not able to develop anymore in a way that I feel comfortable with. Being a nervous wreck before playing took so much capacity and I finally realise that I simply want to have a quieter life now. I’m getting older! :D Over the winter I changed a lot of my behaviours: went out less, played less and focused on getting up very early, having a daily routine and focusing on thinking, reflecting and studying again. So this whole thing hit me emotionally, but luckily not too harsh financially - I took the chance to enjoy being alone again and luckily I do have another two projects that help me survive financially and are simply great! Also I really don’t mind not seeing people all the time or running from one appointment to another. I love working from home and I cannot live another way then organising myself. So not much changed but I do enjoy the extension of being able to focus again - very much! We’re curious about your approach to recording a new mix. Where do you start? Is there a common thread you look for when selecting music? That is a tough question because it differs all the time. Normally I do have an instant feeling when I receive a request or I have a mix I did spontaneously and have an idea where to send it to. This is how for example the mix for Berceuse Heroique made it to the public. Or I come up with a theme. Like: forest. Or like in my former radio shows - weather, water, radio, food… whatever. When I record a mix home, it is a completely different mindset than when I play in a club. That's why mixes that are published as podcasts sound sometimes totally different to what I’m playing at a party and that’s why I don’t share too many live recordings - because it’s a different state of mind. Also, it takes me so much energy to find the right track to what I wanna express emotionally - I realized this again now - I cannot eat well, I cannot do anything else but stay in this mindset. I cannot take a break until I have finished it. It has to be perfectly imperfect.
The confusion of certain rhythms is very important to me because in my world nothing is perfect - that’s the beauty and power of life in my opinion, the motor of improvement and development.
You’ve previously said that melody is the binding agent in your sets: why do you think melody appeals to you the most? What role does it play in your sets? Ha I think that’s simply because of my inability to use words to express emotions and melodies express emotions. It’s sometimes hard to communicate with human beings, my direct and honest, very egocentric and strong will goes along with conflicting self-doubts, inner hate, and fears. So I often chose music to reflect myself. The melodies soften them and give me the connecting help to survive. Melodies are life for me - they give me the power to ease.
How would you say your sound has changed from your Leipzig days up until now? That is another tough question - thank you:) ! I don’t think it changed at all, I just try to go deeper and deeper, but sticking to my musical roots, it's emotional expression. For a long time I felt more freedom to express myself in Berlin. But that changed. I always feel more freedom when I play at Golden Pudel Hamburg, Palomabar or ://about blank or other smaller clubs. The pressure of “serving the audience“ is less intense. I can sound travel again and include all those different receptions, experiences, and people on this trip. But I definitely can hear a connecting line of musical taste expression for example when I listen to the new releases by (Leipzig label) R.A.N.D. Muzik, who in my opinion mirrors a lot of my personal taste as well. So there is always a connection to Leipzig and it will always be, and I still feel home there in my heart. But I also feel a deep connection to a certain sound world being created in other cities like CDMX, Hamburg, Amsterdam, New York, or Detroit. Do you have any influences - early or current - that people might be surprised to hear about? I don’t think so, because I never covered my influences. Ok maybe there is one that may surprise people - but that’s mainly for German people - Heinz Rudolf Kunze. I literally know all of his songs and know all the lyrics. Some of them are very poetic, critical, and made me imagine a certain emotional world I could escape to. I was 11 when this album was released, the same year the Wall came down and confusion, fear, and powerlessness was the state of mind around me.
He played live in Erfurt once and I went to see him, alone, and it was great! He later was correctly criticized for his claim that radio stations should have a minimum quota with a German repertoire of music. But those albums - HRK and Brille - influenced me a lot. And yes my first ever 7“ I bought myself was Milli Vanilli on Amiga Quartett (with 6y).
You’re a resident at ://about blank, a venue which is very close to the hearts of the Patterns of Perception crew. How important has this club been to your career so far? I couldn’t imagine where I would be without this community. Mainly without Diana’s influence and friendship. The challenges and the freedom of being a part of it reflects a lot in my DJing. I lost so much there - I won so much too - in all forms and shapes. I can only repeat myself here - to learn to be able to discuss, to distance yourself from opinion making arrogance - that is one of my personal life goals and I can see that reflected in the work of each individual at blanki. In addition to DJing, you’ve been actively involved in promoting social and political awareness within the scene, for example via the Amplified Kitchen event series. Away from a party context, why is it important for you to increase awareness of the wider context of club culture? It might be a total illusion to make the human world a better one to be part of but I just feel the urge to stay in discussion. It changes all the time and I just develop and I believe in continuity. But I think the dance floor itself should stay as diverse and open as possible. Learning to be respectful towards different opinions, and social and cultural backgrounds, is a hard but great challenge that I’m happy to face off the dancefloor. Politics are a tool to communicate as much as music itself.
Do you already have first thoughts or predictions about how the club scene might look when we are allowed to (safely) return to partying? What changes do you think we could see for artists, clubs and patrons? I’m sure it’s going to be intense. It’s unpredictable to look into a future beside the fact that it will continue. The urge to unite in dance is a given fact that was always there and will always be there, as well as the urge to dive into another mindset, to let go and express yourself. I hope for a change to the better, but it's not me to tell the future. It's in each individual's hands. DIY is my way. And I’m happy to be involved in those improving times. Lastly, what music is keeping you company at this moment in time? I love to listen to jazz, at the moment I do listen to more experimental jazz and can stand the sound of saxophones and trumpets, which I couldn’t do before too much. I recently just discovered Postrock again and I am very happen to listen to bands like Diario, Karate, Bollo, and Shellac again, to explore the soundscapes, the drumming and bass melodies more in detail. Also I listen to a lot of label catalogues again or get inspiration from other people: Alyona Alyona’s trap hop, KiliHippie from Kenya, and always to nature’s sound.