Creating liquid bass music under the moniker MidKnighT MooN, producer Nicholas Oliver left us wanting to hear more of his tranquil take on the genre with EP Transtemporal via Nu Venture Records. This New Zealand music producer has been spinning turntables since the tender age of sixteen and continues to explore the electronic music sphere one release after the next. Many moons later, this dynamic act as played as direct support for the likes of Flume, SpectraSoul and Staton Warriors to name a few. Today, we are delighted to present this exclusive Q&A with this emerging producer who is making waves.
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?
Music has always been an outlet for me. Growing up I was really into metal and hip hop, especially the work of Deftones, Soulfly, Nas, Limp Bizkit, Korn, The Notorious B.I.G. This smoothly transitioned into electronic music when I heard They Crystal Method and Propellerheads LP.
I then began djing when my older brother purchased some turntables and showed me the ropes. He got me into trance and hard house. I was hooked. I loved the rave energy and started to DJ at local events. Then I spent a few years doing this before transitioning into breakbeats and DnB when I heard plump DJs and Pendulum. I continued to play at events, performing breakbeats. My style has always been low key and I love playing music for people who are chilling out or drinking and vibing. I started making music just by chance really, I took an Ableton Live course in Sydney not really knowing what I wanted to do.
I then spent a few years traveling around and living in London, and found that I didn’t have time to use the program. I’m one of those people, if I start something then I don’t stop – so it is always a huge commitment. It wasn’t until I spent a few months in Sweden where I could not work, I heard a few new DNB tracks and thought well…How hard can it be?… Maybe I’ll give it a go. I started watching endless Youtube video tutorials and purchased a midi controller & samples. A few months later I sent my first few tracks and signed my first track. Since then I have released a lot of different tracks and different genres. I feel like I have my own style, while also realizing the deeper I go, the more I have to learn.
Give us a sense of the music scene where you are based.
NZ has always had a great scene, especially with dub music. In the last 3 to 5 years there has been a huge DnB scene, with lots of new artists reaching a global stage. Talking to international artists, they love visiting here because there is a massive scene all around the country.
What key pieces of software/gear are you using to define your sound?
I love to use samples from techno, tech house, progressive house, and chop them up. The result is sort of a liquid progressive DnB. I always use lush pads from serum, Lab V or Massive X.
What are some of your key musical influences?
I’m heavily influenced by progressive house, hip-hop, and lo-fi vibes. Some key artists are Jay Lumen, Guy J, Stanton Warriors, Logic, Action Bronson – I get a lot of ideas from listening to these genres. I don’t listen to DnB that often, but when I do, I’m usually always influenced by Amoss, Visages, Brainwork, Satl, Ivy Lab, Data 3, En:vy and Om Unit.
What kind of relationship do you have with the internet? How does this inform your artistic expression?
I think I have a love-hate relationship like most people. I work full time, so juggling that and promoting is something I find very difficult, but I like to share my music and the labels I work with. I don’t saturate the market and I find if people look for songs similar to my style they will find my music. It’s important to send your tracks to other artists to play out which helps with followers.
What would you like to achieve with your music? What does success look like to you?
I think I have achieved more than I originally set out to. I believe if you can influence one person with a song then it is worth it – it sounds cheesy but it’s true. I really like getting messages from people saying they loved a tune – it makes it all worth it. I just want people to vibe with it whether at a party or at home or driving
What has been a memorable highlight of your career so far?
Having my first-ever track signed and remixed by Amoss.
If you could work with, or perform alongside any artist of your choice, who would it be?
If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Good question – I’m not sure, maybe something to do with animals. I would probably spend my spare time working with animals in need.
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I have two tracks that have just been released on Incurzion as part of their #weareincurzion series. A dubstep track and a psytrance inspired DnB track. I’m also working on a lo-fi album to be released at some stage. More garage is also planned to be released with some collaborators. I’m also working with Kaii concept Under the name Thirsty Monks which is going well, currently have 3 releases. I also have a small mini-album with DNBB records, that features some more liquid all set to be out the first part of this year.
‘Hold On’ features on the Spotify playlist BASS_GROUND
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