'I cannot do without music, and even I find it a shame to wait for a "return to normal" to bring out songs. Today the releases are less played because there is no date but I still find satisfaction in it. I make music to please myself. Whether there are 1000 reads in a day or 1000 reads in a month is not important.'
We are pleased to have the head of Tjalk Records, contemporary EBM artist NƵM 99 for an exclusive interview.
Recently released his eight tracks EP "Walkyries Walk" including remixes from IV Horsemen and Minuit Machine premiered by labels and collectives such as The Brvtalist, MOTZ and Knife the artists focus on the shattering, dark-industrial aspect of EBM music.
We have the opportunity to talk about the early artistic roots of the artist, the ideas behind the EP, and the impact of Corona on his artistic production.
NCOUNTERS: You were on our radar for a while. It is good to have you finally for this interview. Before talking about Walkyries Walk EP we want to get some inside about you. Where did you grow up? How was your early encounter with music? How did it evolve?
NZM 99: I grew up part of my life in Auvergne near Clermont Ferrand in central France with my mother and my brother. I had some hard years there because things with school were not going very well. So, I moved to Savoy with my father.
In my first encounter with music in Auvergne, there was no underground techno club, so the only things that were musically interesting were the rave parties. My brother threw raves. Soon after his debut, he brought me also.
After my first rave at 17, I immediately hooked up with the spirit and the music. When I was 18, I went to a party where the Spirale Tribe played 69DB live. There was a revelation six months later I bought my 1st sampler. Today I have been producing music for 12 years.
At first, I tried to produce Hardtechno and Hardcore. The BPMs were too high, and I did not feel comfortable with the groove. So, I moved towards more techno rhythms, especially EBM that have a shattering side that has always fascinated me.
´ The EP is divided into two parts: Four original tracks and four remixes. For the original songs, I tried to sequence with a progression like in a live set. I produced the tracks already thinking about the artists remixing to keep the same idea of progression and energy.'
What was the breaking point that you decide to step up as a professional with your music?
The breaking point arrived a year and a half before the pandemic. I was tired of having two separate lives, I worked a lot during the week with trips all over France, and on the weekends, you had to string together dates and musical projects. It is hard to do everything well at the same time because we are obviously running out of time and so I chose the music of course! But today, I had to go back to work while waiting for the dates to return.
Let’s talk about the EP a bit. We had the feeling that you are expanding the sonic variations of “EBM revival”. The tracks are swinging by the EBM to industrial and oscillating by diverse emotions. For example, we like IV Horseman Remix very much! What was the main source of inspiration for you?
The EP is divided into two parts: Four original tracks and four remixes. For the original songs, I tried to sequence with a progression like in a live set. I produced the tracks already thinking about the artists remixing to keep the same idea of progression and energy. What worked well I had no refusals.
'I think the biggest challenge is constantly renewing yourself and still keep consistency with past releases.'
What was the biggest challenge in the process of producing this EP?
I think the biggest challenge is constantly renewing yourself and still keep consistency with past releases.
As we are talking about the challenges, how is it going with Corona? Seems like you are one of those artists who can stay creative?
With the Coronavirus, it is complicated as it is for everyone I imagine. I took back my double life. I continue to make music almost every day or to record podcasts, etc. I find it important to stay active psychologically.
I cannot do without music, and even I find it a shame to wait for a "return to normal" to bring out songs. Today the releases are less played because there is no date but I still find satisfaction in it. I make music to please myself. Whether there are 1000 reads in a day or 1000 reads in a month is not important.
How is your process of creative production? Do you have some kind of routines?
Usually, I start with the bass line and then lead, string, FX, etc. I try to make the elements interact with each other, and I usually end with the rhythm part.
We are also curious about TJALK Records. What is the mentality and aesthetics behind that? How does the future of the imprint look like?
Tjalk records have been around for over a year now. The label identity is rather dark overall mixing Synthwave, EBM, and Techno. I'm alone in the artistic direction because I didn't want to be influenced. I already have two outings in mind:
This Fall, there will be a new Ep by an artist whose name I will have in a few weeks in DIGITAL and Cassette format.
And a new VA with three international artists and me in digital and vinyl format this time. It will be various dancefloor access in an EBM register only.
I had a residency before the pandemic at the Terminal Club in Lyon. I hope to be able to resume the evenings quickly. Tjalk records will also have some showcase tours in several European capitals.
Editor: Kubi Öztürk
Graphic Layout: Can Hatunoglu
NCOUNTERS, Berlin (2020)