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Interview: Nick Curly

Question time with the Mannheim based artist.

Nick Curly is at the forefront of the so called 'Mannheim sound', a sound that has been well documented over various media platforms over the years. Essentially though, Nick and his friends have transformed something they love into a fine business model spread over a few record labels, such as the notorious Cecille and 8bit, and a clubbing scene within a city that "isn't that good", according to the man himself.

While Nick is out and about on his pedictably hectic tour to promote his new album, 'Between the Lines', he stopped to briefly tell us what he's doing now, what he's going to be doing this summer, and why he's left us waiting until now for his take on an artist album.

So, you're debut artist album is out in March, tell us a little about it…

I think you will be surprised to find that the album is not a dance album as such, but it's made for long rides in the car at night, or early morning – maybe when the roads are clear and you want to think about everything and nothing at the same time. Of course, some of the tracks will fit in club-sets, I hope. I worked with three vocalists along with several musicians who laid down live bass and drums on some of the tracks, I would say it's my most musical production so far.

What is the meaning behind the title of the album, ‘Between The Lines'?

I think it represents how I see myself fit in as an artist. Of course I am German, but not perhaps 100% German orientated in terms of the work I put out, or my general mentality. I spend a lot of time touring and playing in the UK, the US and around the world, and sometimes I feel that I don't really belong in one particular place – and the same goes for my music.

There's a strong focus of real world instruments on the album, what are the reasons behind this?

It was important because real instruments definitely sound better, and I think the sound quality on this came out like I intended at the beginning. That was important to me.

Many artists either turn to producing or DJ'ing in an order… with one coming before the other. Why did you wait to produce your artist album until now?

I've always had the idea to do this style of LP, and originally I planned it for 2011. I was so busy touring that I never found the time I needed to do this the right way. I managed to find the time after the summer season in Ibiza finished, when I was back home in Mannheim. It came together quickly and I was happy with the music. So finally it was time to do it. Now its back out on the road again!

What's in store for yourself as a DJ in 2012? And your Summer plans?

The first half of the year, I am touring the album and its great to return to some of my favourite clubs. I also have some new DJ dates for the second half of the year which I would love to tell you, but cannot yet.

We hear that Kehakuma will once again be returning to Space on Thursdays in Ibiza? What lies in store for those coming back again this year?

That's right, Kehakuma will return again on Thursdays. One thing's for sure – we can expect some big surprises in the line-up based on what I have heard so far.

Last season in particular was a huge success, how did it feel to be involved with such a successful formula considering the competitive nature of Ibiza's clubbing environment?

I don't really feel like I can take any credit for the success of the party. It's a concept by the club and I am happy it works so far. I can tell you that I love being the resident and playing with these acts most weeks on the Terazza is a big buzz for me.

As a head of Cecille Records and 8Bit Records, do you think it's of any benefit being based in Mannheim… being in a city that is arguably so intertwined with the culture of dance music and ‘the Mannheim sound'?

I'm not sure if there is a big benefit, as the scene in Mannheim is not that big. We have the great Time Warp event once a year, and some cool clubs in cities close to Mannheim. However, my friends Johnny D, Ray Okpara, Gorge and the Oslo Crew and I were always inspired by this music, and when we started doing or own RAJO events we had the perfect platform to showcase these sounds to our friends and fans in Mannheim.

On the subject of Cecille Records and 8Bit, what can we expect from the label this year?

Both labels are looking great this year. We've already signed so much good stuff, and in comparison to last year, the release schedule looks super busy. I'm looking forward to introducing some new names on to both labels including Uner, Basti Grub or Einzelkind. I'm also expecting releases by familiar artists such as Markus Fix and Butch.

You have a substantial worldwide tour coming up to promote your album, are there any personal highlights on that long list of events for you?

The tour looks really good, I'm super happy about that and I think my agent did a great job. There are always some gigs that are special – Time Warp on home turf, and I'm really looking forward to play China and Japan again. Colombia and Peru are definitely highlights too.

Nick Curly - “Between The Lines” on Cécille Records - 16th March 2012.

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