Brighton Mixtapes: Nolan 01 - Interview
Since the success of our beloved Berlin Mixtapes Series, which has featured awesome guests so far, we felt there was a real gap in terms of showcasing the amazing talent within our own home city right here in Brighton. We have a wide spectrum of artists that span across many genres therefore we decided we would create the 'Brighton Mixtapes' Series, so that we can not only showcase established artists but also feature up and coming musicians that would like a platform to be heard.
Equally, whilst our focus at Berlin has always been somewhere between Deep House and Techno we can now open up and extend a wider reach into other genres that Brighton has to offer. Also each artist will be subject to a series of one answer quick-fire questions to accompany each guest mix to give readers a quirky insight into the artists' likes and dislikes.
To kickstart our new series we decided to put together a more in-depth feature and we hooked up with local superhero and release monster Nolan AKA Timo Garcia. Nolan's catalogue of releases across his two pseudonyms alone over the last two decades, sports some of the biggest labels around. As Timo Garcia expect to catch his releases on Compost, Elrow, Exploited, Great Stuff, Hotfingers, Kittball, Leena, Madtech, Nervous, Noir, OFF, Skint, Southern Fried, Toolroom & Yoshitoshi! Wow! In recent years Timo has been transitioning more into Nolan to develop a more house and groove driven sound and to much success with releases brimming on labels such as Connaisseur, Crew Love, Dear Deer, Get Physical, Gruuv, Kittball, Madtech, Nervous. Mother, OFF, Simma Black, Sleazy Deep and Brighton label Wired. With such an illustrious and action packed catalogue we caught up with 'Nolan' to chat all things umze umze.
Hi Nolan, how old are you and how long have you been producing and Djing?
Old enough to know better! Ive been DJing since I was 15 which was a long long time ago now! Production wise I started toying around with it in the mid 90's but didn't actually ever take it seriously until 2005 when I set up my own Berwick Street Records label and had my first release.
What made you get into dance music?
When I was 15 I started putting on nights in my local club where I booked indie bands to play upstairs and I would DJ downstairs mainly playing stuff like Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets (this was in the 90's when these bands were fresh by the way!). Then I started playing the dance remixes on the records by people like Andrew Weatherall, Paul Oakenfold and found they had a better reaction on the dancefloor so started buying more stuff by the likes of them and ended up playing purely house after a few years. Also many visits to the Haçienda around that time helped cement my love of House too!
Where was your first gig?
At this club where I put my nights on called Stages in Chesham. Then I blagged a few gigs in London having been out record shopping, The Gardening Club being one of them when the club had just opened that evening (before many people had got there, they let me test out my new bag of vinyl!)
How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning?
Took years... literally years.. I started toying around on my mates PC while I was at Leeds Uni on some software called Rebirth. Then when I finished Uni in 98 and moved back home for a bit to pay off debts I messed around with Soundforge & Acid cutting up tracks and sampling them. Then when I realised how much fun that was I bought an MC303 to make my own beats on and started building a studio with my Spanish mate Alvaro Garcia. It then took 6 more years of learning how to sequence, edit and produce on analog gear before moving to Logic 6 where I got to grips with plug in synths too. Finally I felt ready to release my music, but couldn't find a label to sign it to, so set up my own. Which I'm glad I did because my second release was made Essential New Tune on Pete Tong's Radio 1 show, which was a massive boost for us all (this was under my Timo Garcia guise by the way!).
Talk to us about your latest EP on Soul Clap & Wolf + Lamb's label which is Crew Love Records
I've written over 10 songs with Forrest so far. One that came out on Kittball Records last year and one we signed to Mother Recordings too. But these four songs are a lot deeper and less club / dance floor focussed but more home listening really. They are in fact a few years old too. It's taken me a while to find the right label for them and I really feel Soul Clap and Wolf + Lamb are perfect for them. We also have another few songs together, which they've taken for a vinyl release coming soon on Crew Love as well as a couple of others being released early next year on the legendary New York label Henry Street Records.
What’s the music scene like where you live and how often are you playing?
Brighton's a great place to live for clubs, although not very big there's always loads going on with some really great DJs flying in to play and a load of superb local residents around too. I also love being a Berlin-Brighton resident too and it really is the best night running here. The nights are always rammed and full of good vibes and superb music. I played recently at the Green Door Store as part of the Kittball Records showcase who I released with under both my names and also played in October alongside Emanuel Satie too.
Which other DJs or producers are you liking right now?
This lovely lot for all having remixed my work over the last few years ;) DJ T., John Tejada, Cera Alba, Purple Disco Machine, Pig&Dan, KANT, Finnebassen, P.A.C.O. Lüzenkirchen, Raumakustik, Kevin Over, Climbers, DJ Pierre, Jerome Sydenham, X-Press 2, Kyle Watson, Bluford Duck, Compact Grey, Julian Wassermann, Framewerk, Marcellus Wallace, Jakkin Rabbit, Lula Circus, S.K.A.M., Rey & Kjavik, Of Norway, ATFC, Solee, Nikitin, Amine Edge, Copy Paste Soul, Jacky, Andomat 3000, Whebba, No Artificial Colours, Andomat 3000, My Digital Enemy, Matt Lange, Pol_On, Solee, Eric Kupeer, Sharam Jey, Cozzy D, Miguel Puente, Huxley & Steve Mac (+ many more but this list is getting way too long already!!)
What are your go to labels?
Crew Love Records (obviously), Kittball, Mother Recordings, Connaisseur, MadTech, Simma Black, Gruuv, Get Physical etc. mostly the ones I'm signed to... and Dino Audio obviously ;)
Tell us about your DJ setup
I just go USB / Rekordbox but have done a few vinyl gigs recently too. The Mother Recordings showcase I played pretty much all my own vinyl releases from over the years plus a few new bits off the USB which haven't been released yet (highly self indulgent i know!)
What’s been your biggest achievement?
Still being able to make a living in the music industry today (just!) although that's also through studio engineering for other people as well as producing music for TV/SYNC etc without which I wouldn't still be doing this! That and the Essential New Tune on Radio 1.
What can we expect from you soon?
Loads more releases coming out over the next 6 months, mostly vocal collaborations with Forrest, Joi Cardwell, Rachel Adedeji, Amber Jolene, Sabrina Gunston (aka SABE) and Alice Emilia. .
So tell us a bit about your guest mix?
It's a showcase of my latest releases to come out on Soul Clap, Wolf+Lamb, Kerri Chandler's label: MadTech & Crew Love plus Kittball, Mother Recordings, Wired, Connaisseur, Audio Rehab, LouLou and Nurvous records.
Awesome stuff! Thanks for spending time with us and it really is a great mix, nice work! Now as mentioned earlier in the article we will be doing a quick-fire question and answer session, which will be part of every Brighton Mixtapes guest mix, so here we grilled Nolan:
Favourite Colour: Rainbow
Where in Brighton are you: Hove actually
What do you put on your chips? My fingers
Apple or Android: Apple
Pioneer or Denon: Pioneer
Ableton or Logic: Logic Logic Logic
Can you juggle: Yes... but only with 3 items!
Weirdest/Coolest Item of clothing: Cowboy Spurs
First record ever bought: Theme to Monkey Magic on BBC records 7”
Favourite place to hang out in Brighton: My Studio
Favourite Pub: Block.
Favourite place to eat: Salvage Cafe in Hove for lunch
Best club: Green Door Store
Who does the best roast: The Prince George for Veggie Roasts
Coffee or Tea: Cappuccino darling
Have you swam in the sea: Almost every lunch time when the weather was nice enough.
Brexit or EU: EUEUEUEUEUEUEUEUEUEUEU
Favourite Footy Team: No time for football
Favourite Track right now: Cypherpunx - Hier+Jetzt (Rebellion)
View on Seagulls: Noisy buggers
View on Oysters: Like eating snot
Favourite word: Flummoxed
3 words to describe your mix: Totally self indulgent
To find out more and listen to to Nolan's music catch him on these socials:
1. Nolan ft Forrest - Go (Crew Love)
2. Nolan ft Forrest - Standing On My Own Tower (Crew Love)
3. Nolan ft Idris Elba - Bass Drop (Connaisseur)
4. Nolan - Cassette Tape (Wired)
5. Nolan & Bjorn Maria - Jeopardise (MadTech)
6. Nolan & Bjorn Maria - Voodoo Cheeks [Marcellus Wallace Remix) (Audio Rehab)
7. Nolan ft Forrest - C’est La vie (Kittball)
8. Nolan - The Quiz (Tobus ltd)
9. Nolan ft Forrest - Come To Me (Mother Recordings)
10. Nolan - Dance Boy (Wired) 11. Nolan - Dance Now (LouLou Records)
12. Nolan - From A Big City (LouLou Records)
13. Nolan - Thief (Nurvous)