Classically trained French-Canadian techno artist Nicolas Bougaïeff recently released his Principles Of Newspeak album on his Denkfabrik label. His full-length includes three tracks from his Cognitive Resonance EP marking the return of NovaMute, a sub-label of Mute Records, whose amazing heritage dates back to 1992. A cavalcade of innovators were aligned with the imprint before it went dormant — we’re talking heavy hitters like Si Begg, Luke Slater, Joey Beltram, Emmanuel Top and Miss Kittin — so it’s evident that Bougaïeff is in good company.
In addition to producing hard-hitting, pulsating tracks, the Berlin-based multihyphenate has collaborated with Max Cooper and runs Liine software, a startup backed by Richie Hawtin.
As Bougaïeff winds down a productive year, we stole a few moments and asked him to fill us in on his five tracks of the moment.
Ambivalent – “Idola” (Valence)
Kevin always preaches by example. Here on “IdolaT he weaves a refined and sophisticated banger that effortlessly combines wild triplets with a muscular techno groove. He’s been a longtime friend, supporter and inspiration. I’ve often turned to him for advice at critical times in my artist career. A long time ago, I was kind of lost and his advice was simple: “Listen to stuff that blows your mind, find a zone of artists that resonates with you.” His music is definitely part of that zone.
Blush Response – “Tesselate” (Sonic Groove)
The first time I heard Blush Response playing live was at a sweltering GEGEN party at the infamous KitKat club. His performance was absolutely savage; it had been a long time since I’d heard such a high level of defiant, unbridled energy. I’m just do down with the one-of-a-kind blend he’s developed between EBM, industrial and techno.
Florian Meindl – “Frame of Mind” (Sigha Remix) (FLASH)
I’ve known Florian since 2010, nearly as long as I’ve been in Berlin, and we recently reconnected as our musical interests seem to converge. He commissioned this remix from Sigha, one of my favorite producers of the moment. I’m really inspired by this rare techno that manages to keep a dancefloor vibe while being infused with industrial textures and challenging rhythms, something that Sigha excels at pulling off.
Martyn Hare – “Don’t Stare at the Freaks” (Manni Dee Remix)
The zone that most fascinates me is the tense compromise between experimental liberation and dance floor duties. Manni Dee trades in uncompromising electronic sounds that are right on the edge of dance floor accessibility, that’s exactly the sort of thing I’m seeking to discover and create.
Nicolas Bougaïeff – “Cognitive Resonance” (NovaMute)
This year would not have been the same without this release. Releasing a record on NovaMute marks, without a doubt, the most significant milestone of my career until now. Watching the track make its way this year has been a rocket ship of surprises, first with Daniel Miller testing it out, next with Chris Liebing hammering it the whole summer, and now with widespread support across the scene. I was inspired to write the track by the idea of unity and connection between the hemispheres, I could not have hoped for a better connection within the techno scene.