Nick Curly – Between the Lines review and interview [Cecille – March 2012]

If you ever complain that being an electronic DJ/Producer in 2012 is too much work, make sure to benchmark against Nick Curly. Except for co-running two of the 2011’s most praised labels (Cecille and 8-bit) he also manages to deliver new top 10 track on almost monthly basis to Cocoon and to make a bunch of remixes for Soma, Liebe Detail ans Sci+Tec. And now finally, after a few years of anticipation to prepare a full length debut album to be released on Cecille in the middle of march. And it does sound quite great!

Nick Curly – Eastern Curve [128 kbps preview]

The album is a wide range of productions, most of them being low-key chilled out house tracks rather than proper club hits. From minimalistic, almost hypnotic tracks like Spinning plates and Eastern Curve. To progressive, almost floating experiments like Wrong Hands and Hairline. To the one and only future Turmbuhne/Panorama Bar classic called Glass Ceiling. With a funky, punchy bassline it is ready to get any roof top party going. Watch out for remixes on this one 😉

Nick Curly -Glass Ceiling [128 kbps preview]

Another gem is You don’t have to hopp, with a lovely, organic tribal groove. This one will be played many times in the mornings at this year’s festivals.

The spoken word tracks like Eastern Curve and Truth to be told will no doubt bring out lots of smiles on the dancefloor.  They are just great. The other three vocal tracks – Piano in the Dark, Underground and Wake me Up got some fantastic arrangements, percussion programming and certain vocal elements like ryhtm driven hums. Maybe they would sound even better as dub mixes, as the vocals feel a bit cheesy and fall short compared to the rest of thought and work put behind each of the three tracks. Please leave the vocals and keep doing what you best at Nick – creating those Curly-trademarked cozy, deep and laid-back ambience that is so easy to like, but so hard to capture 😉

We caught up with Nico for a quick, virtual coffee chat about the album, the ropes and the future of DJ-ing:

HMWL: Hey Nico. You are officially known as the most hardworking European house Dj after Sven Väth. Seriously – two very strong labels, endless gig calendar and well organised label showcases (I caught the Cecille one in Paris in 2010). But the trace ends in 2005 with the first ”Nick Curly” releases on Amused. And all you biographies say nothing about the past. So what did you do before 2005?

Nick Curly: Before 2005 I started the 8Bit and Amused labels together with 2 other guys from Mannheim, but soon after the second release I quickly realised that I wanted go in a different direction with my sound so I parted with them and focused solely on 8Bit Records, I’d like to think that this was a great decision early in my career. Also during 2005 Johnny D, Ray Okpara and myself where running the RAJO Project. Under this brand we did big parties in our area. These parties opened the doors for me into the bigger clubs here in Germany.

HMWL: Running two labels, globetrotting from club to club and festival to festival AND releasing a full length Album requires lots of time, and there is only a limited number of hours in a day. What’s your efficiency secret? Jedi Time management? Working with the best people?

Nick: Yes it is tough sometimes to do these tours. Main thing is that you work with the right people on this. First of all my agent and me always check the travel situation before we confirm the gigs, always helps alot. Also working with the right people helps to make things easier; something I’ve done for a few years now. The good thing is that we have now have the option to work with the upmost professional promters now.

HMWL.When comes to DJing I know you play both vinyl and cds. There is lot’s of new technology coming these days (midi-controllers, iphone dj). In one way it takes the Dj art to a completely new level. From an another perspective – it makes everybody and their moms a Dj after about an hour of practice. What are your thoughts on this development?

Nick: I think everybody has to make their own individual decisions; even our mums could be dj’s these days, with all these sync machines. Anyone even ex-playmates and models are now moving into being DJ’s now. I can accept this, people should decide if they really want listen to such deejays. For me the main thing of a deejay is the track selection; I think mixing one track into the other is easy, however to play a good set and get everyone dancing is very much another.

by Alex Esser aka Dj Skyjacker of House Music With Love

About Alex Esser:

DJ, surfer and entrepreneur residing in Malmö, Sweden. HMWL label daddy. My music network is always open. Holler at