Ness is a Dj and producer born and raised in Sardinia, acknowledged for his style over a decade of music with a background in sound engineering and many years of research and fine-tuning. Ness gradually developed a distinct technique with a strong focus on atmosphere combined with hypnotic rhythms. Having performed in some of the most relevant clubs and festivals around the globe, he steadily releases music and collaborates with several renowned techno labels within the scene. With experience as label manager through the years with partnership on Mono Records and The Gods Planet, he later established his spin off project label Ness Reworks in 2018. Ness music and dj set are well accepted and defined as an exploration of wide range of deep hypnotic techno and ambient soundscapes.
Where do you live these days and can you briefly explain your first introduction to electronic music?
Currently I am based in Sofia. I experienced electronic music at an early age recording on tape my favorite 8bit video games soundtracks. Later on I approached djing and production in 2004, when I got myself the basic tools for this art.
For our readers who don’t know your influences or your label, The Gods Planet yet, how would you describe the sound and the musical universe of your projects?
Describing your own work is no easy task, if we consider how intangible and subjective is music.
What I have been doing with my artist and label project is a sonic research into the deep, hypnotic and cinematic aspect of Techno.
Expressing in this way I enjoy the mantra of the loop, not getting lost into it but rather tuning with my inner self.
As label owner, with The God Planets, you probably receive lots of demos. What makes you decide whether or not you sign with an artist or for a track?
A presentation of yourself is always welcome when sending demos out, I like to know the person behind the work.
Naturally the focus is on music, my selection is based on taste and aesthetic, not related to marketing.
With all these projects, what was a typical workday in your life like before COVID-19? How about these days?
Usually I don’t have a predetermined schedule on my work, for now I can decide when and how, so I can prioritize tasks as I prefer.
There are periods in which my focus is entirely on production, others into preparing podcasts or djing, then there’s the label, promo and records listening. Sometimes I split the day into morning social networking and mailing and then I move to the studio later on. These days haven’t changed much, if we exclude the weekends.
Without a doubt, COVID-19 is impacting everyone around the world. How do you feel about what is going on in our music industry and scene due to the COVID-19 virus ?
What we are now experiencing is a real dystopia unfolding in the world. We are facing a huge storm but navigating through it with different boats. Unfortunately not everyone is in the same situation, our culture will be the last in society to be “normalized”. This is the sad confirmation of how incapable are our leaders and politicians to find solutions and care for us, no matter how much they pretend to and until the military budget is a priority in every country I’ll have hard time to trust their outcome. We are heavily affected like many others in the society, psychological and financial side effects of lockdowns are already visible. With hope that live streaming will be a momentary solution and rather continue to be an integral part of music culture.
” Our culture will be the last in society to be “normalized”. This is the sad confirmation of how incapable are our leaders and politicians to find solutions and care for us.
Luckily this is a time where music can still be used to spread positivity, love and hope. Do you agree?
Absolutely, I say also awareness.
Let’s talk about your own production and sound. What inspires you in the studio these days?
Particularly in these days I haven’t felt very motivated in the studio, travels and nature are sources of inspiration for me.
I spent more time into focusing on the label’s tasks, reading and watching about new technologies in music, also recording few new mixes/podcasts.
And how do you stay focused in music production at all? Do you have any routines that keep you more productive as a producer?
The idea of having a routine pull me down, also I don’t feel the need to be productive, or maybe we should quantify when one artist is qualified to be productive. I need to feel inspiration rising and flowing, every time I’ve tried to jump in the studio with the idea “this need to be done” it produced quite the opposite. So it’s rather a spontaneous approach, there are days I’m playing around with machines or vst with the intention of producing nothing, just exploring. I think an artist should rely mostly on intuition and what is right at any given moment, enjoying the process and not the pressure of sharing something just to keep social existence.
“I think an artist should rely mostly on intuition and what is right at any given moment, enjoying the process and not the pressure of sharing something just to keep social existence.
Can you give us some insight on the nature of the production process behind these tracks? And what are your favorite pieces of gear or software ?
The nature of my musical universe is coming from several sources and ideas, spontaneously produced or commissioned I tend to brainstorm the concept or the direction I want to give to the composition. The starting point of the process is never the same, I can start from an atmosphere, a percussion loop or a bassline, usually the first element setup the tone and I build around it, but sometimes can happen that the spark in the begin get lost in time and the track take a totally different turn. Nowadays I use mainly the Elektron machines and Omnisphere as vst, but I’m constantly changing, reducing or expanding my setup, the research never ends.
In your career you’ve fluctuated from doing Live performances and then back to DJ sets. Do you have a preference today, and why?
I learnt first how to Dj, the Live experience came after. No doubt they’re quite different performances, it took me some time before feeling ready to go with my own productions only. So my preference is in between, when both are combined.
Techno enter maybe in a new phases right now, and it seems that the ravier, higher-BPM sound is more prevalent than it has ever been since the last 10 years at least. Do you feel that your own sound has changed in the last several years in any direction?
Only dead people don’t change, it’s inevitable of influencing and being influenced in the game of music. Then there are several degrees of change, I don’t like drastic ones, rather smooth progressions, you may find the same blueprint in my mixes. Crossovers of genres are always happening and are more than welcome, what matters is staying true to what you really like.
You’ve been working in music industry for a long time now, and sure have a lot of experience to share. What would be some of your most important pieces of advice to people beginning their journey?
Especially in art, which I believe is the language of the soul, intuition is fundamental. Challenge yourself, go out from your comfort zone and dare to take risks, find your own means of expression without caring what others will think. Keep exploring, keep questioning, through persistency and dedication you can breakthrough and let your message reach others, but don’t focus immediately on the business side and keep in mind is a territory without empathy or feelings. Make mistakes and learn from them, success is not having the others to praise you, rather achieving the goal you setup for yourself. No matter what you do, someone won’t be happy about it, so better do what you really care and love…always.
What’s coming next for you in the spring and summer, any plans or exciting projects you’d love to mention?
2020 marks 10 years of TGP, so a special release is on the making as celebration.
I setup new goals for the upcoming months, but I’ve also learnt to don’t say it all…
A co-realized interview with Renaud 'Hawkan' Van Eycken.