Nørbak is Artur, born in the late nineties, in the North of Portugal. His music can be found on labels such as Semantica, Warm Up, Affin, PoleGroup or MindTrip and his sound can be characterized by saying it is a dark, deep and hypnotic journey through the frequency spectrum.
How did you discover electronic music and when did you start playing and producing techno ? First of all, thank you for having me! My first contact with electronic music was with Dubstep and Drum n Bass, but only as a listener. Some years later I got introduced to techno by some friends, which was about that time where techno started to gain a lot of attention again. We were all super into it and we talked about it everyday, shared music, sets from guys like Chris Liebing and Speedy J and went to parties together till I reached the point where I started to listen more and more techno everyday, discovering lots of “sub-genres” and that really fascinated me to the point where I started to get interested in knowing how the music is made and it went from there to start releasing my music and here we are today! Playing techno in front of a crowd came a bit later, I would say 1 year, but at the time I didn’t know anything about the art that is DJ’ing and I was always super anxious and nervous but I dedicated myself a lot to learn how to be a DJ and know my own place at a specific point in the night. Now I feel confident and relaxed most of the times I play in front of a crowd.
Who influences your music the most? Have you got any particular sources of inspiration? At the beginning, despite the result being so different, I was mainly influenced by movie soundtracks, like some works from Hans Zimmer. Later on I would say my main influence was Oscar Mulero and I consider it to this day still but I get inspired also by other artists like Farceb, Divide, Evod, Oisel, Temudo, to name a few. I listen to a lot of ambient music when I traveling for gigs and that is also a big source of inspiration to me.
You released a lot of tracks on well-know labels like Semantica, Soma or MindTripRec,… Out of all of your releases, which are your top favorites and why? I wouldn’t say I have a favorite release but clearly there are some special ones like the track I released on Semantica, which is my favorite label so that was really huge for me, releasing a track on PoleGroup, my release on Oscar Mulero’s Warm Up Recordings, my first collaboration with Temudo as well and my first release on Affin because that really opened some doors to me and it was thanks to that release I got in contact with Oscar Mulero and played in Tresor.
Let’s talk about your upcoming release on MindTrip Records. When did you start to work on it ? Can you tell us something about these new tracks?
My relation with MindTrip Records started when Pfirter asked me a podcast for MindTrip’s podcast series. Some time after that podcast, around July 2019 I sent some music to him and he chose one for a VA, that came out last January, but I really wanted to release my own EP on MindTrip so I kept working on it a lot till Juan was happy with the result and here we have “Praying To Silence”. I started to change my sound a bit in the summer of last year (around the time where I got in touch with Juan) and wanted this release to be a statement of what my vision of techno is nowadays and I think I accomplished that so I’m feeling very satisfied with this release.
When you produce a track, do you have a particular narrative in mind ? What’s your studio routine ?
Sometimes I have an idea of what kind of track I want to do and I start working on the idea as soon as I open Ableton, but other times I just do music without any objective for the final result, it really depends on what I’m feeling at the moment of doing music. When I have an specific idea I’m very methodical in my process, for example, every couple of months I work on a new personal sample pack with new kicks, noises, hats, etc that I processed myself and start constructing my idea from there, other times I do everything on the go, as I said before, depends on what I’m feeling at the time.
Are there any pieces of gear or software that you couldn’t do without? And can you talk us about your set-up ?
I do everything in the box. The VSTS from U-he, Waves and stock Ableton effects are crucial in my process of making music now. I would advise everyone to check those out, specially stock Ableton stuff, a lot of potential there that sometimes producers skip on. Besides that for my studio I use an IMac, RME FireFace UC and a pair of Yamaha HS7 monitors, simple but it does the job.
You’re working an a new album. As a producer, what’s the differences between producing an EP versus an LP?
Actually my album is finished since February but it will only be out around September/October of this year, can’t wait to talk more about it! I think with an EP I focus more on the effectiveness of the tracks and with my album I focused more on the concept behind and tried to explore things that usually I don’t get to explore in a normal EP.
In these strange days with Covid-19 virus and quarantine, do you feel you are more motivated and inspired, or less?
Despite being always at home now, things are basically the same for me, I have the same routine: making music, playing video games, watching movies, eat something and sleep, the only thing that changes is not being able to be with my loved ones, I would like to be with my girlfriend and friends but things are not easy in that aspect but that’s a small problem compared to what is happening around the world, that being said, I’m hopeful about the future and I think that things will start coming back to normality soon.
And are you working on any collaborations with artists from a distance?
Yeah! I recently did a ton of music with the talented Italian artist Divide, he will actually have an album coming up on my label Hayes Collective very soon. Been also working with other exciting artists but I can’t reveal more info about it just yet. Good things happening next year!
You’re a dj and producer but also a label owner with Hayes Collective. You’re not alone behind the label, you’re working with some other artists. How did you get to know each other?
We are six guys running the label, Vil, Temudo, menosdois (the founding members), me and Enkō. Every time I got to play in Lisbon, me and Vil (Nuno) would hang out a bit and talk about a lot of stuff related to music, life and other things so we became good friends, same with Temudo (João), later on I got to fully meet Temudo and we shared a similar taste in music and had an instant connection to the point we worked on music together and the result was fantastic and very insightful to me. Fast forwarding some months, Nuno talked with me about joining Hayes as a core member and I obviously said yes and got the opportunity to get closer with other members: menosdois (Pedro and Vasco) and Enkō (Marcos) and it has been amazing. Really proud of what we have achieved so far.
You probably receive lots of demos from artists. What makes you decide whether or not you work with an artist ?
First of all, the music has to come across as honest and it has to be something well executed and special and it has to please all six of us as well so that it can be released on Hayes. Sometimes it takes a lot of time for us to make the final selection but its worth it in the end.
Last but not least: Do you have any upcoming plans for 2020 or projects, you would like to share with us?
Besides this EP for MindTrip I will release again on Soma Records, Faut Section, and as I said before, my first album will drop after the summer and I’m super proud of it. Also working on a remix at the moment for a big artist and that is super exciting as well, never saw it coming to be honest. Fun times in the studio lately!