2018 was another successful year for Nicole Moudaber as an artist and continuing to grow her Mood Records label and events brand. Nicole kindly agreed to speak with me while she was away enjoying some valuable down time where she explained some highs and lows, hurdles and obstacles which she has had to overcome whilst travelling and finding balance in her life. “I put myself out there last year, it was hectic with the constant travelling and very little sleep which put a little strain on my body and mind towards the end. I felt I was running on empty, and I lost faith along the way as well” she said.
Although the festivals and the club shows around the world were selling out she still found herself tearing up at the end of it. It was hard for her to keep the balance but she got through it she told me…
“I’m here on a little break now and I have time to assess and look back at that journey trying to understand what actually happened. I believe all the suppressed emotions I’d had for many years were ready to blow out of the water. With pain and sadness, I see myself more inspired to create music and for this space in time in my life I will grab the moment and take it as a blessing. This year I will open myself up a bit more, allowing my feelings to take over rather than my mind or what’s politically correct, but this is another talk show, maybe one day we’ll share experiences together on a much deeper note” Nicole said. And this is something I would gladly speak about with Nicole in more detail. Let’s see if we can set this up for the future.
Mood Records ended the year with a best of Mood compilation mixed by Carlo Ruetz. It was a reflection of the MOOD label in 2018 and Carlo did an amazing job with it. “Not only is he an accomplished producer but he’s also a fantastic DJ” Nicole said. MOOD was always about house and techno and a labour of love between the artists who all play together around the world sharing the music they love. Nicole further explained “As the MOOD changes along the way, the music will as well, but also staying true to the groove, funk and the edgy tip that makes a memorable moment on the floor.”
We then moved onto discuss some of the MOOD event showcases already planned for 2019. “The one we are prepping for right now is MMW 2019 in Miami, a joint venture between MOOD and Mindshake Records in a warehouse downtown Miami, and also working on an all night long show in New York in June, plus many more I can’t really discuss right now. Plus, I just got home from months of touring and the last thing I want to look at is my calendar, I’m still in holiday mode” she said.
In case you missed the recent announcement, there is some very exciting event news regarding Nicole’s radio show In The MOOD. It will be broadcasting from IMS Ibiza LIVE to the world this year to celebrate the 5 year anniversary, aiming to reach around 30 Milllion people on that day. “This will be the biggest electronic music syndicated radio broadcast ever made if we pull it off… I’m confident we will” she said.
And what an achievement that would be. I’ll be there to help celebrate. By many Nicole Moudaber is labelled as their ‘techno queen’. I asked what would she say back to her fans who hold her in such high regards? She replied –
“I’m here to serve you. Forever yours.”
Hito & Sudo are next to release on Mood Records. Before I grab the opportunity for a chat with Hito I was left with a few words from Nicole on the release. “Well I’m a huge fan of both Sudo and Hito, so I’m very happy to be releasing this EP from them. Sudo first released on MOOD last summer with the incredible Abstract EP, but it’s actually Hito’s debut on the label. Hito and I have played together many times around the world, including at several of my MOOD events, so she already feels like part of the family.
Sudo and Hito come together in a lethal combination on this release – “Hale” is very reminiscent of Underworld’s classic ‘Rez’ – with a driving baseline layered with immersive dreamy harmonics. Its backed with remixes from Japanese techno legend Ken Ishii and Montreal’s Johnny Trika who takes things into dark twisted territory. It’s an amazing EP and I’m very proud to be adding it to the MOOD catalogue.”
I then spoke with the lovely Hito, welcoming her in Japanese “Konnichiwa.” She returned my welcome and went onto explain she is very happy to now be a part of the Mood Records artists. “Nicole has been bringing me many places by the way of MOOD events and I am so honoured to play with her. I am incredibly happy to have my proper release from her label Mood and super excited. I appreciate her big support” she said.
Hito is originally from one of Japan’s traditional cities Himeji but has now relocated to Berlin, although she remains very true to her tradition and heritage. “My hometown Himeji has a castle and there are a lot of Kimono shops around. I grew up in a traditional way and I wear Kimono in general life too. Not only on stage” she said. Hito went onto explain the traditional Yukata and Kimono clothing. “I brought a lot of Kimono with me in Europe. Yukata is kimono for the summer.”
When asked what the hardest part was when moving to Berlin she replied – “conversation with the bakery women” bless her haha. “The easiest part is you don’t care what you wear. Several years ago, was easier” she added laughing.
Last year Hito launched a series of self-curated parties – HITO presents OTO at IPSE Berlin. She had been considering these parties with her team and the IPSE guys are very good friends of hers who all cooperate well with each other. “I just wanted to have a base in Berlin where I live and love” she told me. The concept for the party is that every DJ plays with the “MODEL1” mixer.
This year in 2019 Hito changed the location to “Watergate” with more selected DJs but now there is no “MODEL1” Rules anymore. Hito explained “I respect every artists choice to play their free way to enjoy playing their “OTO”. “OTO” means “Sound” in Japanese” she told me. Hito went onto further explain she hopes to bring various artists to OTO and share their OTO together. The new generation, Professionals, nationalities, genre.. “diversity” is the key.
Hito is an ambassador for the MODEL1 mixer and spoke to me about how has it improved her performance as not only a DJ but a vinyl DJ explaining the MODEL1 is her hand now. “I cannot release from the master filter grip. MODEL1 is an analog mixer so it’s perfect for me to play vinyl and sculpt key makes the tracks I play softer and harder. Each vinyl has different sound quality so it’s so easy to make their balance. I am thankful to use this mixer. I thank Richie Hawtin and A&H team a lot.” She then went onto explain her preferences for still playing vinyl stating-
“I just feel me. I am still comfortable to play, I like the sound of vinyl, thrill and mixing magic.”
Nicole mentioned earlier to me they have played several MOOD events together. When I asked Hito to describe a Mood event and party atmosphere that Nicole creates, she replied –
“Nicole is a fantastic person. All the MOOD fans are there for her and for her sound. I see people appreciate her line ups too. I never felt away by myself. They support all the artists who are with her as well. Last November in New York was the best MOOD I ever had. I played an extended set and the audience were so supporting. I have got a lot of positive feedback. Nicole opened and closed and doing b2b set with Paco Osuna and Dubfire. Techno, tech house, minimal, hard techno. I like this diversity of MOOD.”
When initially discussing the MOOD feature for Decoded Radio Nicole was keen for Hito to provide the guest mix. “I like mixing for the podcast in general. I feel like I’m designing. Most of the tracks I chose for this MOOD mix are pretty new tracks, but I wanted to add classic stuff too, which is everlasting with very various artists like Carl Cox and Nicole, to the new generation. I also like Nicole and Skin collaboration tracks and of course, I put all 3 tracks of HALE which is my release included Ken Ishii and Johnny Trika remix” she said.
“Hale is made by our good friends and team too. All the voices of Hale are friends and company who is supporting me and SUDO. I appreciate their spirit a lot.”
SUDO is a Japanese producer who is the track maker. “My part is directing and sampling. I am so happy to have Ken and Johnny remix the track. We made it in an organic way. No rush and no push. I am super happy to have this release, I hope my message is delivering to the audience. Thank you so much Daz for this interview, I’m happy to answer any questions anytime” she said.
Decoded Radio hosted by Luke Brancaccio presents Mood Records with Hito.
01. Hall North – Finding Our Way [Pro B Tech]
02. Ae:ther – Stardancer [Crosstown Rebels]
03. Red Axes – Sound Test [Phantasy Sound]
04. Antin Hale – Sok O
05. Torsten Fassbender – Skuchayu [Platipus]
06. Marcus Meinhardt – Apichada
07. Yoel & Tristan – Tubular
08. Klement Bonelli – Majeer
09. Opus 3 – Fine Day (Cristoph’s cheeky edit) [White]
10. Ezequiel Arias & Artfaq – Babel [Replug]
01. Nicole Moudaber & Carl Cox – See You Next Tuesday (Danny Tenaglia’s Return To Twilo Mix)
02. Pawasa – 168
03. Victor Calderone – Parallel (Original mix)
04. SUDO – Abstract (Original mix)
05. Carlo Ruetz – Stormer (Original mix)
06. HITO x SUDO – Hale (Ken Ishii mix)
07. POPOF – Alone In The Dark (Original mix)
08. Fabio Florido – Pulsar (Original mix)
09. HITO x SUDO – Hale (Original mix)
10. Nicole Moudaber & Skin – Someone Like You (Original Mix)
11. Sly Faux – This made you (Marino Canal mix)
12. HITO x SUDO – Hale (Johnny Trika mix)
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