House music's popularity has rocketed skywards, due - in part - to the volume of fresh music and new talent in the digital age. Danish house music legend, underground tastemaker and noted A&R, Noir, knows more than a thing or two about the never-ending quest for the next sound. Whilst managing to balance this hands on attitude with his own back breaking DJ schedule and creative musical ambitions, he's helped to cement the careers of such players as Hot Since 82 and Larse through his productive Noir Music imprint; needless to say, his passion and thirst for new electronic music (plus his prolific work rate) makes all this hard work look like child's play. Read on & listen to his mix - recorded live from Defected's closing party at Booom! Ibiza - as he discusses his passion and drive for new music and the task of juggling the many facets of his career.
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Noir, thanks for joining the Pulse Podcast fray - where in the world are you at the moment? By the time this is published I am probably flying to my next destination/gig or sleeping in a hotel room preparing my body for the next gig. While writing this though, I'm enjoying a rare weekend off, sitting in the studio watching and hearing the rain banging against my window.
Tell us about the plans for the forthcoming year for your imprint Noir Music? Can we expect some new talent coming through? We are going back to releasing "songs" on Noir Music after a summer full of tech house and the more tracky, rolling stuff. There's going to be some new singles from Noir & Haze, Larse, NiCe7 and remixes by Dennis Ferrer, Hot Since '82, James Welsh and of course, a lot of new talent to come too.
You're seen as a tastemaker and a talent spotter helping to bring through some exciting names in the world of house - how much time is dedicated to sourcing new artists for your label? I spend a lot of time (at least a full day each week) listening to demos, promos, and soundclouding. It's a natural curiosity to discover new music that leads me to the new talent. I try not to worry too much about who is behind the music but rather just use my ears and let them judge if it's right for me or not. The day I lose the urge to find good music is the day I should stop being an A&R.
You just played out at Ibiza - what are your thoughts on the changing state of the island? Do you see a positive change in terms of more diverse music? It's really hard to answer that question, because I only go to the places with the music I like and where I can meet friends in the industry.
I've heard a lot of negative stuff about the island this year and a lot of empty clubs and parties, but for me it's been a really good experience - really good parties, good music, happy and positive people - so I really haven't seen that side of Ibiza even though everyone is talking about it.
In terms of your own productions what's next on the cards? Are you looking at a new album in the not so distant future? In November I am going to release a new single, a collaboration between Lomez, Atnarko, Symbol (the singer) and myself. It's the result of the wonders of the internet where we all had our hands on a production. I am really happy with this track and almost everyone who has heard it is says it sounds like a mix between Prince and Depeche Mode. It was really inspiring for me to produce the track.
Amsterdam Dance Event is just around the corner... are you playing lots of shows? And how important do you think a conference like this is to dance music fans and industry/DJs alike? I am there about one and a half days, and of course have quite a lot of meetings, besides playing three gigs. Unfortunately I leave Saturday morning to play. ADE is one of the most important conferences for our kind of music - people are always very serious about meeting, business, and networking at ADE which is great.
Your mix is a special recording from the closing night of Defected at Booom! What's the flavour of the mix? Does it represent the vibe and passion of the crowds in Ibiza? It was a mix done "in the moment". I guess the crowd and Simon Dunmore (who played before me) inspired me where to start and I just went from there for 60 minutes. I never plan anything before I go out there; it's always done in the moment inspired by the club, the crowd and the mood I am in that specific night. So it just represents Noir playing Ibiza at Defected's closing party for a packed Booom that wanted to party!
In your eyes and opinion, is the house music scene strong in 2013, and do you think it's in a healthier, more productive state then it ever has been? I think for mainstream territory it's really strong again. You see the crossover for UK house in to the mainstream charts (Disclosure, Duke Dumont, etc.). For the underground, 2013 has been a transitional year trying to find out what the next big thing is. A lot of labels and even producers have been experimenting or fumbling trying to find a path. For me those times are always exciting and wonderfully unpredictable.
Noir plays Ministry of Sound on November 2nd - Tickets and Info here.