Nick Minieri’s ‘From The Stem’ EP is out now
Hey Nick, please tell us about your latest project ‘From The Stem’ EP?
Sure thing! “From the Stem” is my latest EP, out now on Seed Recordings. The tracks on it are heavily based around two very disparate styles: acid techno and UK garage. The overall concept was to try to find a bridge between the two, which was accomplished by relying heavily on the Roland TB-303, used on all the leads and on some of the bass. The digital release is 4 tracks: 3 originals and a guest remix from HeartWork which is on the lo-fi house tip. There is also a purple limited-edition cassette with custom artwork and 3 more exclusive tracks also spanning techno and garage. Additional content, including videos for two of the tracks, will be releasing in the coming weeks as well.
Please share with us one of your favourite and go-to tracks to save the the dance floor?
A record I ALWAYS keep with me is “Stuck” by Peven Everett. It’s this completely infectious house jam that includes layers upon layers of his own vocals, plus keyboard solos and loads of other ear candy. It just hooks you in immediately, swings hard, and is just relentless as it unwinds across its nine minutes. The track just works every single time, it’s magic.
Who’s been the single biggest piece of inspiration for you in the world of music and why?
Definitely Prince. You could just tell the guy ate, slept, lived and breathed music. But it was so far beyond just his insane technical skills, the talent to play dozens of instruments fluidly or the know-how to efficiently execute on an idea and make hundreds of songs each year. The way he dressed, danced and performed, along with the fact he rarely did interviews made him this mysterious, mythological, larger-than-life sort of character; he was the entire package. People like him keep me humble, and is a constant source of inspiration for me to keep my head down and continue practicing and working.
Where in the world would you most like to perform that you’ve not had the opportunity to do so?
I’d love to play Fabric in London someday. I went there once back in 2014 and really dug the sound, the layout, the lighting, and the crowd. The kids on the floor were eating everything up, and even early on in the night the energy level was really high. Hope to go back someday even as a partygoer.
If you could give one piece of advice to upcoming DJs and Producers, what would that be?
Don’t rush things! It takes a long time to develop an ear for music, build connections and to navigate the way the industry works; I’ve been at it for over 20 years and am still learning new stuff every day. It’s easy to have big expectations when starting out but it can lead to burn-out and disappointment. Keep your expectations realistic and don’t forget to make some friends and just have fun along the way.
Going back to talk about your recent EP, it has a variety of sounds and genres, a mix and match of techno and Garage-based influences. Was that always your intention?
As I get older I’ve found myself becoming increasingly genre-agnostic. Earlier in the year I made some house, followed by drum and bass. Come summer I realized I hadn’t made any techno or garage in a bit so decided to focus on those. I started with “Get to Work” and “Perfect Combination”. One was acid/techno, the other was UK garage. At first I didn’t envision them being part of the same project, but then I decided to add some TB-303 to the garage one and all of a sudden it became a cohesive body of work in an unconventional way. I’ve always enjoyed the different workflow techniques and tropes behind each genre so I’m always trying to find ways I can bring things together and experiment. Sometimes the results are laughable, other times it works.
I first sent “Perfect Combination” to a few friends of mine and they were all playing it out, which doesn’t happen often. So I knew I was on to something and that the project could scale up to a bigger body of work beyond a 2-track single. Proceeded to make a few more tracks in each style, do a couple remixes which I proposed to be exclusives on a limited-edition cassette, and then bring on a guest remixer. The project ended up exceeding what I initially envisioned and the label was super supportive every step of the way. I know if I do music in a more serious manner down the road I’ll likely have to focus on one sound or aesthetic, but for now I just want to keep having fun by fusing different sounds together and seeing what happens.
Who is an artist who’s up-and-coming that we should know about?
HeartWerk, who contributed a remix on this EP, is a super productive up and comer from Tulsa in the lo-fi house world. He puts out music regularly and has lots of interesting concepts behind them. Adam BFD is another one; he’s been making infectious melodic breakbeat-oriented music and was recently signed to Shall Not Fade. In my own backyard, Mizeyesis and Pete Dev/Null are making major waves in the drum and bass world and getting global recognition for it, which is well deserved as both have been at it since the 90s. Finally, Etari is a woman from Los Angeles who is making highly emotive and melodic house whose music I’ve been into since we released together on a compilation on Misplaced Recordings earlier in the year. I’m sure I’m missing others, but loads of great stuff coming out both locally and abroad!
Can you tell us anything else about what you have been working on at present?
After I wrapped up From the Stem in September I actually decided to take a much needed music break, which I hadn’t done since I finished my first album in early 2018. Outside of organizing my sample library and doing some sound design stuff and patch programming I haven’t made much the last few months but am not feeling too guilty about it. However I do have several releases lined up in early 2022 and plan on getting back into it again come the holiday break.