Few are more closely entwined with the London after-hours party scene than Rich NxT, who lives and breathes music – and has done for years now. A resident for Fuse London since its early days, and one of the key contributors for the label, his sound takes influence from the minimal tech-house sounds of Romania, yet stands apart – thanks to his training as both a drummer and keyboardist. Intrigued to find out how the man Richard came to be involved with such a pioneering collective and label, we caught up with him for a quick chat after returning from the Fuse residency at Sankeys Ibiza and he also provided us with an exclusive hour long mix for your listening pleasure (stream and download below).
Click on image below to listen to Rich Nxt’s MEOKO mix
Hi Rich, thanks for taking a few moments to speak with us, 2013 has been a big year for you, but you have been bubbling away for quite some time now. How did you get into music initially?
My mum took me for surprise keyboard lessons when I was ten years old, so that was it initially. I also started in bands as a teenager and it all just progressed from there!
Could you give us one track that reminds you of your childhood, and explain why it does?
We used to like playing my Dad’s pop and reggae records and, as he is a West Ham fan, his copy of ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles’ was played a LOT.
Obviously you’re heavily involved with Fuse, which has played a big role in getting the London after party scene going after a bit of a lull. What do you think of the state of the scene in London at the moment?
There have been a lot of clubs closing in the past few years. This can’t be a good thing for promoters or DJs, and the licensing can be so troublesome with warehouse venues, which have kind of replaced these clubs Obviously Fuse is going strong and I do see a few more early morning after parties happening, which is probably healthy, so the Sunday scene continually seems to thrive. I also usually go to OneMore, a monthly Saturday night run by some friends.
You’ve just been in Ibiza for Fuse this past Wednesday actually haven’t you? How was it to be back on the White Isle?
Yes, have been over there for week. Fuse was great and I soaked up some of TiNi’s party on the beach. Apart from that we spent time catching up with friends and seeing some new parts of the island. Stayed in a really cool little place in Sant Jordi this time, close enough to everything but also nice for a chill! There’s never really a time when you want to come home from there!
Do you find yourself playing different sorts of sets when in Ibiza compared to in London?
Hmmm…not so much really. I guess I can go deeper and experiment a little more with the flow in my hometown compared with most places, but this is definitely dependant on the location. For example, outdoors versus indoors, bigger versus smaller, higher ceilings versus lower and what the sound is like etc. These dynamics all have a bearing on what you play. The audience is obviously integral, as is how you feel on the day or night!
What are the key influences that helped define your sound?
Musically, my informative years were spent listening to both Indie rock and early jungle. Quite a contrast, but I love them both. I got into house music because my band mates worked on the door for Hooj Choons’ part-hosted night Elements, where Peace Division used to be residents along with Red Jerry. Then it simmered away over years in East London basements and the party I was involved with, D-late, through the electro, then minimal, scenes until….Fuse! I guess being involved in that unique atmosphere gave the platform and confidence to finally make the music I wanted to make, and let all these influences come out
What sort of set up do you use to produce? Is there any one bit of kit in particular (hardware or software) that you couldn’t live without?
I am still quite software based. I have been using sequencers for years since the days of Atari STs and Notator and until now at least, it’s Ableton Live for me definitely! Of course it gets put down, as its so popular and it is said that people’s tracks sound the same but I don’t think I would have found a way to realise some of the tracks I have done in any other sequencer.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
Yes, am working on new music for Fuse: collaborations with Enzo and Ittetsu, and one with Seb [Zito] as a follow up to our Gophers EP. I also have an opportunity to do an exciting remix for another artist…more details of which will follow!
Your bio talks about a love for ‘carrying on’, and to me at least your tracks and mixes feel perfect for after parties. Would you say you prefer playing after-hours sets? What do you think makes it different to a normal set?
I think the lines can be a lot more blurred these days between after hours and after parties etc. Fuse, for example, started as an after party, as it used to start at 10am on a Sunday morning but then as it developed it became a party that people would go to ‘fresh’. The music didn’t change though, it evolved and the homegrown stuff became the sound of the party. Typically though if I were to think about something on Sunday morning that starts at 6am with a captive audience from a few other parties that have just finished, then yes, I think the tracks have got to be smooth, the mixing, not big tracks. You have to play music that’ll make you get down so much that you almost miss work on Monday, but without wearing people out before they get there!
You play both drums and keyboard – have you ever considered incorporating a live element to your sets?
Watch this space! 🙂
Name one record that never leaves your record bag…
One of these for me is Exercise One’s remix of Unbreakable by Sweet N Candy, which came out on Dumb Unit in 2006….
Amazing! Thanks for chatting with us Rich….
FUSE010 is going to be released this summer including Enzo Siragusa and Rich NxT’s ‘Enriched’ remix of Seb Zito’s ‘Never’.