Photo: Press (Nene H)
Nene H has made a name for herself in the techno scene rather quickly, which is surprising when you take into consideration how wonderfully leftfield most of the Turkish producer’s releases are. Both active as a classically trained concert pianist as well as a techno DJ, Beste Aydin moves from experimental pop to adventurous techno or performance art in a heartbeat. Her “positively aggressive” contribution to our Groove podcast is full of surprises, twists and changes in mood.
In 2016, you participated in Berlin Community Radio’s Incubator project, however you were already a successful concert pianist at that time. What was there to learn for you during your Incubator residency?
It was my first radio experience, it got me into mixing while the studio hours and the Ableton course improved my production techniques. Also, my visibility in the scene increased, which allowed me to experience playing in clubs more. You need to test your sound in a club to improve it, without the opportunity to play you don’t get to experiment on your sound – so it’s very important and I am glad I got the chance.
Whether on your first experimental release for the Seagrave tape label, the more pop-oriented Yakup EP or your last solo release for Bedouin, your music regularly features your voice. Which role does the voice play in your musical approach? You’ve mentioned Aşık – Turkish folklore singers – as an inspiration.
Aşık means “in love” and is a form in turkish traditional music, where the artist’s attitude is the key. They are sincere and selfless. Aşıks are in love with people, they dedicate their lives to their people through their art, they reflect on corporate social pain. I have a personal attachment to this. And also in general I was always interested in the vocal field, from folk music to the religious usage of it, the impact and intensity that vocal music has. Its a very direct and honest form. To me, the voice and electronic music socioculturally have something in common. They both stand for naivety in art despite of their high intellect. Mixing these both materials is very natural and intuitive so quite everybody is doing it, I just have my own character, my own approach to it.
At Berlin Atonal, you first presented your Fountain of Fire performance in 2017, and have also performed the piece elsewhere. What was the concept behind it?
I was inspired by a poem by Rumi, an allegory of fire: „You must know better / if I enter / I’ll break all this and / destroy all that / but punish me / If I enjoy myself“. So fire does not enjoy destroying and burning, but it is still going to do exactly that. This is like my short biography. My life was always more like blood, sweat and tears than fun and joy, yet I still kept on doing what I do. Fountain of Fire has also a quiet personal performative touch to it with the hijab that I wear. It is there to give the viewer an opportunity to reflect by themselves about what they think about it. I leave the interpretation up to people’s own decisions. I just try to channel a look that belongs to my culture and leave the viewers alone with their perspective. It is not meant as a comment or a political statement.
Together with Kaltès, you’ve recently collaborated for the Protest EP on Eomac’s Eotrax label. How did the collaboration come together and what did your working process look like?
Teresa has a jazz background and I have classical one, so we both have common enemies. On an emotional level, we are very similar. It was very easygoing, we decided to make a few tracks together. We both sent each other lots of material and we worked separately on the same material. At the end, we met at my place to mix them for few days and sent them directly to Ian.
The two tracks on Protest are called “Resist” and “Persist”, respectively, and thus imply a political statement. What is it that you were trying to express – and how can electronic dance music even be used in order to make such statements?
Well, we are both pissed off by the unfair treatment that women are facing in every corner of society. But we didn’t want to talk much about it, we wanted that the EP to be a statement for itself.
Your contribution to our Groove podcast focuses on Industrial-tinged Techno. What was your idea behind it?
My idea was to make something colorful, weird, messy, and groovy. Staying positively aggressive and experimenting on rough edges.
Last but not least: Where can we see you behind the decks or live in the near future, and what are your plans as a producer?
I’ll be part of compilation EP on Don’t Be Afraid. More was in the works but I need to process the very early and unexpected death of my dear father first. I will continue playing though. My next gig is DJ set for New Brvtalism on June 8th at Berlin’s OHM. And after that, I ll play live at Construction Festival in Ukraine, Modulo Festival in Italy, and I am also very excited about „Herrensauna invites“ in Prague on July 6th, where I’ll play with two amazing men, CEM and DJ Stingray.
Stream: Nene H – Groove Podcast 160
01. Identified Patient – Het Geweten Van Afdeling Twee
02. Blurred Boy – Schyzo Gremlins (Hakko Remix)
03. Not Waving – I Know I Know I Know
04. Randomer – Real Talk
05. Identified Patient – Blister Pacific
06. Identified Patient – Vermoedens Van Achterdocht
07. Neil Landstrumm – Missing You (Lag Remix)
08. Henning Baer – Say Nothing To No One
09. Donor – Fault Is Find
10. Sawf – Katolistha
11. Beau Wanzer – Shitty Cough 14
12. Tinfoil – Foil 1
13. Steve Stoll – Zero Point Crossings (Part VII)
14. JK Flesh – Exit Stance
15. Advanced Human – Gamera vs. Gaos
16. Blue Hour – Falling Lines (Panagea Remix)
17. Cleric – Arctic Circle
18. Melania – Confirmatio (Codex Empire Remix)