Photo: George Nebieridze (Neux)
The pandemic has put a special strain on DJs who were just making a name for themselves before the first lockdowns and then saw themselves confronted with the challenge of competing for their listeners’ attention between myriads of DJ mixes available on demand and very few gigs. Neux is one of those who persevered. Having cut her teeth in the Tbilisi rave scene, her mixes and streamed live sets showcase an open-mindedness that requires a lot of technical skill to translate into a coherent narrative from behind the decks. She’s obviously up for the task, as also her mix for our Groove podcast proves. After her recent relocation to Berlin, it’s an eclectic set brimming with a sense of new beginnings.
How did you first get in touch with electronic and dance music?
It might sound like a story most of us have heard before, but I was one of those youngsters who found themselves in Berghain at the age of 18. That moment definitely was a massive U-turn in my life, since I was a very different person before. It felt like discovering a whole new universe.
What led to you becoming a DJ?
Music in general was a part of my life since my very early days, but mostly I was dreaming about becoming a singer. There were several events and names that inspired me however, I remember seeing Helena Hauff at Berlin Atonal and Jeff Mills in Tbilisi, can’t avoid mentioning Ben UFO, Objekt and HVL.
You played most of your early club gigs at Tbilisi’s Cafe Gallery. What is your relationship with that club like and what did you learn there while playing your first sets in the place?
I’m immensely grateful to Cafe Gallery for being very supportive. They gave me all the opportunities when I needed them the most. I took my very first steps to proper rave scene there, which made me more confident in believing myself as an artist.
Not long after this, the pandemic brought Georgia’s club scene to a grinding halt. How did you experience the situation from a perspective of a DJ who was just making a name for herself?
The Georgian club scene was hit particularly hard by the pandemic as it was in a very vulnerable position in many aspects. The timing was very tough because it was in the process of gaining popularity and establishing itself worldwide and because it was offering reliable source of income for many creative and talented individuals. For me, luckily, it went relatively smoothly. Georgian ravers are extremely supportive and great as a crowd. So I would say their support got me through it, made me very confident and motivated to continue what I was doing. The pandemic seems such a distant problem when I think of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine, however. I’m aware of the huge amount of deaths by Covid, but this utter brutality conducted by an absolute psychopath and his supporters, somehow hurts me more.
You have since relocated to Berlin. What attracted you to the city?
Being here for the first time was like a breakthrough, not just as an artist, but on many personal levels. This city magically offers unbelievable and precious adventures on a regular basis. This sense of belonging and freedom truly inspires me.
Your recorded sets showcase a very broad taste ranging from hard-hitting 90s techno to electro and contemporary bass music as well as murky wave music. How do you prepare for your mixes and especially club nights in front of a live audience?
I actually have a pretty “regular” routine and approach in preparing and practicing, however occasionally I take it to some extreme levels. I might spend dozens of hours digging non-stop or mastering a certain skill or technique. The crowd is always a big factor, it never hurts to give them some extra attention in order to make my sets more memorable.
What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?
I’d like to say it symbolises a sort of an awakening in some ways. Many things have rapidly intensified in my life recently, plus the Spring is here and it’s my first year living in Berlin. The mix is my expression of the new intense emotions and experiences.
Last but not least: What are your plans for the future?
Learning should never stop. I still have a lot of ground to cover, whether behind the decks or in networking. On the other hand, I can’t reveal much, but something very big and exciting might be coming up which involves music, but doesn’t necessarily have to do with me being a DJ.
Stream: Neux – Groove Podcast 335
01. COUSIN – 4GOT
02. DJ SWISHA – Grape Surgery
03. W1b0 – Utopia Planitia
04. Cybonix Split – Personality
05. Von Riu – Unreleased
06. Isaiah – Fast Fool
07. Gaetek – Last Three Months A1
08. Shadowax – A&B AAAA & B Rework
09. Isaiah – AHH
10. Negroni Nails – Vertical Slice
11. Objekt – Ganzfeld
12. DJ DISRESPECT – RAGE Soft mix
13. D.Dan – Can you float?
14. Force Mass Motion – Esthisis
15. Hermeth – 94mmc
16. Volruptus – Unreleased
17. Jlin – Hatshepsut