Photo: Rachel Israela (Naty Seres)
Naty Seres is a DJ capable of breathing new life into old formulas. The Berghain and Refuge Worldwide resident’s club sets as well as her mix for our Groove podcast approach the dance floor from the left field, testing out the limits of what is rhythmically and sonically possible within the framework of conventional dance music. The same can be said about her work as a producer and the co-owner of the Never Not Now label: in all of the different facets of her musical activities, the Berlin-based artist is clearly less concerned about going for one signature style than rather exploring and celebrating stylistic diversity.
How did you first get in touch with electronic music?
I’ve always been interested in music. As a kid I used to watch MTV and viva with my siblings, then there was my whole Nirvana phase in which my brother and I obsessed over them. We all grew up playing instruments—not that I was ever any good at it … At some point all of that was followed by partying, through which I developed a passion for DJing.
You were one of the organisers behind the Freqs of Nature festival which took place for the last time in 2018. What was the initial motivation behind starting the festival and what was important to you in terms of programming?
The motivation was to do something different from what others were doing, something more unique, with more attention to detail while also being more bold. We didn’t mind taking risks, especially when it came to the music programming, the design, and the art we featured. We wanted to provoke and push boundaries, to see where it takes us, and to see what we and our team were capable of doing. We booked artists that we were into and which we felt we would like to hear on an outdoor dance floor in a setting such as Freqs Of Nature.
Last year, you launched the label Never Not Now together with some other people. The last and sixth catalogue number was Key Ratio’s One Take EP. What’s the philosophy behind the label?
My label colleagues might think “what is she saying here?” when they read this part. But from my point of view, I don’t think we have a philosophy. We release the music we make and like without being tied to a certain genre. Looking at what we put out, all our releases have been very “breaks”-focused so far, but that’s something natural that just happened. We didn’t speak about it or plan it out to be like that. We are just a bunch of friends who like to nerd out about music. Never Not Now is our platform to put it out. I think that’s pretty much our philosophy, if you could call it that.
After a few collaborative projects and some contributions to different compilations, you released your debut EP If There Is One through Never Not Now in June this year. What role does producing music play in your life?
That’s a tough question as it is the most vulnerable part of my artist career, the one I feel least confident about. I love to DJ, I love to dig for new music. It gives me so much joy when I find two records that just melt into each other as if they were meant to be played together. It’s the best feeling! I feel differently about producing music. As much as I find joy in it, there is always this feeling that I still have lots to learn, and it’s a never-ending process of self questioning and small steps of reaching the goals I have set myself. I don’t know how to describe it, I don’t have the same confidence that I have when I’m DJing. I need to have a lot of time in which I can just be in the studio without having to do anything else. The past months I have been playing quite a lot and haven’t spent any time in the studio. But I’m taking some time off in 2023 to just lock myself in the studio and get back into it.
The four tracks are not only tied together by the generous use of breaks and atmospheric sounds—the human voice also plays a rather important role in it. What makes working with vocals so interesting to you?
How they can be transformed is what amazes me! The vibe can be changed by reversing it and making it sound like a foreign alien language. Through transposition it can become a child-like voice or it can sound like a female or male voice, by stretching and adding modulation it can be turned into a pad, sitting in the back of a track. There are so many more things you can do with them because voices are so versatile in how they can be used. Our ears are most sensitive to voices from birth on, so little changes are perceived easily.
You’ve recently took up a residency at Refuge Worldwide. What’s important to you when planning the shows?
I think what is most important for me when I plan my show at Refuge is to try and cut loose from my DJ mentality. I’m so used to playing for a dance floor, making sure that people also get to dance to a straight rhythm between the breaks in my set. I don’t have to do that for my shows at Refuge. I’m trying to get better at playing my sets there by using a radio show-like approach to explore different genres and showcase artists whose music I usually don’t get to play.
What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?
The idea behind the mix was to feature more experimental tracks mixed with some of my favourite club tunes which I’ve been playing lately. A bit of a blend of worlds and a fun way for me to share the music that I love.
Last but not least: what are your plans for the future?
I have my first Asia tour coming up which is very exciting for me since my heart has always been close to some places there, especially India. In February, I’m going to take some time off to spend in the studio, and other than that I look forward to traveling and playing more. As my career is slowly building up, I’m constantly seeing new places and meeting new people, for which I’m very grateful.
Stream: Naty Seres – Groove Podcast 362
01. KG & UNIQUE3 – B2B
02. Josh Coakley – G6
03. Anz – Helps You Two Hips Move
04. DJ Spielberg – Carregada/Calibrada
05. Dawl – Energy Overdrive
06. Aux88 – How Lo Can You Go
07. Hermit – Favela
08. Panar Dripping
09. Ossx & Tah – Turnpike Authority II
10. Matisa – Eyeliner (Mall Grab Remix)
11. Sil – Windows’98 (The Sharp Smash And Grab Remix)
12. Anz – Rave Casual
13. Jason Code & Maniia – I Ain’t Got
14. Special Request – Wallabies
15. Bjarki – I Wish I Was A Model
16. Shevin Kields – Eternal Spring