One Foot ahead in South Africa

Interview with Nick from One Foot Groove Records

Author: Sam
Date: Apr 26, 2007
Views: 3091

Date: 25.04.2007
Text: Katja

Sam: Hey Nick how’s it going?

Nick: I’m very well, yourself?

Sam: Also not too bad but I’m sneezing a little bit after my return from Brazil because of a 20 degrees temperature difference here. (laughter)

Nick: Yes that might do it. How was your time in Brazil?

Sam: It was great. What’s the temperature in South Africa now? You should have summer now as well?

Nick: Look it´s a little bit hard to tell; I have been travelling around a lot. In Stellenbosch where I am now, its probably about 26°C but yesterday I was in 42°C.

Sam: Ouff! That’s warm.

Nick: So you know, I’m probably going to end up with a cold myself.

Sam: (Laughter) So Stellenbosch is that a nice place to be in South Africa?

Nick: It’s a great place to be. It’s a university town, so you got a lot of young people and for the trance scene it’s actually very good. We are not quite like Cape Town where we have so many people. A university town tends to be quite, you know, eh it’s a bunch of rich kids because not everyone can afford to go to university down here. So you don’t have such a big cross section of culture but it’s great. Most of our support comes from Stellenbosch, we’re all from Stellenbosch ourselves in the record label, a lot of our friends are. Yeah Stellenbosch represents trance parties and we are representing on our cds here so it’s going well.

Sam: And you also have nice wines there do you?

Nick: We have excellent wines; you should come by and visit some time. It’s worth a trip!

Sam: So in South Africa you have Cape Town and then you have Stellenbosch. Do you have any other trance centres?

Nick: I would say that Johannesburg is fighting up in it’s way, I mean you got Red Eye Productions over there. They are starting up but Johannesburg has a very different kind of culture to us. Johannesburg is the commercial and the financial capital of South Africa. So a lot of it is driven by money and funny enough where you would expect a lot of trance to be at this moment is Natal - its on the other side, on the east coast of South Africa and if they do have a trance industry we don’t get to hear much of it down here which is a pity. Its one of the things that we want to be doing within the next months, to check out what scene they got going. You know, to see what the rest of the country is doing. We hear more trance from Russia than we do from a province that’s about 2000 kilometres away.

Sam: The Russian sound does appear very well in South Africa or what are you telling me?

Nick: Well we had Penta down here a couple of weeks ago. He went down very well... To us we can always hear the Russian sound from a mile of. Russia got a very particular, very bass-heavy, very driving sound, which tends to go down well in South Africa and we do tend to go in for the harder kind of trance. I try not to use the word \"dark\". People are talking about dark music and dark trance and they come away with a bad image of what trance actually is. But yes, the Russian sound tends to do quite well here with most of our harder dj´s. We got people like The Gesture, Malfunction who play a lot of very hard trance and I would say that 30% of their set comes from Russia.

Sam: So would you say that South Africa is more into...well, the darker or how you want to call it, Russian side of trance?

Nick: Its a good question, I mean we got a lot of international acts down here, and the South Africans tend to ask for \"we want harder and harder trance\" and then we get some really hard acts over here and for some reason, people always has something to complain about. Which I guess is fairly normal. But you know, you can’t keep everybody happy all the time.
But yes, South Africa is very much into hard kind of trance, even daytime trance that traditionally tends to be a bit lighter than night time trance. Even that is quite hard. It tends to be a very very driving bass. You don’t tend to hear much trance here that is written below 145 bpm. Artifact is about the only person who would write it in that kind of speed, and he doesn’t go much below 130 bpm.
So yes, we got quite a fast pace trance industry here.

Sam: Do you have an idea of why?

Nick: No, I couldn’t tell you honestly enough. Especially in Cape Town, the people there are so chilled out that they’re sleeping almost all the time, which is why I love the place. But when it comes to partying. They put all their energy to have a good party.

Sam: Yes, if they are sleeping the whole time, they have the energy huh?!

Nick: (Laughter) Yes why not? It’s the only time that Cape Town stays awake more than six hours at a time.

Sam: (Laughter) Alright! Cool!
How does Israeli full on trance go in South Africa?

Nick: We tend to regard Israel as probably the world Godfather of trance at this time. I mean there are so many large acts that come from Israel. But I don’t know, since we started to get in to the industry and into the label. We realized some certain subtle differences; the way they master their tracks, the way they write their bass lines and mix it in with a kick. It’s different.
I find that you can hear in a Israeli track from a mile of. Which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, I think its great that you have a certain sound coming from a country. But I think we heard so much Israeli trance down here and when we think about Israeli trance, we nationally think of Infected Mushroom. I think everyone does. And with the result of other acts coming thru to us, like from Russia and from France, we tend to realize that there is a world of trance out there that we haven’t really picked up on. And while the South African trance industries are looking really good at the moment, I think that the most exciting about it all is; we have a lot to learn. And I think that its always good for an artist and business, knowing that there is more you can do.

Sam: So One Foot Groove released the first release end of last year. Which was a NoiseAnomalie album. And now you’re coming up with a new compilation called Analogue. This is your second release right?

Nick: Yes it is. I personally like releasing albums from one artist because it gives you a sense of the artist itself. A compilation becomes a story that you can spend a lot of time on and has something else to them. Dylan, or NoiseAnomalie is very much in favour of compilations. He really wanted to do this one because you’re able to showcase and able to pick a whole bunch of tracks that you think are really good or really valuable and put them on one cod.

Sam: Why did you call it Analogue?

Nick: We were looking for a sound that wasn’t too electronic. We were looking for a more \"synthie\" sound, something that sounded like it was driven by Nordleads or Virus rather than completely midi driven VST’s. We wanted something with a certain kind of grip to it and something that didn’t sound too polished because polished can sound a bit too clean. We tend to look for a dirtier kind of sound, a bit rougher.

Sam: And some more words about your new compilation.

Nick: The ten tracks on the album are the kind of tracks that we listen to, the tracks that we personally like. As much as this is a business and we want to keep customers and listeners happy. We also want to keep ourselves happy. We released music that are really happy with and think needs to be heard.

Sam: Could say that this is a showcase of South African music?

Nick: Oh yes it very much is. We are south africans. This is what we do. And we want to punt our own industry as well. Not saying that there is trance overseas that we wouldn’t like to release. We do want to push our own scene. We owe a lot to our scene. They have given us a lot of time and support. And yes, we want to push our people.

Sam: With your first release. What experience did you make? Was it mainly sold within South Africa or also internationally?

Nick: It was an international release, as you said: the NoiseAnomalie album. I think it was a good album, in particular for an artists first album it was exceptional. It had a very new and fresh sound to it. We sold it internationally as well as locally.

Sam: Where were your main countries?

Nick: To be honest, we couldn’t tell you because we didn’t receive any kind of information from our distributor. We received one statement from ZMA Label Distribution and absolutely nothing after that. We haven’t been able to get hold of them the latest 5 months. So we received no cash at all from our international sales. Which is a bit embarrassing as a label because you want to be able to pay off all the people that loaned you money to start up the label. So now, that has become a lot more difficult.

Sam: Yes lets hope that the world gets a little bit better.

Nick: Look, I don’t think that the world’s a bad place. It’s a fine place worth fighting for. And I think in general the people in the trance industry worldwide are great people. It’s a great and caring industry. I don’t think that this is supposed to be taken as an example of trance in general. I just think that this is one bad apple in a very good bunch of apples. If nothing else, the trance industry has to please itself. We have to look after each other and our own.

Sam: Okay that is what we should do!
Your release is coming out this month.

Nick: Yes on the 20th of April. That’s the scheduled date. Hopefully we don’t have the same problems that it will come out in time. It’s being released by Saikosounds in Hong Kong. They have the distribution worldwide and we are very happy to work with them. We had to shift, obviously, from our previously distributor and they seem to be the kind of guys that we like to work with. They seem to bring a certain level of professionalism to the game, which I think is always healthy.

Sam: So basically I asked my questions. Is there anything that you would like to add Nick?

Nick: You know what? All I want to say is thank you for the time! And I want to say thank you to those that did buy our album, even though we never saw the cash, thanks for the support, you guys are great!


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