As Nick Burne puts one alias to rest, a new one is born. Organic catches up to talk sci-fi, technology and of course, Nick Modern.
Nick Modern marks a new chapter in your career, have you put the Data moniker to bed or are the two aliases simply alter egos?
There's many reasons behind the change of alias, I began to feel as if I needed a fresh start, a marker to place and work from. There was many memories and aspects of "Data" that I wanted to put at rest, including the mindset I had developed towards the end of those releases. I was bitter and needed to let go. Other aspects were that I wanted a fresh discography with the new sounds and techniques I had developed over the past couple of years since my album. Google and search engines were also a thought, as searching for Data would often lead you to various IT or technology sites rather than my music.
I would say the most important point would be the 'fresh start' and the way I have distanced myself from being so involved with other aspects of the industry and just learnt to focus on my own personal development, rather than the industry as a whole.
You are, and always have been an advocate of development and methodical production, where do you see your own production and developments in generally heading in the near future?
This is a question I would have answered very openly before but I think it's best to keep production concepts close to your chest. Without delving or revealing too much, I intend to keep advancing. Some may remember I said that I started to go deep into synthesis as I started to write my album, once I felt comfortable with it, I looked at ways of processing to improve the sounds and got my head into distortion. I believe very strongly that learning tools inside out is much better than just touching the surface of them.
"There was many memories and aspects of "Data" that I wanted to put at rest, including the mindset I had developed towards the end of those releases."
My array of processors has dramatically cut down over the years, as I have developed my sound and become more experienced. I know that's a vague answer but I feel my production has always improved with self-reflection and then it starts to grow organically, excuse the pun. The only other thing I will say, is that I have a love for forward thinking original concepts and breaking away from what is considered the norm. Again, very cryptic but you will see the results over the next year.
Your latest single with Sektion "Bad Request" draws heavily on cyberpunk, hacking themes, and follows the lead of "Talking Binary" with Ray Uptown. How much of the themes come from science fiction novels such as "Neuromancer" and the like and how much from the real world?
The whole Cyberpunk thing has always appealed to me. At an early age I was intrigued by "Blade Runner"'s gleaming neon or the relentless pursuit of "The Terminator". I picked up Gibson's books in my late teens and was shocked at how he predicted many things that are considered commonplace nowadays. This alongside my love of computing, hacking and the internet in general has been a fountain of inspiration for the music I love to write. Of course, I could also mention other films such as "1984", or "Metropolis", but those two I mentioned at the start are the ones which struck me as a child and have always inspired me since.
There is another side of my music, when I can let go of my emotional barriers and write what I consider to be "deep". These tracks tend to be few and far between and normally appear at moments of distress or strife in my life, where I need to focus my thoughts and feelings into one piece and "be done with it."
"The Fall of Phaeton" is a good example of what I mean.
Your releases as Nick Modern for the most part have been collaborative, how does the process of working with another direct the finished piece? Does collaboration relieve any of the work load or is it simply a different experience altogether?
Being entirely honest, the recent collaborations have been between myself and my students. Some have input a lot into a track while others have sat back and observed, with the occasional suggestion. The workload is in fact more, as I am explaining what I am doing most of the time.
I had a lot of problems in the past with people laying claim to tracks that they had a passing hand in, so I was adamant that this time, people who put in the effort would have their name on the track, even if I was the one clicking all the buttons. It solves a lot of disputes and I feel it inspires my students / friends that they can "make it" and remove some of the false allure that surrounds a producer's journey.
"I believe very strongly that learning tools inside out is much better than just touching the surface of them. "
I will say that each student has their own particular taste with the field they like, so in closing I would say that at least directs my train of thoughts when approaching a tracks, for example, Context was interested in a tune like "The Visitor", alongside Bad Company-esque percussion sequences. Thus, "Hard Reset" was born.
What is up next for Nick Modern and Adapt?
Again, this time I'm going to keep my cards close to my chest. I can reveal the next release will be "Logic Bomb" and "Erosion". I'm also working hard on tracks for a certain group of Dutch bassmakers as well as beginning my journey into the game industry field. We have also just recently created "AI", a different branch of the Adapt multimedia group. All will be revealed when ready, but I'm sure people will be able to work out what the "I" stands for. As always we intend to Adapt, Survive, Divide and Conquer.