With a new release this week on Bonzai Progressive, Madee River also know as Audio Noir took some minutes off to answer some questions to us!
Hi Madee, thanks a lot for talking with us, how are you today?
AN: Fantastic, thanks for asking!
In your opinion, what’s the EDM scene like in Australia at the moment?
AN: 10 years ago, the scene in Australia is where the American EDM scene is today. Whilst today there are plenty of festivals and dance parties here, it’s become very commercialised so most of the great venues, concepts and underground parties have all but disappeared. To be bluntly honest, I don’t pay much attention to nor do I participate in today’s scene in any way. I will say however, that the progressive scene in Perth, Western Australia is a rare shining light for the EDM scene here in general. Hey, that’s my honest opinion. Music and its many cultures are circular. I don’t doubt that we’ll have a thriving underground scene again in the not too distant future.
How did you first get into music production?
AN: In 2008 I was talking to a friend in the US who owned a record label (Next Dimension) I heard a particular track that I really liked and I simply asked him if I could do a non-conditional remix of it. At the time I had a crappy old Dell PC and a basic version of Ableton. I did the mix, my friend liked it and it was released. Though the sound quality was very average. Before that moment I hadn’t written anything more than a few bars. Things just seemed to click at that moment and the fire in the belly kicked in from the moment my remix was signed.
What kind of things do you like to do when you’re not producing?
AN: I’m an avid reader, huge fan of Daniel Silva, Dan Brown and Robert Ludlum, amongst a pile of autobiographies Jimmy Connor’s bio was a fun read. I enjoy a good chess game and also enjoy travelling to parts unknown.
Who or what would be your biggest inspirations for making music and in life generally?
AN: I can still remember the moment when I was converted to electronica thanks to William Orbit. Hearing “Hinterland” for the first time opened my eyes and mind to a fantastic new world of music, like a parallel musical dimension. Sometimes music has this effect on people. I’ve not once looked back since. I would also have to mention the Renaissance Mix Collection Volume 1, that’s an education in itself.
How did you get signed to Bonzai?
AN: Well it might or might not surprise you to know that Abgeklart was my first attempt at writing progressive house. I’d produced a couple of tech house EP’s the year before, so when I wrote the first EP for Bonzai, I didn’t sit down and say “Hey I’m going to write a progressive house track!” It simply flew out of me in a few hours!!! The first EP took me no time at all (hopefully that doesn’t show!) so to be honest I didn’t know what to do with it. I sat on this EP for months, then one day I did some research on the “Best” progressive house labels in the world and came across Bonzai Progressive. I sent the track off on a whim, I truly didn’t expect to hear anything back from them, especially as I’ve been producing for 5 minutes compared to a lot of other fantastic Artists like Airwave and Gai Barone. So needless to say I was pleasantly surprised when I received a reply asking for more music and that Bonzai wanted to sign me. It was a very exciting day for me, now I have written enough material to keep me going for a while and my goal is to build on some momentum from here and improve as a producer overall.
“Abgeklart” was your first Bonzai release which was closely followed by “Sidewinder”, two classy progressive tracks, how would you describe your sound?
AN: Thanks! I enjoy creating atmosphere in my productions. I’m a fan of twists and surprises in music that at least initially, may catch some listeners off guard. At the moment my influence is very 90s inspired so I use a lot of retro synths in all my productions, sometimes even layering 2 or 3 sounds on top of each other. I have a track coming out later in the year, on Bonzai (of course) that I wrote based on one of my favourite tracks of all time – “Age Of Love”. Again I tried to catch the atmosphere of that era and tried to add a current twist on the production. I can’t wait to see how this particular track is received. I spent a week on its production and focused more on the subtleties, nuances of the track.
Describe a typical day in the life of Audio Noir?
AN: Morning: Breakfast & Gym, go to work! (I work as a marketing, branding consultant!) Rarely have lunch, big dinner then relax with my partner. As a rule, I never, ever write music before 8pm at night, I find I’m at my most creative in the nocturnal hours (hence the name of my other first track) So just a few nights a week I will sit in my home office and spend a couple of hours laying down thoughts and feelings. I’ve never pulled an all-nighter writing music, perhaps Chess has taught me to be patient and disciplined when it comes to producing. Maybe one day this could become my full time vocation!
Musically, what do you have planned for the future?
AN: Now that I have about 6 months of releases sewn up with Bonzai I want to focus on remixing. I don’t yet have a definitive sound, nor do I want to be “type cast” into one, so I would also like to take on projects that are slightly more avante garde whilst still being viable commercially. Like practically everyone these days, I’d like to DJ at certain events and clubs, perhaps someday this could happen, maybe through a Bonzai tour! Australia is one hell of a long way away and our kangaroos aren’t able to jump that far yet. Also, I have just started my monthly music selection on my sound cloud channel. At the end of each month I will present some of my favourite tracks. It will be a broad selection of music given my own tastes and I aim to try and keep it sounding fresh. I think I have my first ever Bonzai radio-mix coming up later in the year, so that should be cool.
Finally if you could be anywhere else in the world right now, where would it be and why?
AN: Amsterdam! I love that place! I’ve been there only 3 times and I’m going there again later this year. And it’s NOT because of the red light district!!!! Great city, great music scene and of course ADE!
Well Madee, thanks so much for chatting with us, it’s been a pleasure, take care.
AN: Likewise, thank you.