101 with Christian Nielsen

Danish DJ and producer Christian Nielsen is a rare commodity in the world of House and Techno. While other producers might pander to the masses, Nielsen, never opts for a novelty approach, instead of carving his own successful niche in a constant jostle for dancefloor play. Christian Nielsen is an artist who has seemed to come out of nowhere. Working in an office by day and developing his musical craft by night. That said, his sound is a classic one, and one which has already made him popular – most notably on Gorge and Nick Curly’s 8BIT and Jesse Rose’s PLAY IT DOWN

Nielsen, however, is no flash in the pan and is a producer who knows his way around the studio and has evolved musically buying tracks and studying legends like Kerri Chandler, Jimpster, Mr V, Master At Work, Larry Heard, Moodymann and the late Frankie Knuckles. A firm advocate of a dance-floor ready house, Christian Nielsen is one of the most interesting producers to arrive on our radar for some time, and if you’re a fan of electronic music, then you’ll no doubt be aware that we’re dealing with a man whose stock is firmly on the rise.

Just days ago Christian Nielsen announced he will be signing his music to none other than KOMPAKT Records. This has to be one of the greatest electronic music labels in Germany nowadays. If it's about the history of Techno and all it's variations, then this imprint was never short of writing important lines in the history books of electronic music.


What’s your favorite piece of gear – something you couldn’t live without?

Well I don't use too much gear to be honest. I like to keep my setup pretty simple so I always can move around with it. But the most important piece would be my Sennheiser HD 25-II headphones. I know that its not common to produce with headphones, but I know how tracks sound in them and how to work with them.

Which do you prefer – playing at enormous festivals or intimate clubs?

Both! All depends on the vibe. But I do feel that smaller clubs gives you the space to really be playful behind the decks.

Which is the most mesmerising club that you’ve ever played at?

That would have to be Watergate, Berlin. The whole setup of the club is amazing. Especially the lighting is really cool and the first time I played there I found it pretty hard to actually focus on the set.  

What is your best and worst experience at a gig and why?

I think I've been pretty lucky to be honest when it comes to gigs. Only once have I experienced not making my flight and cancel the gig. But other than that, all my gigs have been amazing in their own way. Normally when I leave for a gig I try to have no expectations at all.

I only expect to get on a plane, perform at a venue and to get home on time. Whatever happens besides that is just a bonus and part of the experience.    

Do you have any interests beside music?

I have too many for my own good! Obviously I love spending time with my family and friends. But besides music and family I really like things like UFC/MMA, politics, documentaries, design, art, fashion and history. Oh and I love playing stupid iPhone games. Might spend a bit too much on time of that actually!

Do you enjoy sunset or sunrise sets?

100% sunrise. A good sunrise set can be such an amazing experience. If you've done a good job during the night.  you can really get to play some of those tracks you normally don't play and create an amazing setting.

What do you like and what do you hate about the music industry?

What I love about our part of the industry is the creativity. Even though the underground scene has blown up recent years you still don't have the feeling that the scene has sold out. There is no doubt that its become a business for many people, but that's just how things are today, and it really helps if you're a bit business savvy. What I hate about the industry is actually the same reason I love it.

Why can't it just be good enough to be a good DJ? Or just a good producer? There are amazing producers out there in the world who will never have a chance of getting heard, and amazing DJD/selectors who will never perform at the biggest clubs. I think most people would agree that its a love/hate relation. 

If you could pick any artist to do a b2b set, who would it be?

Wow, there are so many! I think I would choose Skream, Jackmaster, Jesse Rose or Moter City Drum Ensemble. All amazing DJs in their own right and it always looks like they are having a good time behind the decks.

What’s your biggest fear?

Since becoming a father 2 years ago my biggest fear has been something happening to my son or family. My other fear is the feeling of not doing enough. Not sure if that makes sense, but I think but I hate the feeling of regret. Did I try hard enough? Could I have done it differently?

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you on a gig?

Well, I had a gig last year in Turkey with Kruse & Nuernberg and Ramon Tapia. It all started with delayed flights to Turkey with was pretty chaotic since I had a connecting flight and immigration in Turkey is total hell. Finally get to the destination few hours late and things get really crazy.

The driver is smoking weed in the car. The pool at the venue blew up, so most people didn't come. Most of the DJs were not paid. No hotel room for me. The drivers from the hotel to the airport were covered in dust because the just came from work. Took a pitstop and the driver disappeared. The whole thing was so tragic that it was funny. Well, it's funny now. 

Could you pick one timeless track?

Laurent Garnier – Man With The Red Face.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Thank you so much for having and hope to see you all in a club near you in the Balkans!

By Andrej, edited on 14 June 2018