TF: You developed quickly a vast range of techno forms, always remaining deeply coherent but blurring the lines in the same way. How would you describe your musical landscape?
NZ: I have a lot of very different musical influences. Each techno form you mention has been an attempt to create my own vision of the music I would like to listen to in the spaces dedicated for it.
As I have developed my sound, I have realized what I am looking for. I have been getting closer to what I was looking for in the depth of my mind.
This album has made me realize that what I was looking for had not yet been done by anyone. An amalgam of personal experiences, psychedelic and dreamlike ideas and specific external influences from a wide variety of musical genres and sound design excerpts.
I would not know how to describe my musical landscape, but is always evolving. But it has always the same recurrent idea which I think it's the root cause of the coherency.
TF: You live in Madrid. How does this place influence you as an artist?
NZ: Madrid has influenced me a lot as an artist and as a person. Although I do not consider Madrid a particularly inspiring or creative city, the events that have taken place in this city have shaped who I am today and my projects. Around 2008, after a childhood and adolescence listening to a lot of dark electronic music (EBM, Futurepop, Darkwave, Industrial ...) I had my first club experiences. The gothic scene in Madrid was already dead by then, but I enjoyed it a lot and I still have friends from that time.
Tired of that static panorama and needing harder experiences, I started to listening a lot of Techno, Hardcore, Psychedelic trance or Drum and Bass and I became obsessed with the Freetekno culture. When I started studying at the College of Social Work, a sad, prison-looking building, I looked for a way to go to an illegal rave. There were some people related to the movement there and step by step I started to get inside that circle.
Around 2012, together with some friends, we founded a tribe and began to organize large parties around Spain, attending to Teknivals and performing live acts with hardware. The Freetekno scene in Madrid and Spain at that time was in good health and our group brought a bit of young blood to the movement, encouraging older groups to continue in the spiral.
However, the repression began to become latent and organizing parties began to pose a problem with the police, with fines that could reach 600,000 euros.
This, together with the excesses, the overstimulation of listening to and creating music over 150 BPM 24 hours a day and the stress involved in trying to stay within the system in a city as stressful as Madrid, made me suffer from a chronic anxiety disorder with depersonalization and derealization.
So I decided to continue my way into the system and forget the Traveler dream. I became interested in modern art, architecture, and more experimental electronic music as I moved out of my late teens. I admit that this disorder, despite being very annoying, has been the culprit in the creation of the Notzing project. I tried to reflect these states in music while trying to pursue my purpose of altering states of consciousness through sound. I began to fine-tune my sound according to my sensations.
There are many places in Madrid where I do penance to inspire myself. The Saenz de Oiza's Torres Blancas building, the Cuzco building, Azca, the Valencia Tower, the Orcasitas Brutalist Directed Town, the San Bruno neighborhood, the Plaza de los Cubos, the Reina Sofia Museum ...
As for clubs, the club that has inspired me the most has been Utopia, which was a fresh air in the electronic night scene of Madrid. Madrid has a problem with electronic art, there is no real recognition by the authorities and most of the spaces are in the downtown, which forces establishments to use a limiter that has a heavy impact on the sound quality . In addition, the opening hours are quite reduced compared to other cities. Utopia managed to eliminate these limitations by moving to an industrial park.
However, this project is more about the inner-self and the experiences and vision I had while I altered my consciousness in many different places. Also in my dreams.
TF: How do you perceive the techno scene today? What are its strengths and weaknesses for you?
NZ: Honestly when it comes to techno I hate it. I come from a much more underground and self-managed scene and the more I dig deeper on how this works, the more I get shocked.
Music is treated as a mass production good, a promotional way to increase the ego, the status and the likes of a DJ social media profile in a business circuit.
Seems like releasing an EP or a track nowadays is mandatory to get gigs and to be a respected DJ. Seems that Djs nowadays have to become producers while the producers have to become Djs to earn some money. I'm not a dj. I hate djing. I suffer while djing, it's not for me. So I don't see a buck because it seems that producing is a charity act.
I feel really awkward with the fact that promotional platforms are sending you a feedback of "famous DJs and Producers" punctuating the music from 0 to 5 stars. They receive your work totally for free, and use it to earn some money. And it's supposed that this should gives you a satisfaction feeling as a producer. And it actually does, is always satisfying to see a people that admires on the feedback. But in some cases, the track is not even listened from beginning to the end. Please stop listening to a track moving the timeline from beginning, mid and end. Pay some respect to the effort and the meaning that a track could have. There are a lot of exceptions of course. In fact, this is a really bad listening manner from the public and techno consumers too. The panorama is totally saturated and people listen to the music like that. It's a cause-effect.
About labels. there are a lot of labels right now. Independent labels and professional labels. If you run a label and are going to invest money in a mastering engineer, artwork, or other intermediaries, please consider paying the artist. It's the most important person in a release procedure.
Please let's change the attitude. Let's give some valour to this language, the sound expression.
About the strengths of the scene is that there is a lot of interesting music if you dig deep and there are a lot of easy ways to create a platform to expose your work. Also there are healthier electronic music scenes, so I'm trying not to focus on techno scene only.
At some time, I felt pushed to try to live with my sound production. It would be awesome to be able to live from music. But, I honestly hate to have gigs and to travel, this way of life is not for me. I just love to experiment inside my studio. So I decided to surrender and to start enjoying making music in my bedroom again, as a passion while I go to my real job. This is an escape valve and a basic need for me.
TF: Can you describe from beginning to end how your new LP – is made?
NZ: Ingenieria Onirica, which is actually my second LP, is the result of more than a year of hard work and the culmination of Notzing's oniro-cycle. It's the attempt to make a perfect album according to my actual feelings and expectations.
The artwork has been made by my wife and I so this work is a really special one.
There are a wide range of sound design techniques involved and I tried to experiment with different grooves, swings and weird structures while respecting the mental linearity vibes in the same track.
Field recordings, modular, analog subtractive, FM and granular synthesis, a heavily digital post-processing... It really looked like a surgery process. A lot of experimental procedures applied to each sound.
I did many scratches and schemes about how the tracklist should be structured, the meaning of the tracks and the imaginary world beyond this album. I will publish a special essay dedicated to this work at Knotzept website when it gets released.
Ingenieria Onirica is the result of the freedom and confidence that Koryu Budo's offered me.
TF: What new hardwares did you apply to make "Ingeniería Onírica" EP? Do you have a particular method while working in the studio?
NZ: The hardware gear most used in this album comprehends my beloved deepmind, which, in my opinion, shines for sharp and distorted surreal sounds, my eurorack cases, one of them a "only doepfer modular system" and the other one, smaller for more esoteric modules, the waldorf blofeld and the Octatrack to mangle field recordings and create textures.
I don't have a particular method while working in my studio, all I need is not to have any compromises the days I'm designing. I can't focus myself If I've something else to do that day, even if it lefts several hours for the compromise. This means that I started my confinement way before than the COVID-19
TF: Can you tell us more about your next release? Do you have in mind other projects?
NZ: I'm afraid I'm totally empty after this long LP. I need a break and to have some experiences to be able to continue creating. Maybe some experiments for Knotzept under an unknown alias in case of need.
TF: To say goodbye, what can you tell us about the premiere track you publish with us? Any experience during the creative process?
NZ: Efialtes was the first track I created for the album and the last one I finished. Is the one related to sleep paralysis and the most disturbing and interesting in my opinion. It is pretty traumatic and gives me a deep anxiety feeling thanks to the kick structure and the automatization of the groove and swing values. I remember having a lot of issues to mix each sound since it's so intense and a lot of layers are overlayering at the same time. I felt dizzy and high after each design session of this track. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did while creating it.
Thank you so much for this interview.
Format: 2x12” vinyl.
Release date: March 9th, 2021.
Buy link here.