Thursday, 14 November 2019

"There's no 'frozen' music era!" - Interview with NIKONN (GR)

Nikonn (a.k.a. Nick Bitzenis) is one of the leading and pioneering troopers, proud representer of the Electronic music angle of Greece, hailing from the Northern side of it and currently based in London the last couple of years, where he's been running his most prolific and influencial music years.
He has managed to share his passion, moreover his music infection throughout several side projects like Nick Rezo, Kilimantzaro, Barakounta, LookLa, Fotonovela, We're All The Same, Too Hot For November as well as Fotonovela and his former established band, MIKRO.

Personally, I still remember the first time I heard him with his band, MIKRO, almost 20 years ago, a time when they released their debut album entitled ''To Telos Tou Kosmou'' (translated: ''The End of the World'') creating a massive core of fans (including yours truly) showing huge support to something fresh over Greece and of course paying homage to this type of Big Beat and Hard Dance sound too.
A sound that it's still alive or even genre or era is frozen, as Nikonn points out on our quick chat.
Shall we agree with that? Affirmative!
Especially, when it's early of the month Movemeber, and he's just released an amazing album called "Soundtrack for a robbery" combining Big Beat. Trip Hop, Breakbeats and Funk packed into 8 evil tunes. A proof that no genre is dead, a good example how this versatile music personality impressed us again and most certain is that the future will bring more as you can get it from his kind words following above.

GK: As I'm relentlessly listening to your new album, an interesting concept of a soundtrack this time, I would ask you how you came up with the idea of this unique project.

N: The ideas for songs, albums and releases in general are very random and raw. Not much thinking. I'm a person who writes music almost every day. With no rules. I never restrict my creative libido.

I'm always working at many projects/ideas at the same time. That way I feel free without any limit. When I have any music ready I release it. This album, the "Soundtrack for a robbery" is an idea that was 'work in progress' for about a year now. I always wanted to have a list of songs that suits to an action/crime/robbery film, a 90s film like Guy Ritchie films. So, I did.

GK: Anyone can notice your Big Beat inspiration into various tunes such as "The Robbery", "Something went wrong", "Spend The money" in addition to the Breakbeat driven "The Chase" too. Great tracks that took me way back to the early days of your former band, MIKRO.
Do you think that this music era and genre has totally ended or it's just 'frozen' the last couple of years? What does Big Beat mean to you?

N: There's no 'frozen' music era. Especially in nowadays where everything have potential. We see movies and TV series that use a lot of music from the past decades.

The 90s scene (like the 80s) is always here. I'm sure that there's a lot of people out there who are boring with the same copy/paste contemporary pop/songwriter music and they're pleased with releases like The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, Moby, Massive Attack etc.

And I'm not talking only about middle-aged audience. Good music is always good music regardless the era. Big Beat is a music style with a lot of energy and people need music with evergy.


GK: Everything starts with a plan and ends by...spending money. I'm inclined to say that your album track-by-track titles is a way to describe what's surrounding us nowdays. Isn't it?
How do you see the sociopolitical condition in a few words and how music can help us overcome the difficulties?

N: We live in a very strange period of time. A transitional period. We use tools like internet and smartphones with no ethical knowledge. I believe that we need some more years to correct, or better to calibrate this usage. But in the meantime people are burning. The social structures are changing. We harm ourselves.

Art always is a way to help people when are confused. Music can be a way to find yourself or at least a way out.

GK: I've always meant to ask you this question cos unfortunatelly I haven't lived your first steps.
For those who are unaware of it; your early music moments have kicked off with the local project CARPE DIEM. Can you make a quick introduction of it?

N: My first steps was in a period where electronic music flourished. CARPE DIEM was my first experiments with electronica,dance, trance and experimental electronic music. A music step that formed my musical personality. I learned a lot of things because of CARPE DIEM. And fyi, the exact name was CARPE DIEM IV. :)

GK: You've been running quite lots of projects & music ideas, from MIKRO to your very fresh Me///o with Marianthi from Marsheaux. How would you describe in 5 words your versatile music personality?

N: Μultigenre, exuberant, consistent, sincere, endless.

GK: Which one of your projects or tunes, do you think is a futuristic essential step on what's next within the alternative/dance/indie?

N: My brand new project "Kinibo". I could say that I'm in the way to invent a new music style. It's an electronic alternative mix of downtempo, triphop, hiphop, soul, trap and dance. The forthcoming/debut releases are scheduled for 29/11, 5/12 and 13/12. Stay tuned!


GK: Can you name me your Top 3 personal music highlights during your career so far?

N: Noooo. This is so unfair. My life is full of highlights. I couldn't even pick a top 10.

GK: Top 5 albums/tunes that you'd recommend at the moment?

  • Bicep - Bicep (album)
  • Jon Hopkins - Singularity (album)
  • Stephan Bodzin - Powers (album)
  • Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (album)
  • Wolf Alice - Don't delete the kisses (album)

GK: Choose London, choose Salonica or...choose Athens ?
And the reason..?

N: London for the vibe, the people, the gigs, the exhibitions, the music and mostly for the freedom. Maybe Salonica for the food.

"Nikonn - Soundtrack to a Robbery" 


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