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In the deep soundscapes of New York live trio N/UM

The New York electronic live trio N/UM brings the immediacy and excitement of improvised music and live composition into the venues of warehouse raves, clubs and festivals. N/UM are multi-Grammy Award-winning mixing engineer and producer Jeremy Loucas, guitarist Elias Meister of world-renowned rap group Residente (Calle 13), and Danish multi-instrumentalist and producer Emil Bovbjerg.

The three have performed and collaborated in a variety of musical settings for more than a decade, fostering the understanding and trust that enables them to dive into the music in their distinct way. They performed live for Mixmag Lab in New York and have recorded live sets for John Acquaviva’s Ibiza Global Radio, Deep House London, and The Lot Radio just to name a few.

Having already toured the globe, bringing their sound to clubs from the US to Europe and Asia, N/UM now returns with a new album. Reason enough to talk about their stunning output between psychedelic dub techno, minimal, fusion-jazz and electronica.

Connect with N/UM on Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram

First of all who is N/UM? How did the project come about?

We started the project a little bit as an experiment not knowing if it would work at all. The three of us had played together for several years as a rock band, but always had an affinity for electronic music and the dance floor. We started DJing back to back having the guitar as a live element, but soon we thought: let’s just make this music live!

And that’s how our journey began. We decided to only improvise, since the most gratifying moments happened when we were playing without a predetermined structure or song.

You perform in the live-act format, which has a high level of complexity. As a trio, it is necessary to have great harmony for this fluidity to happen?

The last few years have been really about diving deep into the nonverbal communication and trying to improve our ability to improvise and react quickly to what is happening. There is a lot to learn and we put a lot of time in energy into our setup as well as the playing.

There is an almost telepathic form of information flow between us when the music is really happening. Another thing is learning to embrace these moments of surprise that always happen. They make the music much more interesting.

If you are open to them and able to take them as departure points into something new.

The pandemic has affected the creative industry in unimaginable ways, but despite all the negative bias, the moment at home also brought an opportunity to review and renew for some artists. How was this phase for you?

It was an interesting phase, we all had suddenly much more time on our hands. We had recorded a lot of music over the past years, so it was a good moment to organize and finalize some of the tracks. We also had time to experiment with new gear, putting together different modular rigs and trying them out.

What experience did you take with you from the production of your second album just being released on NINETOFIRE?

It’s been a while since we released on our own label. The positive thing is that you are in total control of the release process, but it’s also a lot of work that you don’t spend on doing music. Definitely worth it though.

Our output of music is very high, since every time we play or we rehearse we are recording and potentially cutting a track or record. So we are looking forward to releasing lots of music on our own label as well as working together with other labels to expand our reach a bit.

There is an artistic connection between your songs and the visual communication in the form of your music video. Is it important for you to tell the story on a visual level?

We teamed up with visual artists Isotone for the visuals for this release. We met them at Mutek festival in Montreal where we played together at the SAT dome, where they did the live visuals for our show.  It was such a fantastic and magical experience. Isotone is a collective of visual artists who play with their visuals with an improvised and live element, which very much aligns with our vision of creating.

For scheduling reasons we decided to not release Levers Of History as a vinyl right away, so we wanted another element to be part of the release so it’s not only a digital upload, which always seems a bit unrepresentative and fleeting. We loved their aesthetic and invited them to create the visuals for our album.

Having visuals like this feels great and is something we will be looking towards for future releases as well.

When can we experience you in Europe?

Being the three of us from Europe, it is quite overdue at this point. We have played in Europe a bit (Fusion Festival, Kater Blau, Sisyphos), but it’s been some time. We are super excited to be represented by Demand Artist now for European booking and can’t wait to be playing in Europe more starting this year.

Thank you!

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

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