Home House Music Nebraska Talks New Release Senza Parole, His Career, Streaming, Early Inspirations and More!

Nebraska Talks New Release Senza Parole, His Career, Streaming, Early Inspirations and More!

Nebraska Talks New Release Senza Parole, His Career, Streaming, Early Inspirations and More!

An interview with The Insider

Nebraska is a fascinating producer. That he is a serious talent is beyond question, he has delivered a series of brilliant 12″s over the last few years. He also very much marches to his own beat with a release schedule that seems to depend purely on when the tracks decide that they are ready.

With releases on some of our favourite labels including Heist, Dirt Crew, Exploited, Delusions of Grandeur and Lumberjacks in Hell it’s safe to say that he also has the ear of the movers and shakers on the scene.

His latest release has just landed on his own Friends and Relations label and to quote our premier write up it’s ‘big, bold, ridiculously infectious and ever so funky’.

You can check the premier below and you can grab Senza Parole HERE.

To celebrate the release we spoke to the man behind Nebraska, Ali, about the release, his career and so much more.

Thanks for talking to us Ali.

Where are you this moment and how are you spending the day?

And thanks for talking to me, too. I’m at home in London, taking it easy after seeing Roisin Murphy’s truly amazing show last night.

Where were you born? Where are you based now?

I was born in Leicester, in the East Midlands of England. But I’ve lived in London for nearly 30 years now.

What do you love about where you are living?

Peckham has a strong and diverse character. Great food and drink and really innovative use of spaces such as the famous multi-storey car park and Holdron’s Arcade. It’s a fertile spot, creatively.

Have you got a favourite place to sit and watch the world go by round there?

Most days I’m out walking my dachshund around Peckham Rye, the big open park in our area. There’s always something unusual going on there. I’ve seen a guy with rollerblade-skis there before; the dog took off after him at high speed, with me in hot pursuit.

How long have you been making music now and what was your first step in the game?

I started releasing records in 1993, but the music block at my secondary school was run by a guy called Brian Wilshaw, who’d played sax on Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust tour. He was very open to non-musicians like me and my friends and showed us how to hook up a Roland 606 to an SH101. When we were meant to be in other lessons, he essentially showed us how to make acid house.

What came first for you, DJing or production?

Production, I suppose, though I came at it from the point-of-view of a record collector. I’ve never DJ’d in public much.

What kind of artists, DJs, genres were you into growing up?

I was exactly the right age when early hip hop first hit the U.K. Morgan Khan’s “Electro” mix compilation LPs where pivotal. They still sound amazing and can raise the hairs on my arms to this day. But as soon as I discovered the concept of digging for breaks, for samples – that’s me, that’s the core.

There was a column in a short-lived mid-80s magazine called ‘The Street’ that laid crumb-trails to breaks, and of course David Toop’s book the Rap Attack had some vital info. Having found one copy of ‘Ultimate Breaks & Beats’, me and a school friend actually wrote to Street Beat Records, and they kindly sent back a full list of all the breaks on the series naming the original artists… sadly, a long-lost piece of history now.

Can you tell us 3 tracks you were into in your early days?

From the electro days: High Fidelity Three “B Boys Breakdance (Dub)

From the early breaks angle: Dennis Coffey “Scorpio”

The first house tune I really loved: Cultural Vibe “Ma Foom Bey”

Do you feel as inspired by new artists now, and who are the artists that you are into at the moment?

Stuff always appears that knocks me out. Floating Points continues to outpace my expectations and set the pace – I keep going back to the collab he and James Holden did with Mahmoud Guinia. The last Session Victim record was wicked.

What’s the last new record you heard, and you thought “this is amazing!”

The interesting thing these days is what constitutes “new”. I just stumbled upon a record by Oregon from 1978, totally new to me. Last night Roisin Murphy and her band did a really tripped out version of “You Knew” from her collab with Koze –it’d passed me by until now. Incredible.

With the radical switch up of music being mostly about streaming, does that impact your creativity/ output? Or is that irrelevant to you.

It’s changed for sure. Music released years ago with the assumption that it’d disappear after 300 pieces of vinyl had been sold, may have an unexpected afterlife and unexpected side effects – good and/or bad. Also, we’re all conscious that vinyl is made from oil, and changes like Brexit make moving physical product around the globe more challenging. Though we all love records, time to be more thoughtful, perhaps.

Do you stream music much, what is your platform of choice?

Though I am aware of the problems for artists, especially artists like myself with smaller audiences, I use Spotify daily. I do wish it felt more equitable. Bandcamp is fantastic economically for artists.

You don’t strike me as someone with marketing plan. Is it a fair assessment to say you have a laidback approach to releasing… When you feel it you feel it right?

Yup. The fruit is picked when the fruit is ripe! Some years are more bountiful than others. Some years there’s nothing, some years there’s a glut.

Your label has been about since 2016, as a platform for your own projects. Would you ever want to release music by others on the label or is it reserved for your work alone?

It’s for me only. That’s a practical choice on two fronts: firstly, I have more direct control over my material; secondly, I have no bureaucratic responsibility for other artists’ music (and money). Keep life simple!

Senza Parole – Music to do be doo be doo too. Talk a bit about this concept and the type records that inspired this release?

I was thinking about those tunes that appeared with the advent of samplers in the early 80s – one of the first things people did was to sample their voices and play melodies with them. Art Of Noise, Yello, Nu Shooz, “Just Buggin’” by Whistle – those tracks sounded fun and fresh when they appeared. And then for a long period they just sounded so “of their time” as to be almost unlistenable… but with distance, it suddenly sounded like a fresh and fun idea again.

Are there any other artists on this EP that you would like to shout out or is it all you?

Though it’s only me on this record, there’s a single-note voice sample from my partner BeBelle (who was also on my previous record for Heist ‘Chant Des Oiseaux’). But I’d shout out Session Victim for yet again encouraging me to finish this one.

Are you working on your next release, or will that be it until the moment strikes you?

I’m always sketching, playing. Messing about with guitars and early drum machine sounds a lot this week. But nothing at present feels close to being ready to go. Around 2000 I took a whole year out.. it was really helpful – maybe it’s time again?

Do you have an affinity with Italy or France?

I’ve always enjoyed Italy, especially the food. We go and stay with friends in southern Sicily most years. My partner is Belgian, so I hear a lot of French language from her.

If you could have a dream come true, where in the world would you live, and what would you do to pass the days?

I love the immediate immersion in so much culture that living in a major city affords, but I also love being in remote, quiet places for solitude and unpopulated open space. Can I have an amazing energy-efficient house with a big studio that somehow bridges the two, please?

If you were in charge of proceedings, what one thing would you do for mankind?

I think we’re increasingly short on consensus about what constitutes reality. Many of us spend our daily lives contributing to platforms that drive division, seemingly to fuel the ambition of real-life Bond villains. I don’t expect everyone to agree on everything, but a less polar “opinion as fact” and “controversy as attention” world would be helpful.

Thanks Ali!

For more info on Nebraska please check:

Nebraska Soundcloud
Nebraska Instagram

Like this? Check out more on Nebraska HERE

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