Ranjit Nijjer releases his fourth EP on Machine featuring 3 new tracks of deep dystopian atmospheric techno
Fixed Destination 6:030:00/6:03
1. How have you gone creating music and preserving your artistic drive with music production over the past year.
It’s definitely been pretty challenging, that’s for sure!
I think finding a nice balance of not spending too much time on it or trying to force it, while also making sure it stayed a pretty regular fixture of my week most weeks was important.
Also spending time in the studio environment has been a really nice escape or reprieve from a lot of the stress and uncertainty that we’ve all been dealing with; so keeping it fairly high up on my priorities list hasn’t been too hard.
2. Tell us a bit of how you started producing and what are your main influences, music-wise. What else influences you in the arts or nature you’d love to mention?
I started learning to DJ back in 2003 and began playing out in 2004.
Even back then it was pretty clear that making your own music was a really great way to boost your profile and opportunities, and so in 2007 I decided I was going to start producing. 6 months later and with very little progress, I threw in the towel!
Fast forward to 2015 when I decided I wanted to give production another shot; I had realised I benefit from a structured learning environment and undertook a diploma in electronic music production. That course really helped lay a strong foundation for me to build upon and I managed to get past that initial stage of everything sounding completely terrible and push forward into the future.
As far as influences, where do I start?
Hip-Hop and Jazz are pretty big ones for me music wise. Minimalist and surrealist art in all forms has definitely shaped me a lot I think, as well as a pretty steady diet of science fiction.
About seven years ago I moved away from the city to a really beautiful area of Melbourne called the Dandenong Ranges and I know living out here has played a role in shaping my creative output. The lush forests and huge misty expanses are absolutely stunning!
3. Are there any parties or specific persons that contributed to developing your sound
That’s an interesting question for me; as if you’d asked me at the start of my DJing life I would have given answers like old Melbourne institutions like Teriyakianarkisaki, F.L.I.R.T. and Wet Musik in terms of parties; but as I’ve been in this Techno thing for so long, those influences have moved much more into the background these days. I think in terms of more modern influences, a trip to Berghain in Berlin and The Labyrinth in Japan about 5 years ago definitely has played a big role in shaping where I’m at these days. Anyone who’s been to either of those places will understand how special and inspiring they are for someone who’s into Techno.
As far as specific persons, a lot of the stuff coming from Spanish and Italian producers has really inspired me a lot in recent years, as well as DJs like Dave Clarke, Ben Sims and Speedy J.
4. What do you find most inspiring about the creative process of music production?
Funnily enough the answer to that question is probably the same as the answer to what do I find the most overwhelming about the creative process of music production!
That being the almost limitless possibilities that you have when making electronic music these days. Some days that blank page and all the incredible tools available are so exciting, and other days they can be crippling!
5. (a) As you might know, Melbourne was once labelled as a techno city in the mid 90’s by visiting artists/dj’s. Do you think the this label stands today (b) What is your view of techno nowadays, Where do you see the genre is going?
a) I think it’s definitely become a pretty serious contender for reclaiming that title in recent years, especially in comparison to the ‘dark years’ between about 2004 and 2012, where there was very little Techno on offer here. I don’t know if it has or ever will recapture that energy and excitement that surrounded it back then, but there are so many talented people working in the scene today that are helping shape it in really cool ways.
b) Techno is such a hard thing to get a handle on as a genre, despite being immersed in it for so long. There’s so many nuanced areas of it; subgenres and movements that are springing up all the time, so it’s hard to really take it all in as a whole. There’s definitely a lot of cashing in on the commercialisation of it these days, which is never good, but hopefully the true artists out there that are pushing the music forward into new and exciting places are supported as we go into the future. The quality of the production in Techno just keeps getting better and better; my only concern would maybe be that this is not necessarily the case with DJing in my opinion (maybe because there is so much focus on being a producer these days?).
6. ‘Atmosphere’ is your fourth release on Machine Label, tell us a bit of what inspired this EP?
The tracks from ‘Atmosphere’ were all written last year in lockdown; which obviously had to have played a role in shaping them. I wanted to explore deeper, more psychedelic sounds and I think maybe this was emphasised by the extended break from the intensity of the dancefloor that this last year imposed upon us all. As with a lot of my tracks, I think my science fiction influences come through pretty clearly as well.
7. What are your favourite memories as a DJ?
After DJing for so long (nearly 17 years) there are so just so many (and also some that are becoming a bit more hazy!). Playing at Rainbow Serpent Festival here in Australia has definitely been a big one for me, but honestly I think most of my favourite DJ memories come from playing at my own event Technoir. So many special nights there at many different venues around Melbourne over the years.
8. Any plans on doing live shows with your production.
I don’t think I’ll be doing it anytime soon at this stage.
I still feel like I’m getting my head around production itself and playing live is a whole other beast in itself. Plus I still really love DJing after nearly twenty years, so I don’t really find myself looking for another form of live expression.
9. When you’re not producing music/Dj organising events, what do you do?
For the last 5 years I’ve mostly been the primary stay at home parent for my youngest son, which has been pretty time consuming to say the least!
However this year he started school and now I’m trying to immerse myself into as many music based opportunities as I can, such as making music for commercial use.