Techno's first queen drops a slow-burning sex bomb
As EDM continues to sweep the country -- its singalong anthems and pogo beats becoming the sound of a generation -- the electronic underground that predated the craze is quietly putting its head down and entering a renaissance period of its own.
Kids in basements are releasing homemade singles -- on vinyl only. House -- the soulful-vocal-with-perhaps-a-vibraphone kind -- is being treated like something magical again. And artists like Nicole Moudaber are capturing the imaginations of punters all over the world.
LISTEN TO NICOLE MOUDABER'S NEW SONG 'ROAR':
Born in Nigeria and raised in Beiruit, Moudaber is not 18 years old. She does not wear neon -- her mop of dark hair, covering her face as she DJs, is her signature. Yes, she is a woman, and yes, she makes and spins techno. (Are you over it now?) And every track she plays does not have an epic synth breakdown. In that, she shows the brick-by-brick style of her inspirations and mentors: New York "journey" DJs like Danny Tenaglia and Junior Vasquez, and techno legend Carl Cox.
"[Techno] hasn't really changed as such [over the past few years]; it was always there," she says. "It has evolved in the sense that the tempo is slower, and the sound changed because of new technology, but the core of it is still the same, from stripped techno to full-on industrial techno."
The earth-shaking title track of "Roar," her second EP release for Cox's Intec label, is high-hat-techno with a twist: A wall of voices crying out in soulful angst, filtering in and out of the main scene as the elements start to build into a percussive breakdown, resolving in a satisfying, hard-won groove. The slower BPM makes it all the more randy. It is, unequivocally, a sex bomb.
"['Roar'] was my state of mind at the time, and the record has that roaring vocal loop in it," she says. "It made sense to me then."
Moudaber launched her own label last week, Mood Recordings, and is touring the world throughout 2013 – sometimes under Cox's banner, giving her a good view of his booth prowess.
"[Cox's] technical abilities can't be matched, really," she says. "He comes from a cutting-up-records background, to mixing techno. That takes skills and experience. I'm constantly inspired by his techniques. When I watch him play, I'm like a kid in a candy shop; eyes wide open, jaw-dropping kinda thang."
"Roar" drops tomorrow, but you can check it out via exclusive stream here on Billboard.
- Code