Interview: Dr. Nojoke

Berlin-based live artist, producer and label owner Dr. Nojoke returns to his own CLIKNO imprint for the second release in his MAT editions series, following on from the first which arrived in 2019.

Titled AI, the release includes four original productions and features contributions from Lucas Gutierrez in the form of visual art, and Marianne Kjaer Klausen in the form of written literature.

Speaking with him recently, Dr. Nojoke told us all about the new release, how he came to work with his collaborators, which other labels we might expect to find him on soon, and what tracks he’s been enjoying so far this year.

You just released the second edition in your MAT editions series, tell us about the concept behind MAT?

Hello. I am Dr. Nojoke. I run the label CLIKNO. The MAT editions combines music, art and text. CLIKNO and my music is about the abstractions of electronic club music. So it was never an issue to produce or put out music that’s just for the club. I like interdisciplinary things. Each discipline has its own way to express similar things so together they say more than just one of them. I also like to push and arouse the interest equally on an emotional and intellectual level.

The release includes four tracks in total, can you share an insight into a typical studio session while making these ones?

Well, it all starts with the search of a sound I find interesting, I build loops and clips around it from my archive of noises (field recordings), add a bass-line and effects and play around with the clips, change things and so, until I get an idea of how the track can work. I let it roll for hours and test it out. It can take days or weeks until I record the arrangement in one take. In the last step I analyse the track, I cut it down, add or change notes, adjust parameters, and make the mix sound right.

And it includes a physical release which also features artwork and literature from Lucas Gutierrez and Marianne Kjaer Klausen, how did you come to work with those guys?

The focus is on the physical release actually so all the planning and conceptual work starts with this one. Marianne is a good friend. We have worked together for many years. We performed together, I made the music for a theatre play she was directing and she already wrote for UNOIKI, an artist and label collective I initiated in 2010.

Lucas is an Argentinian digital artist living in Berlin like myself. I got to know him from events of the Destroy All Monsters label, which he did the visuals for. I noticed his art through artwork he did for Zuckermann, on that label, and then through his collaboration with Robert Lippok. I also visited one of his exhibitions and besides my appreciation of his creative mind, we hooked up nicely. I was extremely happy he was open to having his art on the cover of the MAT editions 02. Physically it is an offset-print on uncoated paper for a premium look and feel. And it works also perfectly as digital artwork. It looks gorgeous. It is very strong!

The release of course comes on your own Clikno imprint, where it’s been quite a while since you released music from another artist, is this intentional?

Yes, the label CLIKNO is set just for my own productions! It can include collaborations and remixes as well. The Losted album is a compilation of remixes for instance.

How about other labels, which labels can we expect to see you on in the next few months?

Next my six-track album Post Techno Crisis will come out on the French label Goldmin Music, home of Orlando Voorn, Ian Simmonds, Terence Parker, Tony Lionni and Jonski. In October I will put out an EP with my project Rand, a collaboration with the concert pianist Jan Gerdes, then my album Drones & Tones For The Free II under my alias Anomali on the French label Microrama, and podcasts for Yarn, Troally, Thinc, Intrinsic Experiment and Rings of Neptune.

Do you have a favourite record from 2020?

Not just one. At the moment I am in love with the Yek 2 EP, that is Burnt Friedman together with the Iranian tombak and daf player Mohammad Reza Mortazavi. And I often listen to the modern Gamelan music album Genetic from Dewa Alit & Gamelan Salukat out on Black Truffle (I think that is vinyl only).

Also on my turntable is Samuel Rohrer’s album Continual Decentering, on Arjunamusic, and all from Andrea Belfi. Both are fantastic drummers with amazing vision. For the minimal techno heads I recommend Juan Farcik’s album Faro on Abstract records and Root’s Transcendental LP on BP digital. It’s also worth checking out are the labels Klangscheiben Records, Archipel Musique, Sleep is Commercial and What Becomes Now, as well as Alexandre Navarro, a master of minimalistic composition.

Before we go, what advice would you give to an aspiring producer?

When you are looking for artistic expression instead of producing in the same style, I recommend creating your own sounds. Avoid sample libraries and treat the sounds so they become yours and find a specific way to record and produce, find your workflow. Break rules, abuse objects, instruments and sound devices. Be hungry, obsessive and trust your own feeling and intuition.

And lastly, which track from the EP should our readers listen to first?

I guess the first track, Petar Plet Plete, might appeal to most people so I recommend this one.

Dr. Nojoke’s AI / MAT editions 02 is out now on CLIKNO.