Hi-Five: Nuage

His subtle and shimmering 'Neida' EP in the shops, the St. Petersburg producer namechecks five of his inspirational tunes.

If you're not paying attention, you might easily conflate the sound of Nuages with that of Nuage—and not just because of the near-mirror names. The former, the mid-'90s collaboration between Ludovic "St. Germain" Navarre and Didier "Shazz" Delesalle that released the Blanc EP on Laurent Garnier's F Communications label, and the latter, the St. Petersburg, Russia producer who's just put out the Neida EP on on Project: Mooncircle, both make emotive, rich and melodic music that resonates with sweet-tempered vibes. But where Nuages' material came equipped with a bit of Chicago bump and Detroit jolt, Nuage—the man we're concerned with right now—makes songs erased of jagged edges; it's the sonic equivalent of summer clouds slowly drifting through a deep-blue sky, or petals gently falling from a perfect rose. (Another difference: Nuage, known as Dmitry Kuzmin to his pals, is a generation younger than Navarre and Delesalle.) Nuage started off six years ago as an artist steeped in the soft-edged end of the drum & bass/garage spectrum—there are hints of those origins on Neida, but really, this is the kind of gorgeous music that you want to listen to while laying on a sunny meadow with some good friends, watching the world spin round. Give the below teaser a listen, and then check out five of the tunes that got Nuage to where he is today.

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Nuage: "I decided not to go far into the past, but to show five tracks that I still listen to a lot and are timeless for me. These tracks make for inspiration—and sleepless hours."

Kollektive Turmstrasse "Tristesse" (Connaisseur Recordings )
The most "nature-influenced" track I've heard. I remember we were sitting in the studio playing the video of this track; he video was from the Disney movie Fantasia 2000, and was about about the beautiful spirit of the forest who fought with fire. The track became one of my favorites, and this video and music fit very well together. Minimalist spinning percussion and simple bass, stretching endlessly throughout the track—eventually drowned in ghostly pads and atmospheres. It is a long, mystical journey.

Matthew Herbert "It's Only" (DJ Koze remix) (Pampa Records)
Attention to detail—for that, I love DJ Koze. But his music is not only technical and ascetic, but also deep, emotional, and even with contrast. It is easy to get lost in the details, but it doesn’t interfere with understanding the meaning of the music. The remix fully demonstrates a unique and intelligent approach to the sound of DJ Koze, its even more dramatic and aesthetically pleasing than the original. Vocal delays in the end of the track are really fascinating.

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Beacon "Feeling's Gone" (Ghostly International)
I just had this song on repeat. It includes the most of what touches me—it sounds airy and Balearic, and reminds me of a night journey around the city by car. The warmth and lightness of the Beacon sound are combined with depth, atmospheric and original drum programming. This simple secret works great for the timeless music—music without the frames, music for the sleepless.

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Eluvium "The Motion Makes Me Last" (Four Tet remix) (Temporary Residence)
The combination of instrumental, folk and electronics creates a completely new sound. Four Tet is at the top of this sound, and his music is free of genre. I heard this remix not so long ago in a podcast, and it has been in my headphones when I'm traveling by the train or plane ever since. It reminds me of born memories, and slow moves of a summer day.

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Helios "First Dream Called Ocean" (Stray remix) (Medschool)
I have a special place for minimalistic, leftfield sound of drum n bass, and this remix by Stray of a song from Helios is one of the most significant for me. However, it is difficult to tag it within clear genre boundaries; it's just a deep melodic electronica song with an emphasis on the bassline. Stray added even more magic into he ambient Helios original—there are pitch vocals and soft minimal drums that made the sound even more flowing and sleepy, in a good way. It s a really great pill for insomnia.

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