Exclusive In Conversation with Protoculture

  • Partyowl
  • 18 May 2016
  • 5 min

PartyOwl caught up with none other than Protoculture a.k.a Nate Raubenheimer. The man known for hits like cobalt, Liquid logic & etc. is described by many as the man with a magical touch. 

Exclusive In Conversation with Protoculture

The south african Producer is on a 5 city India tour and talks about his radio show, music & future collaborations.

Hi Nate! How’s life?

All good and happy to be back in India :)  

Can you brief us about the Gravity South tour, its concept and your plans for the new podcast?

Gravity South is now in its 33 episode. It was basically a continuation from my Natural Selection Radio show I started in 2012 which ran for almost 2 years. After the birth of my Daughter, I kinda let it slide for a while as my priorities lay elsewhere. So when I decided to get back into doing a podcast to showcase my current taste in music, I felt rebranding it was the right thing to do and hence Gravity South was born.  

This is your first such extended India tour. What delights you about India and your fans here?

Actually no, I’ve done various tours in India over the last few years, the last extended tour being with Max Graham in 2013. I’ve actually been coming to India fairly regularly since 2006 I think. Its a crazy country but I do love the people here… and the food!  

These days various platforms have sprung up where young producers can make it big. Back in the 2000’s, there weren’t any. In spite of this, how did you start off your musical career?

It actually kinda just happened overnight for me. I met the guys from Nano Records back in 2000 as I was just getting into psy trance. I released a couple of tunes with them and Spiral Trax which ended up getting a lot of play on the European festival circuit. Next thing I knew I was booked for Glastonbury Music Festival in the UK after which I’ve pretty much been on the road ever since.  

We’ve seen you evolve over the years. From ‘Refractions’ to ‘Music is more than Mathematics’, your tracks are still Trance. How do you manage to retain that ‘Trance’ factor in your tracks?

I’ve always maintained that even when I stopped doing psy trance that I was still retaining what in essence was my ‘sound’. Melodic ‘trance’ if you will is something that just resonates with me and seems to filter into most of what I do. Its just something that comes naturally to me.  

The response to ‘Music is more than Mathematics’ has been amazing. Why did you choose this name? Any special memories attached?

It's a phrase, I heard Sample from a movie or TV show in an old Logic Bomb track I used to love. The concept that music, even though it is essentially just a collection of numbers in sequence (Mathematics) yet has such a profound emotional effect on people really struck a chord with me.  

‘Everything he touches, turns to musical gold'. Those are some serious words from Armin. It seems that you are doing something magical in your tracks that the other producers aren’t. What is that and how would you define Protoculture’s touch?

That's a question I can't really answer as I really have no idea. There’s no magic formula other than me sitting in a studio just trying to have fun and write something that makes me happy.

Tracks like ‘Liquid Logic’ & ‘Pegasus’ show how Classy & Trance your tracks can get. Do you have tracks like those coming up?

I’m working on something that could be a follow-up to pegasus… I’ve also got a new one coming out in January that's been really well received in my sets so far as well and some more trance and some vocal projects lined up as well.

We’ve been missing Trance at main stages of every major festival. Has Trance taken a back seat or is it the age of house/big room?

This is nothing new. I’ve been around long enough to say. I’ve seen exactly what's happening now in dance music culture has happened before. It's a constant cycle and I can pretty much guarantee that something new will be the “next big thing” pretty soon, be it house, trance or whatever.

What do you think about Dreamscape -- the all trance festival? Will it revive Trance at music festivals?

I can’t say for sure if it will revive trance. Although the American market does seem to have a huge impact on trends globally so I think its a good thing. Also, I feel at this point there’s a lot of people looking for something more than the cookie cutter EDM that gets rammed down people’s throats at all the festivals so I do think the timing for this festival could be just right.

When are we expecting another Artist album from Protoculture?

I’m not sure, I’m currently working on a new project with Armada for next year, but not a full artist album as such. Maybe end of 2016… we’ll have to wait and see.

India DJ’s like Aerreo, Zaedan etc. are doing pretty well. When do we see Protoculture collaborating with an Indian Producer?

I’m always open to collaborations… I don’t do many, but if it's something that I feel is compatible with what I do, I’m always game :)

DJmag has been criticized a lot this year for their ranking. What’s your take on it?

I don’t have a take on it. Honestly, any attention given to DJ Mag is a waste of one’s time.

What all places have you planned to visit in India, during the tour?

I’ll be touching down in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore and Guwahati.

A quick message for your fans in India.

Great to be back and hope to see you guys on the dance floor! :)  


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