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Go BackBEHIND THE MIX: Omid ‘16B’ Nourizadeh presents an enlightening mix, shares words about his world, the mysterious powers of Ibiza, and Underground…

Posted: 7/1/05 14:18

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Living in London and of Iranian origin, Omid ‘16B’ Nourizadeh inspires, and is inspired by, various people via his life as a DJ and producer. Working through ample aliases over the years and sculpting such acclaimed singles as ‘Water Ride’ and ‘Escape (Driving To Heaven)’, plus mixes and remixes, as 16B, Omid has composed two artist albums with a distinctive and yet diverse style (‘Sounds From Another Room’ in 1998 and ‘How To Live 100 Years’ in 2002) and has a third planned for 2005. Strangely, while Omid may say that he’s “lazy”, he has worked with a rare devotion to create a wealth of broadminded music and an effective means by which to release it worldwide… Breathing life into three labels: Alola, Disclosure and (with Desyn Masiello) Sexonwax – just how does he do it? “Having label managers as amazing as Michele for Sexonwax and Kevin for Alola helps a lot, I don’t do anything at all…” says Omid, somewhat modestly…

Typically, 2004 was a year musically brimming with passion in Nourizadeh’s life, what with his DJing schedule, the release of the In House We Trust 4’ mix on Yoshitoshi and its tour… “I really like the earlier music Yoshi put out, so I kinda took what I liked, with re-edits I’d done of my remixes for Yoshi, and mixed it up,” Omid recalls. “The tour went very well, we organised it ourselves...” Then there were antics with The Idiots (otherwise known as Desyn Masiello, Leon Roberts, and Rowan Blades together with Omid), studio sessions with Mr C at Omid’s Alola Studios in London, and plenty of other productions besides (such as the single using his O.R.N. alias ‘The Decision’/’Small Town Boy’). 

“I was in South America for most of December at the South American Music Conference (SAMC), where I played and was also on a panel answering questions about all sorts,” says Omid. Well, the conference may be over, but the questions continue... So, while listening to his sublime and seamless mix, why not read on to discover what Omid says about his liberal blend of fluid funk, among other things… 

Listening to the mix, we notice that your remix of François Kevorkian’s ‘Enlightenment’ opens your set…
“Yes, I love it... pure art, channelling, with no barriers or ego...”

Your remix of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy The Silence’ is onboard, how did that project come about and did the Mode pass any comment?
“I love this track anyway and have always thought about doing a remix, whether or not I’d do it officially is not the point... I’m not waiting for approval, just as I don’t really mind if people don’t like it... All I know is that when it drops it’s a bomb... Respect to the Mode, and credit the Mode, I’ve just added my vibe to it!”

The Idiots’ new single ‘Techno Monster’ can also be heard and it sounds like you guys had crazy fun fostering that fierce little number, true or false?
“If listening to music really loud while you cannot stand straight is fun, then we had lots of it... and now that there are four of us that’s even more fun...”

‘It’s Just An Illusion’ is in the mix as well – hauntingly infectious and touched up for today’s dancefloor – what’s that all about?
“It’s all an illusion, that’s what it’s about. It’s like this one day, and it’s like that another, but it can never stay forever... hmm!”

What are your thoughts and feelings on Ibiza and when did you last visit/play?
“Each year I spend in Ibiza, somehow, seems to improve for me and 2004 was the best year that I’ve had. Coming, going and hanging out at Underground was just amazing. It sounds like hippy talk, but because of the energy of the place – the effect of the music and the emotion of the people – you never feel tired… The island appears to give me this power to go out, never sleeping, and it’s very naughty as well – you can’t seem to stay away from trouble, even on those ‘quiet’ nights… Too many things lead to other things and before you know it you are at a party in a cave. I’m obviously looking forward to next year; if you embrace it all, then you will enjoy yourself. There’s an amazing and weird… some sort of mysterious power on the island that does something to people – definitely! This year I played at Space, Pacha, and at the Underground a few times. The Underground is probably one of the hardest places to play at really, as Juanito and Lewis want proper music, quality music… You can play almost anything there, as long as you’re real about it, and that’s where the greatest vibe and philosophy is (leading to the best Underground parties with a wide range of people getting together to learn and to blend with others from all over the world in a peaceful atmosphere) that’s where the party is happening! There is, unfortunately, a different side though – where money talks and there are moody bouncers and expensive drinks – but Ibiza is an amazing place with a special spirit. The story depends upon each club’s philosophy and there are lots of issues involved, but ‘big name’ DJs can help change the way that people think about Ibiza by using various methods, including where they choose to play… And let us not get mixed up about where the party is at… it’s about people going out for the right reasons and nothing comes close to that. I would hate to see Ibiza become too commercial as the island, for me, is about fresh things and people with new ideas having fun!” 

Eastern Europe seems to feature heavily in your DJ diary, have you any notes or reflections?
“The more that you travel, the more you realise that people are more or less the same… With the internet people can now download your material and have access to all the latest music. The crowds are really on it in Eastern Europe and they always keep you on your toes! I turn up to my gigs and play from the heart and they appreciate it. Some have to save up to hear their favourite DJs play and so you must make an effort. The only place where there can be problems is across in Russia…” 

Style (as related to quality, and not fads) is perhaps the best preservative of art, as illustrated (many think) by your previous albums. Do you think consciously about making timeless music, as opposed to that influenced by fashion, or is your creative process more instinctual?
“Not conforming to any fashion status is quite wise, but that can kinda become fashionable too... I never think: “what’s current? I’m gonna do that…” I just go with the flow and allow the channelling to participate in what’s being created… I try to enjoy and am as lazy as I can be at the same time... I share my secrets and allow myself to inspire and be inspired as much as possible!”

To what extent do you disagree with this statement: bootlegging, or even sampling, is theft?
“If you add to a track that’s at least four years old, but you credit the artist and put a few records out on booty, then I think it actually helps the artist (it does depend on how good the mix is though!); but if you blatantly sample all the time then it means that you need some inspiration in your life... Everything is possible, if done in the good for everyone, and remember that there is no judgement on this issue, it’s just a matter of opinion.”

You’ve been hard at work in the studio. Among the productions aimed at 2005, what stands out for you personally and why?
“It’s like having five children... They are all different but you love them all, and no less and no more than each other...”

Can you tell us how technology at Alola Studios helps you express the music in your mind and what tools are currently helping?
Ableton Live, brain power, sleep and occasional misbehaviour... with lots of old Roland gear and Harry Monk (the best engineer I’ve consumed).”

At Alola you’re working with Mr C (‘That Look’ is your latest single) and we hear that you have an album planned, can you reveal more about the sprit of that project and whose label will release it?
Sexonwax will release it… Richard (Mr C) is my brother and we just constantly inspire each other. Funny though how our first single is all about pulling girls because neither of us are like that…”

What are you using in the booth for DJing and have you any plans in that respect – Ableton, your band etc...?
“When I am DJing then I always play with CDJs, decks and a mixer... I don’t use anything else apart from a computer, but if I am playing a live set then I use Ableton Live. I play the guitar, drums, bass and keyboards and I’d love to use live musicians, but often club promoters just see it as an additional cost – still, look out for The Idiots as we develop as a live band…”

What are you most looking forward to in 2005 and why?
“I am looking forward to a lot of new people coming along and the older mentalities, and those ways of working, being flushed out. I am looking forward to somehow keeping music alive through making better records that I feel will change something… offering something beautiful and not just noise. I hope that creation allows itself to create paths for everyone to be inspired by everything, and not just to be inspired for a certain amount of time due to fashion or any form of conformity, and I think 2005 will be a good year for that as we’ve already seen a lot of changes in attitudes and music – I only hope that we will all come together and do it properly...” 

We hear of a third 16B artist album, planned for 2005, can you expand?
“Yes... Try to make albums like they are always your first and last. That way you express everything without the attachments of success and the material. Allow the art to serve as inspiration has served you… This album is about everybody and everything that I’ve come in contact with and how everything is always changing through our perception, but really it’s just been and is…”

Have you any other final message to dispense?
“Read and try to be creative. Don’t judge others and make sure that your love is based on no other reward apart from that – do as you wish and be as free as you can....”

Thanks Omid !!

Words by Lisa Loco