Tag: Oscillian (Page 1 of 2)

NINA I’ll Wait

Utilising samples from Cliff Martinez’s ‘Drive’ score, the ‘Control’ EP released at the end of 2020 was possibly Nina’s darkest work yet.

A couple of solo songs ‘Carnival Night’ and ‘Gold Heart’ have since followed but her new single ‘I’ll Wait’ is something altogether different. It is from the upcoming horror movie ‘There’s No Such Thing As Vampires’ directed by Logan Thomas.

The story sees two strangers, Joshua and Ariel, crash into each other’s cars in the dead of the night. They then find themselves pursued across the North American desert, the target of an unstoppable supernatural force!

Composed by Logan Thomas and produced by Oscillian with additional instrumentation by Greg Beaton and extra vocals from long-term collaborator Lau, ‘I’ll Wait’ begins with a sparse backdrop where Nina gives a wonderfully emotive performance over a heart murmur and sparkling understated arpeggios, before a Phil Collins style drum barrage takes hold; ‘I’ll Wait’ could be her very own ‘In The Air Tonight’ or ‘Mama’!

Nina and Logan Thomas spoke to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about both song and film…

‘I’ll Wait’ is something of a departure, was this prompted by it be specifically for the film or where you are heading musically now? Any particular inspirations?

Nina: The film’s director, Logan Thomas wrote the original song and then asked me to sing it. I naturally made it my own and brought on one of my collaborators Oscillian to produce the final recording. Dark romanticism has always been part of my musical DNA and I am definitely embracing it more with songs like ‘I’ll Wait’ and my previous single ‘Carnival Night’.

Was there a brief or a free reign?

Logan: I was composing the synth score for the new feature film ‘There’s No Such Thing as Vampires’ and was deeply influenced by the Synthwave movement while I was directing and cutting that movie. We eventually brought in songs by FM84, Jessie Frye, Marsheaux and Nina.

But I also wanted an original love song for the film. You gotta have an original song in a movie like this! Think Annie Lennox’s song for Coppola’s ‘Dracula’! It needed that kind of longing, and I knew Nina was the perfect voice for that! Now, I had only been focusing on directing and composing since I’d moved to Los Angeles, but before that I was heavily into song writing.

So I crawled back into my studio and worked out a melody and lyric that I hoped would build in layers. Almost a hypnotic roundabout until the song reached its climax. So I recorded a demo here and sent it to England for Nina to record it for the film. They finished and sent it back to us in LA. Greg Beaton and I went back in and I added some more synths. Then Greg did some remixing and added that big, wonderful ‘In the Air Tonight’ drum track! So it was definitely a cross continental collaboration with a lot of artists.

So “what” are you waiting for?

Logan: HA!… Well, I suppose you have to see the movie to know that..

Nina: For me, it’s all about music and love. I will wait forever for romance and the song I have not yet written. I hope I never lose that feeling of endless desire.

How did the video come together as a concept?

Logan: Ah, the video… Well. So originally we (the production company) had set up everything to shoot the video here in CA. We crewed up. Had the location, and even began building Nina’s wardrobe. Nina was set to fly here and we would shoot for 2 days. It was going to be a very ‘The Hunger’ inspired music video. Big 80s glam with smokey gothic interiors. Think early Tony Scott and Russell Mulcahy. The COVID restrictions were sure to finally lift in June 2021, allowing international travel to America… and then… they didn’t.

Now we had everything in place and couldn’t get Nina here. So, gotta think pretty fast!… we set up a short session in Berlin to have Nina filmed just singing at, or past the camera. Very simple. Then, for 2 days, we took the footage of Nina and projected it all over the location that we had set in Los Angeles for the original video. Ironically, this method of “projection” ties in very nicely with it being a song for a “movie”! I just love that video. So necessity was definitely the mother of innovation there.

You are living in Berlin again, have you settled back into the groove of the city yet? Has anyone said you are speaking German in an English accent?

Nina: It’s great to be back in my home city with family and friends. I try my best to enjoy life as normal as possible (COVID restrictions). I spend most of my time in my home studio writing/producing and playing with my adorable Snow Bengal ‘Kimba’. Berlin has a unique atmosphere that I find very inspiring, so my creative process is different in a very special way. Yes, some people do notice a little twist in my accent, and I like it!

How are the other new songs coming along, what’s next, anything you can tell people about?

Nina: The new songs are coming along very well, thank you. I am taking my time with Nina Vol 3 because I am trying new things. In the meantime, I am completing collaboration projects with Kid Moxie and Radio Wolf. 2022 is going to be a very fun year for releases!


ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to Nina and Logan Thomas

‘I’ll Wait’ is released as a digital single via Ascent Releasing

The film ‘There’s No Such Thing As Vampires’ is released on 12th December 2021 in North America and Great Britain on Video On Demand and BluRay

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Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
3rd December 2021

NINA Synthian

German born NINA took the synthpop world by storm, releasing her debut ‘Sleepwalking’ in 2018.

She lent one of her early songs ‘My Mistake’ to a Mercedes-Benz advert, alongside landing support slots with DE/VISION, ERASURE and others.

Clubbing together with Canada’s PARALLELS, she toured America, creating a wild audience eager to hear more from the gifted Berliner.

And so comes ‘Synthian’, not only superbly titled but also delivering a more mature, darker tone to NINA’s repertoire.

The songstress shares the achievement with her collaborator, Laura Fares aka LAU and producers of note such as Oscillian, Richard X, Till Wild and Ricky Wilde. As described by NINA, “‘Synthian’ is the bigger and bolder sister of ‘Sleepwalking’. It’s more mature and daring”.

Indeed the title track is very deep and brooding, with catchy poppy synth line, eloquently dispersed with acute guitar and a longing vocal, preparing the listener to be taken onto a retro journey with a difference. The following ‘Automatic Call’ picks up the tempo quite stunningly, arpeggiating away while carrying the wonderfully produced vocals, to achieve a perfect synth gem.

‘Runaway’ glides over the scales, entering the retro world with ease, showcasing that NINA at her best with some gentle help from Ricky Wilde. A big fan of Wilde’s sister, NINA loved collaborating with her talented brother: “Ricky comes up with the most beautiful melodies and harmonies. I loved working with him. He’s humble and patient”.

‘Unnoticed’ is a romantic cry for love from a lost soul, wrapped in a cosy electronic blanket of greatness, showcasing the German synthpop queen as the owner of the most incredible voice as well as one that can write mesmerising tunes.

‘The Calm Before The Storm’ continues the serene tempo, while ‘The Wire’ brings out those darker, harsher tones; it’s deliciously deep and expresses deeper thoughts.

“It’s about feeling disconnected from the world” she said, “Losing a sense of being human and having a deep desire for the human touch”. One may say the track was written to describe the world of today, where that loss of connection has become more apparent than ever; the synthy pandemic anthem, you could say.

The cute ‘Love Is Blind’ meanders around the retro musicality and layered vocals, while ‘Never Enough’ ushers further nostalgia leading into ‘Gave Up On Us’, whose mesmerising arpeggios are deliciously uplifting; it’s like going back in time, roller-skating along the promenade with a Walkman and pink bubble gum.

The closing and very apt ‘The Distance’, delves into NINA’s personal life, describing her experiences with a long distance relationship. “‘The Distance’ is about a long distance relationship and how true love can span miles and beyond. It has a more cinematic approach; heavily inspired by the likes of M83 and WOODKID. It’s a very personal song. A lot of people are being apart from their loved ones right now and can probably relate”.

Indeed the later than anticipated release of the opus, couldn’t have landed at a better time. More placed than it ever would be, NINA wishes to bring some light and hope into the uncertainty of current situation, so difficult for many.

And if your wish was to “make people feel better through music and offer some kind of hope”, then you certainly did just that. A superb album.


‘Synthian’ is released by Aztec Records on 5th June 2020 in CD, magenta neon vinyl LP and digital formats, pre-order from https://ninasounduk.bandcamp.com/

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Text by Monika Izabela Trigwell
31st May 2020

NINA: The Synthian Interview

From her early single ‘My Mistake’ and its use on an advertisement for Mercedes-Benz to support slots with DE/VISION and ERASURE to her own joint headlining tours of North America with Canada’s PARALLELS, the rise of NINA to become The Queen Of Synthwave has been remarkable.

The German-born songstress has successfully straddled the line between synthwave and synthpop, thanks to her exquisite retro-fusion of New Wave and electronic pop

As with her debut album ‘Sleepwalking’, NINA has created its eagerly awaited follow-up ‘Synthian’ with silent partner Laura Fares aka LAU, while producers Oscillian, Richard X, Till Wild and Ricky Wilde have also put their stamp on a number of tracks.

Although NINA’s popwave is still more than evident, this new record unveils a darker aesthetic and an air of cyber-expressionism. NINA spoke from her home city of Berlin about her continuing musical adventures.

Guessing by the title ‘Synthian’, it doesn’t sound like you’ve gone rockabilly or anything, how would you describe the album? It is a natural progression from ‘Sleepwalking’?

I see ‘Synthian’ as the bigger and bolder sister of ‘Sleepwalking’. It’s more mature and daring.

‘Synthian’ also explores the depths of love, desire, spirituality, the duality of the human condition. Unity vs Isolation.

‘Sleepwalking’ was a long time coming for many reasons but if you include the touring you’ve been doing, ‘Synthian’ has been a comparatively swift follow-up?

Yes, we’ve been super busy touring the US and Canada twice and playing shows all over the world, so I guess two years isn’t all that long. We actually wanted to release ‘Synthian’ early in 2020, but had to keep pushing it back for various reasons, which was a little frustrating but we’re finally getting it out there.

They often say that a debut album documents a whole life while a second album is sometimes a snapshot of less than a year?

I feel like ‘Sleepwalking’ was definitely a reflection of a lot experiences I’ve made in my younger years, while ‘Synthian’ took all those memories, shook hands with it and created a new Universe.

‘The Calm Before The Storm’ could be described as being quintessential NINA, the title almost seems to be capturing your anxieties before the making of a new album, was it like that for you?

Yes, it’s like I knew what was coming before it happened. ‘The Calm Before The Storm’ is about feeling lost. Wanting to start over. ‘Synthian’ is definitely the beginning of new ‘uncharted’ ideas.

What is the creative dynamic with Laura Fares aka LAU when you are writing?

We usually listen to a beat (mostly by the incredibly talented Oscillian) and throw out some ideas. It’s usually a lot of “blah blah’s” and “bluh bluh’s” before words start to unfold 😉

We often take words from my poems and turn them into lyrics. I then start recording the idea. I feel like something magical happens when you first record a song.

It’s that fresh and undeniable emotional connection with a song you sometimes have; it can never be replicated. So we often stick with the original vocal takes.

You’re working with Oscillian and Richard X again, how do their methods differ for you that provide enough creative incentive while also being comfortable in their environment?

Working with Richard X is super inspiring. He’s so focussed and I’ve always been a fan of his well-known collaborations with ERASURE, GOLDFRAPP, PET SHOP BOYS and NEW ORDER etc. I have huge respect for him and his “Black Melody”. He works very fast and is very easy to work with. I’ve written ‘Unnoticed’ with him in his home studio in London.

With Oscillian, I feel like I’ve found a friend. We really get each other. It’s like we circle around the same Celestial sphere. So writing and recording ‘Synthian’, ‘The Wire’ and ‘The Distance’ in his home studio in Sweden was comfortable and familiar.

How did Ricky Wilde become interested in working with you? Are you pleased with the end result?

This is actually a very sweet story. I was at THE MIDNIGHT’s gig in London and Ricky’s friend Lee approached me and said “You’re NINA right. My friend Ricky is a producer and loves your music. I think you should get together and write songs”. That’s it! We met up for a writing session just a few days after our first encounter.

Ricky comes up with the most beautiful melodies and harmonies. I loved working with him. He’s humble and patient. I’m very proud of the two songs we’ve written together with LAU, ‘Runaway’ and ‘Gave Up On Us’. They’re very catchy and uplifting. I’d love to meet his sister Kim one day and tell her what a huge inspiration she’s been for me growing up.

The opening title song has a real widescreen atmosphere that sets the scene, what is the song about?

‘Synthian’ is a love note to my fans for being so incredibly supportive. I gave them the nickname a while back and mentioned to Oscillian that we should write a song about / for them.

‘Automatic Call’ is a great uptempo tune that has got a lot of positive reaction?

Yes, ‘Automatic Call’ has been a very popular track. I really enjoy performing it live. I like how upbeat it is while the lyrics are rather gloomy in contrary.

‘The Distance’ is quite an apt title in these strange times?

‘The Distance’ is about a long distance relationship and how true love can span miles and beyond. It has a more cinematic approach; heavily inspired by the likes of M83 and WOODKID. It’s a very personal song. A lot of people are being apart from their loved ones right now and can probably relate.

What are your own favourite songs on the album?

It’s impossible to choose! I love them equally. I will say that there are standout moments. ‘The Distance’ is clearly very romantic, while ‘Synthian’ has a joyous spirit to it.

‘The Wire’ touches a darker side. It’s about feeling disconnected from the world. Losing a sense of being human and having a deep desire for the human touch. I really enjoy the darker synthwave vibes.

You’ve opted to make a bonus instrumental version of the album available again like you did with ‘Sleepwalking’? Are they reworked or the backing tracks that you vocalised over?

They’re the original instrumentals without my vocals.

Do you feel aggrieved that some listeners want your music but not necessarily your vocals?

Well, it’s all part of my creativity. All aspects of the songs honour my musical cosmos. It’s a mood thing. Either way, you’re hearing me. I love instrumental music and am particularly proud of the producers I work with. So, it’s cool to shed light on the intricate details of their arrangements. There’s allot of teamwork going on.

You’ve continued your collaborations with other artists like FUTURECOP! and MOONRUNNER83, are there any more on the way you can tell us about? Is there less pressure for these productions or more?

I’m working with a few different producers and artists right now, all to be revealed soon. And I’ve recently started to collaborate with RADIO WOLF, who I became friends with while on tour with PARALLELS in 2018 and 2019. He’s a very talented producer, songwriter and musician and I’m so excited to share our creation with everyone soon. It’s very New Wave / Rock ’n’ Roll.

I’m always exploring new territories in music, I like thinking big and beyond. Collaborations are definitely something I really enjoy. I am also working on material that is very personal and individual. There may be a ‘lone wolf’ NINA record down the road. Anything is possible, that’s how I roll!

At this point in time, you are due to open for OLLIE WRIDE in London, surely you two are destined to duet together sometime in the future? 😉

How do you know we haven’t already? 😉

Ollie is great! I have so much respect for him. Truly a one of a kind artist and all around human being.

So has the lockdown made you more creative or more reflective? What are your hopes for the future?

It’s made me both! I’m making use of the time I have and being very productive. My heart goes out to everyone who is going through a tough time. I hope I can make people feel better through music and offer some kind of hope. Uncertainty is always scary, but we will prevail if we stick together in spirit. Until then, we have ‘The Distance’. We’ll make it through and it won’t break our hearts!


ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its sincerest thanks to NINA

‘Synthian’ is released by Aztec Records on 5th June 2020 in CD, magenta neon vinyl LP and digital formats, pre-order direct from https://ninasounduk.bandcamp.com/

NINA opens for OLLIE WRIDE at London Lafayette on Sunday 5th December 2021 – tickets available now from https://rockfeedback.seetickets.com/event/ollie-wride/lafayette/1467713

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Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
14th May 2020, updated 15th February 2021

NINA Automatic Call

While it appears to have been a comparatively quiet 2019 for NINA, she has been busy touring the US and Canada with PARALLELS as well as recording.

At the start of the year, there was a brand new song called ‘The Calm Before The Storm’ which was coincidentally released during one of the coldest wettest spells in England.

Then in the Autumn, she teamed up with FUTURECOP! for a collaboration entitled ‘Against The Tide’. But with the year almost up, the London-based Berliner has unleashed the vibrantly appealing magenta splash of ‘Automatic Call’.

Developing further her bridge between synthpop and synthwave, NINA said of her new creation: “’Automatic Call’ is about the challenges we encounter when going through a break up and how hard it is to let go and finally move on.”

Uplifting but melancholic, the song is the result of another collaboration with Oscillian who produced seven songs on NINA’s 2018 debut long player ‘Sleepwalking’. The producer was also responsible for the song’s ‘Grand Theft Auto’ inspired cityscape video.

“Oscillian filmed, directed and edited the video as well as producing the music” NINA said, “We were inspired by synthwave aesthetics, late night driving, highways, LED lights, and we used a vintage Dodge Challenger car in the video. As soon as we started to film, torrential rain started and didn’t stop all night. Luckily we did have cover and in the end, it all played in our favour, as the light reflecting on the puddles on the ground tied in really well with the overall feel of the video.”

But getting intimate with her romantic leading man provoked some unintended amusement as “there was a scene where I had to get really close to Tommy, the other actor in the video, and we just kept giggling. It was very hard to keep a straight face.”

While it appears to have been filmed is Los Angeles, the location of the video was actually a bit closer to home.

“We filmed ‘Automatic Call’ in Sweden over 2 days. We discovered Tommy, the actor in a club in Malmö when we played a show there and he looked like he just came out of an 80s movie” NINA remembered, “so we approached him there and then and asked him if he wanted to be part of my music video. He loved the idea right away, even though he didn’t have any previous acting experience, so he flew from his home in Finland just to do the shoot.”

‘Automatic Call’ comes from NINA’s upcoming second album ‘Synthian’ due sometime in 2020.


ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to NINA

‘Automatic Call’ is released as a digital single with a bundle of remixes, available now from https://ninasounduk.bandcamp.com/

NINA’s 2020 Calendar is available from http://www.ninasounduk.com/store/calendar

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Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
19th December 2019

NINA Sleepwalking

‘Sleepwalking’ is the long-awaited debut album from the classically trained German songstress NINA.

With a musical palette shaped by a love of QUEEN, DEPECHE MODE, DAVID BOWIE, ALPHAVILLE, KRAFTWERK, NENA, CHROMATICS and LADYHAWKE, it contains some of her most personal work yet; “I think it’s important to keep your work personal and evolve as an artist” she told ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK.

Since her second single ‘We Are The Wild Ones’ in 2013, Berlin-born songstress NINA has grown in profile and stature.

Support slots with ERASURE and DE/VISION followed in 2014 but it was her third single ‘My Mistake’ that became her breakthrough song. Beginning the long player, nocturnal warmth exudes from ‘Beyond Memory’, demonstrating how NINA’s own brand of pulsating electronic pop acts as a bridge between synthwave and synthpop.

With her vocals deliciously slicing the moonlit atmosphere with a superbly breathy chorus, ‘Beyond Memory’ is about past relationships. A close relative of the Mercedes-Benz endorsing ‘My Mistake’, ‘Beyond Memory’ more than makes up for its absence on the album.

Meanwhile, ‘Born To Live’ is embroiled in confidence with a soaring chorus recalling AVEC SANS, sweetened with a highly alluring almost spoken middle eight à la KID MOXIE, while the synth line recalls the rather obscure ‘There Goes the Cure’ by ONE DOVE.

Full of arpeggiators and pulsating synths, ‘Sleepwalking’ is a vibrant number that paces the mood to a gallop, with a delightful keyboard cascade finish. Bubbling electronics over a sparse intro lead into the nocturnal synth AOR of ‘It Kills Me’. With piano also entering the fray, it’s not unlike Toronto’s very own electronic pop combo PARALLELS.

The previously issued B-side ‘Purple Sun’ does what it says on the tin, is it a love letter to PRINCE or something else entirely? The layers of backing vocals might provide a clue…

The drive-friendly ‘Empire Of Love’ lifts the tempo again with a glorious whirring ULTRAVOX-styled synth solo to buoy up proceedings, but at the opposite end of the album’s colourful spectrum, ‘Diamonds In The Rough’ is a perfect Brat Pack movie ballad, while also emulating some of the best in Scandinavian pop overtures and allowing NINA’s soprano to shine. And although “everybody’s here, they’re having fun”, a forlorn NINA reflects on not fitting in… cut from a similar cloth, the cinematic Nordic pop of One Of Us’ is heartfelt, Fraulein Boldt’s musical catharsis about school bullying.

And when she is ‘Counting Stars’, the song utilises vintage synth sounds to the max, both rich and retro-futuristic with “a mission on our own” like classic PET SHOP BOYS. ‘Your Truth’ is more compelling neon-lit synth AOR, with another rousing chorus and some guitar inflections combining with those vintage love theme Emulator voices as she confirms “I’ll be there for you”.

For a fabulously optimistic conclusion to the album, ‘80s Girl’ comes beaming over like the missing theme song from the film ‘Mannequin’. With big Simmons drums, sampled orchestra stabs and driving synthbass triplets, it is however delivered with subtlety and restraint so that it doesn’t turn into a HEART or STARSHIP pastiche.

Dedicated to her mother, it’s great song that sums up the best in NINA. And in a telling message to everyone, she declares “don’t let the past hold you back”.

Yes, it all does sound like a John Hughes film soundtrack but that’s not a bad thing. A highly enjoyable musical journey that’s strong on melody, Richard X, Oscillian and Sunglasses Kid have each done a very good job working with NINA to produce a cohesive body of work.

A positive album for outsiders and individuals, NINA is a songstress who speaks for the lonely and disenchanted without going all Emo. It’s been many years in the making, but NINA’s ‘Sleepwalking’ has been well worth the wait.


Special thanks to Laura Fares at Aztec Records

‘Sleepwalking’ is released by Aztec Records, available as a download from https://ninasounduk.bandcamp.com/album/sleepwalking-album

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Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photos by Joakim Reimer
16th March 2018, updated 20th March 2020

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