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28.09.2018 | Words by: Bram Barentsen
Photo by: Elif Demiroglu

While the Summer sun disappears, and the dripping rain greets the Autumn, we take a moment to learn about classical pianist Beste Aydin who made her transition to DJ and producer. Her clattering mysterious sound stands out through her intense up-tempo creations, and it beautifully embraces dark spaces. This Berlin-based Turkish artist goes by the moniker Nene H..

After releasing her dark and twisted EP Metacommunication on Bedouin Records in June 2017, she has been frequently playing live and DJ sets all around Berlin’s the better known clubs. This then again led to regularly bringing her sound outside Germany. We asked Nene H. about classical music, her politically loaded Protest EP (a collaborative project with Kaltès), and the relationship between her music and politics.

Q: Your latest track ГЕТТО  just appeared online. It’s part of the collaboration EP DBA039.5 which will be released on Don’t Be Afraid in November. Can you talk a little bit about the EP?

A: I like getting into the sound character of a label and make something with it. It’s like a workout for me, and a bit like; what would Nene do if she would go this way, what would she sound like? Don’t Be Afraid is very hard to define and I find the label very special. When Benji asked for some tracks, I sent him a few, and he picked this one for the EP. I’m happy about his decision.

Q: What did you want to express with ГЕТТО?

A: This sick weird happy feeling that I had when I was in Moscow. 

Q: Can you take us with you into your production process?

A: Well, I most of the times I already know what I want to do before I start. I have a certain sound and plan in mind. But sometimes during the process it evolves and becomes something else. For instance, it doesn’t work for me if I try to produce the tracks from my live set. My live set is completely different to what I produce. And I realized the mixes I do are also quite different from how I DJ.

Q: You started with music by playing the piano as a classical musician. How did you make the transition to producing intense up-tempo electronic music?

A: It’s just that when you are freed from the rules and get all this freedom at once, you just want to go all the way, try everything out. I think this happened when I left classical music. I have lots of other plans and projects in mind and am hoping to bring them all out in the future.

Q: Do you consider producing electronic music as a new way to disclose your creativity?

A: For me personally, it works better this way than playing piano. It feels like a more honest way to me, but playing an instrument on a professional level also has very finely defined creativity in it. It needs discipline and I use my creative mind and discipline for anything I do so I wasn’t any different when I made classical music, everything just makes more sense like this.

Q: Is playing piano still a part of your daily life?

A: Let’s say weekly. We have a project coming up with Albert van Abbe, where I will get to play more, I am very excited for it. 

Q: The vocals on your Protest EP aren’t in any form close to a melody. The screaming in Resist really sounds like you’re fed up with something. Can you share your thoughts behind the project?

A: This is a feminist EP. You can’t make something with Kaltès and not make a feminist protest out of it. 

Q: Do you feel like there’s a political and emotional influence within your productions and dj sets?

A: When I produce, I wouldn’t say it’s political, making music is above all that. I think music can be used as a political tool but not the other way around really. At least not for me. You would need lyrics for a clear political statement. Which would be also questionable since I’m approaching music as a purist and a minimalist. 

Q: What do you play when you feel like you protesting?

A: Punk. 

Q: Your experimental sound sometimes even seems to have some traces of punk or punk influenced EBM. Recently, people have been speaking of an EBM comeback. What are your thoughts on this?

A: To me it is love and respect to EBM and punk. It was never really gone, maybe it’s just more people are discovering it like new again.

Q: What impact does Berlin have on you?

A: So much, I wouldn’t know where to start. It’s changing, though. Or maybe we are. Or both.

Q: It is your second time playing De School. How did you experience your first time in the basement?

A: Honestly, it is one of my favourite clubs already. I played one of my more experimental techno sets and it worked really well. After I played I stayed in the club for a very long time.

Q: Last time you played a live set, this time you will be djing. Would you say your sound as a dj is much different from your sound as a live artist?

A: It will be a little different yes. But in a way it’s still me. I am very glad everyone lets me do what I do and lets me try out new things. On the other hand, I am also not that much into experimenting that I would play an ambient set on a techno floor. I deliver what they want, but I do it my way. It makes me very happy when the people on the dance floor are happy.

Nene H. is playing the basement on Saturday September 29th. Identified Patient and Mark Knekelhuis will be joining her. More info and tickets here.

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