Global Underground's long-running series returns, with this German producer at the helm for volume 10
Back in the year 2000, Global Underground, which had made its name with huge-selling mix albums by big names like Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, John Digweed and Danny Tenaglia, launched a new series called Nubreed. The idea was to give more up-and-coming DJs the chance to shine on a well-established platform, much as fabric's long-running series does today.
It worked - so much so that when you look at the list of names involved in those early Nubreed releases, it's actually quite hard to remember a time when they could be classed as 'up-and-comers'. Surely the likes of Lee Burridge, Sander Kleinenberg, Danny Howells and Steve Lawler have always been around... haven't they?
Last year saw the release of the first Nubreed album in seven years, which was helmed by Habischmann - whose career certainly doesn't seem to have suffered any for it since! And now the latest selector picked for the series is Oliver Schories, the Bremen-based German DJ/producer whose reputation in progressive house circles has been steadily growing since around the turn of the current decade.
That's an important point to make, because with four artist albums under his belt so far, Schories can hardly be called a newcomer. But then neither could Satoshi Tomiie when he put together the sixth installment back in 2002. Regardless of how prolific he may be in the studio, Schories is still quite some way from 'household name' status - but that, of course, could be about to change.
With the album in stores this Friday (27 October), we figured we'd best grab the man for a quick chat, before he's just too damn busy to talk to us...
Congratulations on being selected for the Nubreed series! Given the series' track record, that must feel like quite an honour?
"Thank you very much! It indeed is. If you look back on the long history of the label and its different series, this is really something special for me."
How did you approach making the album: is it a straight-up reflection of what you'd play in a club, or did you want to try something a bit different?
"I went through my playlists of the last five years and made a list of all the favorites. Then GU tried to license as much as possible, and out of that I tried to make some mixes which make sense."
Can you talk us through the two mixes, in terms of mood, key tracks and so on?
"I’d say I tried to take the ’classic’ 2-CD approach: the first one is a little bit more laidbck, while the second takes up the tempo and goes a bit more in the tech-house direction. It’s hard to name key tracks as they are basically all key tracks for me. All of these have a special story for me, a lot of them have been played for years in my sets around the world."
The press release for the album says you're now doing fewer live shows and concentrating on DJing… what's the reasoning behind that?
"When I started I was exclusively playing live for the first two or three years, and I got kind of bored of it after that time. So for the last years I am only playing live for special occasions, but then it’s twice as much fun as everything else. Playing live just doesn’t allow all the flexibility you have as a DJ, so that's what I'm concentrating on right now, but next year I will do a number of totally new live shows. Really looking forward to it."
With that in mind… we increasingly see 'mix' albums that are just a collection of the artist's latest productions. How do you feel about that?
"I think it’s more important that the music is good and the mixes make sense in a way, rather than who made the music. Nevertheless, I always try not to use mixes as a showcase for my latest productions. When I play a DJ set I very often don’t use a single track from myself."
Speaking of your own music... with four albums and 20-30 singles under your belt so far, you're not really all that 'nu' at all! What have been some of your proudest achievements so far?
"It’s always a defintion of whom you are 'nu' to. In the UK for instance, where GU is based, I’d say I’m quite new even after all these years. If you look at the scene you will see that a large number of artists are only known (and successful) in certain areas. It doesn’t happen very often that you are a real global player who is known and understood literally around the world.
"Being proud about making music is probably not the right phrasing. I think you can be proud if you save someone else's life! But I am really happy how everything went and goes - and that I can live from what I like to do most, music."
...and what, if anything, might you do differently, knowing what you know now?
"There is not really something I regret. Everything was right at its time. Of course, in retrospect you would probably do everything different but I don’t play these mind games. What was, was; what is, is."
You also run your own label, SOSO... what's going on there at the moment?
"We constantly try to release good music. We just had catalogue number 60 from Peter Makto & Gregory S from Budapest, and are very happy how everything has developed. It’s really difficult these days to get a small label to be even halfway profitable - people seem to look way more for what the bigger labels and names are releasing."
Finally, what else have you got going on right now that iDJ readers need to know about?
"My new single Fakir will be out 17 November, and then my new studio album should be coming in early March 2018."
Words: Russell Deeks
Nubreed #10: Oliver Schories is out on Global Underground on 27 October