Behind The Decks: Niles Cooper
Nielr Kroer, known to most as Niles Cooper is a DJ and producer from Aalborg, Denmark. He has made a name for himself in the underground house scene, by releasing an array of stylistic sounds. Niles has always made an effort to make a living out of music, composing classical composition and selling works for commercials and documentaries. It was only recently that Niles made his solo-project full- time, making his dream come true by locking himself into a studio spending almost 8 hours a day for few years. His breakthrough has seen a few tracks be uploaded onto popular youtube channels like SLAV, 0303ESAR030, ROK TORKAR AND HOUSEUM. We caught up with Niles to discuss; his musical inspirations, his latest releases and what lies ahead in the future.
Within your music I can hear an array of different sounds, who are the artists who most inspire your sound?
Yeah absolutely, I think first and foremost my inspiration comes from the late 80’s and early to mid 90’s house music. So guys like Larry Heard, Frankie Knuckles, Kerri Chandler, Glenn Underground, Boo Williams, Ron Trent etc. But also some of the japanese pioneers like Shinichiro Yokota and Soichi Terada. Aside from those direct house music influences I think funk and disco have also played a big role in my sound, and oldschool Hip hop as well.
Who or what define your stylistic choices?
I think the piano is at the foundation of my production, which serves to always convey a certain feeling in a track. I always sit down at the piano as the first thing when I write a track, it doesn’t necessarily have to feature the actual piano sound, but laying out the chords of the track on the piano tells me if the songs portrays the feeling I had in mind when I thought of the track. So in that sense, my defining stylistic choice is for my tracks to always convey a certain emotion or an idea, and to make that happen, I go to the piano. Aside from that, I spent a lot of time on the drums, you got to have groovy drums for house music! So getting that dusty, raw vibe on the drums I think is also one of my defining sounds.
What other instruments do you use for your production? Are you more into the analogue sound or digital instead?
Yeah I definitely prefer the analogue sound. Not just because it usually sounds better, but also because it’s a lot more fun. Toying around with hardware synths is so much more absorbing than fiddling around with a virtual synth with a mouse. I use a Korg Triton Extreme 88 a lot in my productions. It has all seven octaves with weighted keys, so it’s an absolute bliss to play, and on top of that it has such a warm, full sound. A lot of my pads, strings and piano sounds come from there. For the basses I pretty much always use my Moog Sub 37 or my Korg MS-20, as well as for the leads.
In your EP's the words “feel-feelings” are always mentioned? Why?
Haha, yeah – that goes together with my main emphasis on writing music, I’m always focusing on a certain emotion when composing my tracks. It can be sad or happy, melancholic or exuberant, at the core of the track is always that emotion – or several – that made it come to life, it can be very cathartic making these tracks.
Tell us about the new music video for “U make me feel”.
It was the idea of the label actually, Planet Gwer Records. They were in contact with a talented director, Julia Chapot, and so they decided to add a music video with the A1 of the record. I didn’t have much to do with the video to be honest, it was all Julia Chapot and her team, shout-out to you guys!
Let’s talk about your latest wax release on your own imprint PALE SPRINGS RECORDS is out! How excited were you for this? I mean huge footstep forward for you.
Yeah I was super excited for that record to finally be released. It feels really cool having no middle man between you and the listener. That’s why it was very important for me to do everything myself on that release, from the music, to the mixing to the graphics. It has been a great experience and I owe so much love to anyone who has supported!
Do you have any plans for the future?
Right now I’m taking a year off from DJ’ing, while I’m focusing on school and other projects, so no shows for me now, but already have quite a few offers lined up for next summer. I’m still working my ass off in the studio though, so I have a couple of releases coming up. I have a record that we just sent for pressing on one of my favourite Australian labels, should be out before the years is out. And on top of that I have the next release on Pale Springs Records waiting to come out, so super excited for that as well!
Photo Credit: Resident Advisor