Cern ‘Nostromo’ interview


Cern is readying to launch the deep space probe in the shape of the Nostromo ep in a week on Renegade, so we caught up.

DB: You have a take on ‘future funk’, the late 90s vibe but it is ALWAYS your own.

C: Yeah, thanks, that’s pretty much where I’m coming from. What I try and bring is music that is organic and has vibe. I do try and break the old-school mould often but, for better or worse, my love for that sound always shines through.

DB: What did you want to assert overall with the Nostromo?

C: I really wanted to make an EP that I could be proud of sitting next to the rest of the Renegade Hardware back catalogue. I have huge respect for the music that has come through the label and much of it has shaped who I am as a producer today. Being able to put an EP out with Hardware has been a long time dream of mine, so the quality of the music was something I was really focussed on. I wanted to bring a cohesive and honest collection of music to the table while also keeping each track unique in its own right.

DB: What’s a tune you’d isolate and talk us through?

C: OK, the final track on the EP ‘When the Time Comes’. It’s actually an older tune, one of the last ones that Jonny wrote before he passed away. This was back when Cern was the two of us, so a good five years at least. I managed to save a few of his projects and this one was something I have been wanting to complete for a while. When I was putting together the EP I thought it might be a fitting tune to go with the rest. It’s a bit of a different direction for RHW to take, so I really appreciate the opportunity to get it out there.

All I really did was grit it up a bit and add a few layers to fill it out. The vibe was already laid down by Jonny, totally musical and rolling, which I think still stands the test of the time it has taken to see the light of day.

DB: You’re based in London, how are you finding the live scene? Lots of changes in recent years.

C: Yeah losing venues like that which are a huge part of the culture can change the musical landscape a lot. Losing Cable seemed to happen quite abruptly and was such a shame. It was a wicked venue and a real treat to play at. I managed to just get in at the last minute with The End. That place was like the mecca or something. One of my favourite places to play ever I think. I played the last Renegade Hardware night they had there, and got to play the last set, which will always remain in one of my top five life moments.

DB: What about playing abroad, what places are cool for you?

C: One highlight would have to be this festival in Schlanders in Northern Italy – it was way up in the mountains in a little old town. Absolutely stunning scenery and a great open air party. Outlook this year was crazy too. Everything you hear about that festival is true, anyone that has been will agree, and that’s why more people go back every year. I can’t wait to get out there again next summer.

DB: What D&B lights your fire these days? & got some Killers In The Crates?

C: There’s new influences creeping in from everywhere. I’m feeling things across the spectrum as well. Stray is killing me at the moment: the guy is a musical genius and every tune he does is different and somehow more interesting than the last. His latest EP for Exit is nothing short of amazing and his collab with Frederic Robinson ‘Bloom’ is so lush.

NickBee is writing some great heavy stuff too: loving his drums.

The whole Scope LP on Horo is a great exploration into what you can do at 170/85 that’s not D&B as we know it – that would be my top album/compilation of the year so far. And the comeback of 31 Records has been worth the wait. The first Overlook 12 is deep! I’m looking forward to doing some more work with him. Jubei’s album looks to be a killer and so does Klute’s too.

Killers in the Crates:
1/Cern – Conway/TBC
2/Quadrant, Kid Hops & Iris – Convergence/Dispatch
3/Cern – Nostromo/Renegade Hardware
4/Cern & Overlook – Peaks/Warm Communications
5/Frederic Robinson – Bloom feat. Stray/BMT Music

DB: Lastly on the ‘Nostromo’ dash Alien tip, what’s some facehuggingly killer films you like?

C: ‘Solaris’ with George Clooney has to be one of my alltime favourites. Almost untouchable in that genre! Prometheus was sick. Anything by Scorsese or Hitchcock. I’m a sucker for Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

The best movie I have seen recently though would have to be ‘Enter the Void’ which was written & directed by Gaspar Noé and set in Tokyo. So original and mind-bending, it took me a while to come down from it.

DB: What’s a tune in your head right now, as we speak.

C: ‘Little Red Rooster’

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