Nagazaki: a patchwork of influences

Nagazaki stays true to the underground of industrial, with his new E.P. ‘Nebula’ on Heresy. This multitalent integrates a patchwork of influences into his music and design. Let’s see what’s what and touch base with Matt!

Nagazaki

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself

Hi! My name is Mathieu (Matt for short). I was born in 1999 on October 7th. I’m adj/producer based in Nantes, France. I’m producing since 2016, but it became more serious in 2019. I’m influenced by a lot of Drum and Bass, Breackore / IDM and Dubstep. Furthermore, I love to BBQ, some Jagermeister every now and then, Cyberpunk 2077, wearing XXXL clothes and the winter season! 

2. How did you get into hardcore?

If i remember correctly, I was in high school back in ’15 and some older dudes were listening to tracks from Angerfist.At that time I was fully emerged into Big Room / Trap music / Dubstep, but I was curious about that strange music genre. Way more brutal than what I’d heard. It took me some time, but i finally dove head first into hardcore musicand all its subgenres.

3. And Heresy/TTM?

It was spring 2020 and at that time I knew Iridium was in contact with Igneon System. They pushed me to send him some demos. I won’t lie; I was a bit anxious, but Davy seemed to enjoy my productions. He asked me for 2 fresh tracks for Heresy Disciples (‘Vanished Dream’ and ‘I Died Twice’). One year later in 2021, Promosent me a message,offering me to join The Third Movement and Heresy. I obviously said yes! I’m really proud of this achievement, being on the same labels as artists that influenced me and made me love industrial hardcore. That’s priceless.

4. (Graphic) design seems to play a bit part in your presentation/online persona. How so?

I’ve always been fascinated by CGI/3D, but also by graphic design in general. When we launched Prototypes Records with Iridium, we wanted to bring fresh visuals with a futuristic feel. So I studied 3D design through many hours of YouTube tutorials (as it was lockdown, it was the perfect time). I think today, graphic content is one of the things you need to have as an artist, it defines your identity. I try to create attention-grabbing designs, because I know that part of the promotional work is based on that.

By the way, I’d like to salute the work of Designificance, Art Against Hate, URRU, Materiarts. They’ve done some of the most beautiful release covers in the entire scene. I get a lot of inspiration from their work.

5. What’s a typical Nagazaki track? 

At least 10 different hardcore kicks, some heavy snares, drum loops, amen breaks of course (haha), samples (lots of samples), vocals, melodies and lots of background FX (like sweeps and glitches).  And finally a bit too much distortion!Actually, my tracks are quite basic in terms of elements, I try to do ‘complex’ things with simple elements. I could define my music as a ‘patchwork of influences’.

6. Recently you dropped an EP with Djipe, tell us something about this project.

It’s always a pleasure to work with DJIPE. Jasper first sent me a preview of ‘Call Me Red’ and I really liked it. I decided to work on something similar with ‘No Limbs to Spare’ and I told him it would be cool to swap projects to work together on a 2 track EP. Spare Limbs was born! What motivated us, was to break free from our names and create something new and different with a lots of influences. New music (not so) soon, stay tuned! 🙂

7. You have very diverse productions, ranging from breakcore to industrial. Is this a reflection of your personality?

Let’s just say I like chaos! My music represents me more or less, it’s a way to express emotions in a cathartic and violent way through music. Let me just state that I feel perfectly sane, but this still defines me. I mean, like my music at times, I can be melancolic, hyperactive or totally disorderly.

8. Take us along on your production sessions…

Most of the time I start by making kicks. I have a fair bit of time to kicks so I don’t spend hours on them. Then I look for interesting voice samples, that describe something or tell a story. These voices will define the general atmosphere. Then I look for one or more samples to start building the introduction. As I said earlier, I use about 10 different kicks per track to add a lot of variation. Sometimes the result sounds a bit messy, but that’s the general idea. I often start with simple 4×4 patterns, which I enhance with kick variations, amen breaks and glitches. The most complicated part is often the search for samples, involving the discovery of new music and new artists. This might take several hours.

9. What’s your favourite tracks (top 5)?

Without any particular order, I’d say : 

The Satan – Psycho

DJIPE – City of Ash

Zerberuz – No Games

Void Settler – Mutoscope

Stellabee – The Fastest Love Song

10. Who are your heroes?

Heroes is a little too heavy, but the most inspiring and important figures in the scene for me are The Outside Agency. For everything they brought to Hardcore and because, year after year, they manage to stay on top from a creative and technical point of view! In a more creative/freeform way, I would say Djipe. His culture and openness towards music are incredible, I would like to have 1% of his musical knowledge.

11. Where is hardcore music going?

Good question. Actually, I don’t know, I think it’s time to look at what has been done and try to get inspired as much as possible to move forward. I don’t follow trends much, from the little I hear, from my point of view, I feel like most of what we hear is kind of copy paste. Everyone would benefit from being more original. Still, I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

12. France has always been big on industrial hardcore (Manu, Laurent Ho, Hardcoholics, Radium). Does it still live up to this?

A big yes! From the point of view of an industrial hardcore producer, I think that the French are always up to the task! The new generation like Iridium, Frenesys, Berzärk, D-Srupt are perfect examples! All these young artists have their own style and try to improve every release. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on big stages or more often on the line ups (boos us )

13. Of which of your track are you most proud?

I have several. ‘Shadow Monster Man’, because I went too far in term of variations, pattern edition and distortion. I think it’s probably the wildest track I’ve done.

‘Flesh & Chrome’, because it’s maybe the most representative track of what Nagazaki is.  Lots of breaks and kick variations, crazy patterns, Cyberpunk 2077 vocals, with a melancholic vibe at the same time. And UNIT 00 is the perfect example of what I call ‘patchwork of influences’. There are 3 different music samples in this one, accompanied by vocals from Neon Genesis Evangelion. I could name a few more like ‘Promised Land’ or ‘Vanished Dream’, but I think that if I had to choose 3 of my tracks to present Nagazaki it would be these ones.

14. Who would you like to work with?

To create hardcore, I would say Igneon System, I:Gor and N-Vitral. I think these 3 artists know how to make bangers for the dancefloor and know how to make people dance. To experiment, I would like to work with Ruby My Dear, Stellabee and Void Settler. I get a kick out of every time I listen to their music and would really like to learn from them and work on a project together. Maybe in the future, who knows? 

15.  What do you listen to, besides core?

Lots of different things! Dubstep, lo-fi, hardwave, pop music, electro, beatbox, shoegaze, future funk, a little bit of metal, IDM/Braindance, Hyperpop, noise, and even some rap. KYB, KFC Murder Chicks, Skeler, Loneliness, Inkie, While She Sleeps, Kekra, 100gecs and many more… There’s so much interesting music outside of hardcore.

16. What’s your dream?

I don’t think it’s out of reach to day I’d like to be able to make a decent living from music and design, and sharing my passion on stage would be my ultimate goal!

Check all Nagazaki’s tracks on TTM / Heresy: