New release from Cristian Vogel's live-to-tape alias 'NEL'

Vogel first came to prominence in the techno scene when he issued two EPs on Dave Clarke's Magnetic North Records label in 1994. After further solo EPs and collaborations with emerging UK techno artists such as Neil Landstrumm and Dave Tarrida, Vogel released his debut full-length, Beginning to Understand, in 1994 on Mille Plateaux, and subsequently became the first UK techno artist to be signed to Berlin's Tresor Records. He also started the vinyl only label ‘Mosquito’ with Si Begg, on which he released both his own music and other artists', and is considered to be one of the main founders of the No-Future collective that was active in Brighton during the mid-nineties. Alongside Jamie Lidell, he formed the group Super Collider, who released two albums and Cristian also sang and played guitar in his band project Night of the Brain, whilst continuing to maintain a presence on the underground techno scene. 

Over a 20-year career, Vogel has been sought after as a remixer and album producer, having worked with artists such as Radiohead, Maxïmo Park, Chicks on Speed, and Thom Yorke. With further studio albums released on Novamute in the late noughties and albums for Sub Rosa, his most recent run of ‘techno’ productions culminated in a trilogy of long-players for Shitkatapult, ending with ‘The Assistenz’ in 2016. 

His NEL project (NeverEngine Labs) was launched at the beginning of 2018 on EPMMusic, which has seen Cristian develop a different studio process to his album work and recent sound design compositions. While work under his own name will continue to explore new stylistic and experimental territories, the NEL tracks bear a closer resemblance to his earlier production style. The new pen name will be used for studio sessions created in a hands on, live-to-tape process primarily using Modular synths. “The sound is characterized by analog rhythms, textures and beats with an improvised flow.”

This spirit of improvisation and raw rhythms are summed up perfectly in his recent release ‘Jelly Vision EP.’ 4 tracks of live and eclectic recordings from Vogel’s studio, rich in rough, uncut textures, rhythms and soundscapes. The release skillfully balances spontaneity with coherent arrangements, clever sound design, and undeniable infectious grooves. Vogel proves with his ‘NEL’ alias that going back to basics is not only about drawing from the past, but is equally about the limitless creative potential of the future.

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