ADSR Mix 016: Nathan Hall

June. 20. 2016

ADSR Mix 016 by Nathan Hall based in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada.

Hello and welcome to another edition of the ADSR mix series.  This week we hand over mix duties to a western Canadian selector by the name of Nathan Hall.  Rock climber, mountaineer, avid traveller and outdoor enthusiast, Nathan’s unique life experiences come together to form a very special musical perspective.  And the hour long mix he’s left for us certainly delivers, drawing in elements of world electronica, downtempo, house and rhythms from far away lands.  ALSO if you happen to find yourself in Vancouver this coming Wednesday June 22nd, make your way to the ANZA club to catch the man live… oh but don’t forget your passport ;)

Hey Nathan, whats happening at the moment?
Hello, summer is a busy and often hectic time for me, work pretty much takes over as the main focus. Otherwise, climbing and training as much as I have energy for, and the remaining free time I have is for music, digging and searching for inspiring tracks and artists and most recently trying to learn how to use Ableton. 

How do you find living outside the city shapes you creatively?
Since I moved to Squamish I’ve noticed a very positive shift. I realized in the city I felt a constant pressure that was related to the inexorable clutter of movement and distraction.  I feel more at peace being so close to the forest, the rivers and the rock. Maybe this is the reason so many artists rent out peaceful cabins or go on retreat to write and be inspired. 

What are three sources of everyday inspiration?
Nature is number one, especially the forest around here, its magic. A simple walk into the forest is very rejuvenating.  Everyday people doing good things is very inspiring as well, especially those pursuing their art or craft with abandon. And of course music, and it’s power, maybe sound in general. I’m super auditory, so I feel like a lot of my experiences are sonically focused.

Nathan Hall rock climbing in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada.

Talk to us about your experience as a rock climber.
I’ve been climbing for almost 10 years now, and very dedicated for the past 5 or so. Personally, I need a physical outlet and climbing is very demanding on the body. Moving to Squamish has meant extremely quick access to the things I love most. There’s many lifetimes of climbing here. 

At the moment I’m trying to push myself to climb as hard as I can, so it means a lot of failing, its very humbling. 

How has climbing shaped you as a human?  How does it affect you creatively?
Although I do my best not to define or label myself as solely a climber, I think climbing and all that pertains to the climbing lifestyle has had a huge impact on who I am currently. Committing to one thing whole heartedly for an extended period of time was never easy for me, or frankly very interesting until I got hooked on climbing. The mind body connection required to climb at a good level is next level compared to anything else I’ve ever tried. You also end up seeing so many amazing places worldwide and experience other cultures, all while travelling to do what you love, I can’t think of anything better at this point in my life. I think of the aforementioned things combined have really shaped my current sound, deep, multicultural, and I hope, mindful.  

Where have you come from musically and where are you heading?
I started out in high school, saved some money for tech 12’s. I was really into hard house and techno at the time. When I moved to Vancouver (the day after I graduated high school) I got a few gigs here and there but nothing major. I was so psyched on the music though, and decided to start producing and subsequently enrolled in a 2 year recording arts program. Never made it through, but learned a lot and came out with some stuff I was pretty proud of. After some time the motivation fizzled out, the promoters were way more concerned with how many tickets you could sell, and I wasn’t much good at that. Fast forward almost 10 years and the motivation is back, but my tastes have slowed significantly. I’m really stoked on the music I’m immersed in now, and loving playing the odd gig here and there. Now I’m trying to get a hold of the production side again, it feels like a big learning curve but I’m looking forward to putting some ideas into tracks.  

What does balance mean to you?  How to you achieve balance in something like a DJ mix?
Hard to say, but to me balance is a feeling, probably of contentment. Thats when you’ve achieved balance in life, when the roller coaster starts to level out and things feel smooth… at least for a time, its a very tricky thing to achieve. In a Dj mix, personally I like quite the opposite, the ups and downs. Even within the same style I think its important to take the listener on a bit of a journey through highs and lows, and to impose some silence even, some quiet periods to let them take a minute and reflect. 

Talk to us about the mix you have for us.
The tempo is slow, it’s deep 4/4, it’s multicultural and I’m very pleased with it, which is not easy! I feel like it has a nice progression and is quite eclectic.  I’ve listened to it a lot, because in the end its personal but I really hope people enjoy it. It was also recorded live in one shot. 

This coming Wednesday you’ll be playing at the ANZA alongside a lineup of fellow Saskatchewan selectors.  What can we expect?
Adam (Atom LK) and I go way back to high school so Im really psyched to be doing this with him. We have a great chemistry and a good connection with music of all styles so we really want to display that. Adam has an amazing knack for unearthing a wealth of electronica gems and he’s opened my eyes to a lot of great music over the years so I’m really looking forward to hearing him play in that style. As for me, I’ve got some really quirky tunes with a South American flavour, some dark and psychedelic slow techno and a bunch of other deepness. I don’t know Chris too well, but from what I’ve heard in our little jams he will round the night out perfectly. In the end, we want people to come and hear something maybe the’ve never heard before, to add a little spice.