He’s had more than ten years of experience in the upper echelons of the electronic music scene, is regularly applauded and acclaimed for his productions by veterans like Carl Cox, Luciano and Roger Sanchez, and he founded and runs a well-respected label in his spare time. We are talking about Denmark’s Noir, aka René Kristensen. Noir will treat us to a mixtape soon, but first we wanted to have a tête-à-tête with this charming man. So we discussed the finer things in life, like facial hair, David Bowie and grocery shopping.
When was the last time you fully shaved your facial hair?
Must have been something like four years ago. I am actually thinking about doing it again these days. I am tired of having to worry about my hair these days, don’t ask why. I might do it again soon.
Do you have a personal hero?
Spiderman was my hero when I was a kid and I still have a weakness for the cartoons, the movies and shit. I like the whole Marvel universe. I like fiction. My real time hero is David Bowie because of the way he changed the music industry and inspired almost every other artists since his big success in the 70s.
Watch a football match or play video games?
I love football, but don’t play video games that often. My favourite team is FC Barcelona. I have been following that team since I was a kid because of the danish player Michael Laudrup. I follow Spanish, English, Italian, German, Holland and French leagues the most. Don’t really care about Danish football, don’t have a favourite Danish team even though I am from Denmark.
What is the best decision you’ve taken in your life?
Quitting my daytime job back in early 2000s to focus 100% on my passion: THE MUSIC.
And the worst?
Not having the guts to start out a music career earlier, not taking any musical training when I was a kid. I had to learn it all by being with musicians and being self taught which took me a couple of years before I felt comfortable enough to write my own music.
How is the electronic music scene in Denmark?
Its hard for me to say cause I am never playing in my own country and I never go out here as I am not home during the weekends because of touring. But I think its suffering from the EDM takeover. From people choosing music from what radio, tv and other media is supporting rather than finding their own path and taste.
This summer you had your first residency in Ibiza at Defected. How was that?
I have been enjoying it. Even though everybody is talking about Ibiza suffering this year, I have been fortunate to play at venues that were really good for the parties I played. Defected is a big and strong brand and the parties they throw are usually really good and attracting.
What is your most memorable performance?
The Strafwerk parties have a special place in my heart and are rated at the top alongside special events in Greece, Brazil, France, UK (London/Leeds), Berlin, San Diego, Holland (Whoosah) and the list goes on. There are special places in the world where I have really felt the LOVE and I cant honestly pick the favourite one. The biggest FAILS will go back to the beginning of my dj carreer playing for crowds in Denmark that didn’t understand the music at all.
Who would be your most favourite artist that doesn’t release on one of your three labels?
I have always been a big fan of Gui Boratto and still play tracks from his first album from time to time. Plus his new album is awesome too.
Next to NOIR you also release music under the name Innakat. Where does this name come from and how is this different from NOIR?
Innakat is supposed to be more tracky, more groove based and less about the vocals, hooks, melodies. The only release I had so far is on Coyu’s Suara label and it was done with his label in mind. I am a dog-person, he is a cat-lover. He has asked me for tracks for Suara for quite some time, so when I finally did one for him I felt like he brought out the “Inner Cat” from the dog person. Simple as that.
You have a weekend off. No producing, no gigs, no working on the label, what do you do?
Produce music anyway…. Haha! But seriously, I visit friends and family. Usually my weekends off are scheduled around birthdays and family stuff. I relax watching football games, movies, run, work out, long walks, grocery shopping (believe it or not).
In a previous interview you talk about dreaming to do a full album release, a James Blake-like album. I don’t think a lot of people would make that comparison, can you explain?
I am pretty diverse in music taste and to do an album I would do “songs”rather than tracks. It would probably be a lot of four-to-the-floor based stuff but also quite experimental electronica. I am working on it…. I cant tell when its gonna be released as it’s work on/off on those tracks. But when the time is right there will be ten to twelve songs.
What would be the first electronic record you would like your children to hear?
Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence
The perfect pop record by my favourite band. Been a fan since I was 14.
What does Straf_werk (As in the organization) mean to you?
Good times, good and passionate people, friends, professional, well-organised and great quality.
On ADE you can see NOIR twice in our capital. The first event you can catch him spinning is ADE Deephouse Special by Pleinvrees & Straf_Werk. The day after that the ‘Defected in the House ADE’ party @ Club Air will kick off. Both events are to keep an eye on. More Noir at Deep House Amsterdam soon!