It's difficult to think of many producers whose work is likely to crop up in sets from DJs as widely varied as Anja Schneider to Carl Cox, Miss Kitten to Hernan Cattaneo; in boxes scattered across the globe with the likes of Valentino Kanzyani and Dubfire, as well as all over the UK via Steve Lawler and Smokin Jo. In fact you'd do well to name check just one Nicole Moudaber. With tracks from the last 2 years already signed to labels as diverse as Azuli and Yellow Tail, VIVa Music and Plastic City and a Carl Cox Global Radio, John Digweed Transitions guestmix under her belt in 2009 there isn't any other way but up for this relatively new kid on the production block.
In fact up until a few years ago, Nicole Moudaber was one of the biggest and most well respected promoters on the scene instead, with a monthly night at London's Turnmills and a day-job at the helm of SouthEast Recordings home to T-Total, Christian Hornbostel and Tom Stephan amongst others.
But her story began in her homeland of Lebanon where Nicole became the first person to bring dance music to Beirut and provide big name DJs with a taste of the Middle East. After the war in 1996 her "Trashy Renaissance" party in Beirut was the first rave event of its kind and prompted her to bring out some DJs including Paul Van Dyk and Anthony Pappa for their first taste of the Middle East. Albeit to the surprise of the Lebanese partygoers, who couldn't understand why people were still using vinyl considering the war had ended! Hosting an unforgettable party between a bombed out mosque and a church, Nicole proved that dance music had the power to unite, an ideology that's become all the more relevant throughout the years as the region faces more ethnic and religious strife.
"I'm a creative, and I love to express this through all aspects of my environment - sound, vision, everything. Music is one element of what I do, its part of a wider, positive culture that I love, and I've seen firsthand in Lebanon that it has a unifying power to bring different people together - that's probably the greatest legacy of acid house".
The transition from promoter to producer came about gradually only in recent years:“I always thought about making music but neither had the time or the right studio to make my dream of becoming a producer a reality. I got my first set of decks a few years ago and started DJing at home for friends, then I DJed at my Soundworx nights, and before I knew it I was being booked!”
An early background in music helps. Born and Growing up in Nigeria (Ibadan & Lagos), she learned to play the drums and understand rhythm from a very early age. All more than evident now in the dark baselines and percussive elements of her tribal sound. With influences ranging from close associations with Danny Tenaglia, Carl Cox and Steve Lawler to Nigerian artists like Fela Kuti and Sunny Ade, and an educated history in dance music stemming from years in the industry Moudaber's style doesn't slot neatly into an old pigeonhole. After a debut gig at Space (Ibiza) and Ministry of Sound (London), Nicole has been working the scene in Ibiza, where she’s now based and also takes on property projects. Villa Bes (www.villabes.com) is an in-demand summer residence and her current venture is a forthcoming bar / lounge / restaurant.
John Digweed has already christened her "the queen of dark house" and there's certainly a true note or two there, but Moudaber's remixes for the likes of Xpress2 or Defected's Shapeshifters also demonstrates a wider cross-over appeal, and a simple glance at the list of DJs regularly name-checking her in their charts lends reveals a who's who in techno. Personally she describes her sound as “deep, sexy and driving; the sort of stuff you want to make love to on the dance floor”. Possibly the other thing that will remain certain for this talented muso is that she'll never be simple to pin down to a particular style. Flexibility and credibility all in rolled up into one package? You better believe it, and there's plenty more to come yet.