Electronic music doesn’t really have borders – for many artists its essential defining element is freedom. Both as a DJ and a producer, Alex Niggemann has set out to further blur any remaining boundaries between house and techno, gravitating towards the melancholic atmospheres that he loves and avoiding petty sub-genre pigeonholing as much as possible. Alex Niggemann, quite simply, lives and breathes musical evolution every hour of every day.
A classically trained pianist who gave up the ivory keys to follow his technological dream, it was his mother pushing a young Alex hard to practice piano every day that built strong foundations and his brother’s expansive vinyl collection in the early 90’s, that opened his ears to his future calling. Electronic music-wise, Ken Ishii changed Alex’s life within a few hours, while he listened and danced to techno in a club for the first time. Legendary figures, such as Derrick May, Laurent Garnier, Kevin Saunderson and Emmanuel Top, also provided key experiences for the impressionable teenager’s future development.
Alex Niggemann’s first vinyl purchase (at the age of 11) was Armand Van Helden’s “The Funk Phenomena” (1996), kick-starting a growing electronic music obsession that led to his first DJ sets – playing at youth club techno parties in his home town of Düsseldorf at the tender age of 16. But, back then, the scene was closed to such a young newcomer and it wasn’t until Alex relocated to Berlin, Europe’s epicentre of open-minded expression and creativity, that his career started to unfold.
He studied audio engineering (graduating in 2007) whilst running errands for DJ-T and the influential Get Physical imprint, a situation that led to his first ever remix (Booka Shade “Darko”) in 2006. Despite the success of this release the novice, perfectionist by nature, Alex Niggemann did not have complete confidence in his own abilities at this stage and from this career defining moment, he knew there was a long journey of learning ahead.
The resultant string of national gigs and his first single release – “Assign Me” (Sportclub, 2008) – snowballed into the “Black Rose EP” for Supernature (2009), the “Makayuni EP” for Nick Curly’s 8bit Records, and onwards to a constant flow of well received, profile-building releases. Alex’s ever-growing ability to fuse the best of both old and new influences to create an entirely new sound that leaves behind rigid definitions can clearly be heard on “Lately” (Pokerflat, 2011). “Paranoid Funk” (2012), Alex Niggemann’s critically acclaimed debut artist album (again on Steve Bug’s Poker Flat label) was yet another highly significant chapter in his development, showing a full range of artistic possibilities – past, present and future. It was a watershed creative experience that captured everything that influenced Alex growing up, defining his sound at that time and capturing the essence of his artistic self. The 3-month, 40-date album world tour that followed further increased global awareness of his exceptional talents.
It was his ever-restless creativity and desire to build a platform for music that defines the more moody and soulful side of the electronic spectrum, on his own terms, that led Alex to launch his first label, the playfully named Soulfooled (2010), focussing on the deeper side of house music and avoiding peak-time DJ-set uniformity by mining a more melancholic / melodic / romantic vein. Soulfooled’s rising profile also gives Alex the platform to support and increase audience awareness of other artists, a growing family of like-minded souls, including Padlac, David Durango and Matthias Mayer.
Boundless energy, a fearless approach to hard work and a love of musical diversity means that nothing ever stands still for Alex Niggemann. As his global profile as a DJ and producer continued to grow at an exponential rate, the need for another representative artistic platform became apparent. AEON, launched in April 2013, mirrors the peak time DJ sets that Alex plays, referencing the spirit of classic, timeless house and techno and updating it for the future. This is a label that brings Alex full-circle, back to his roots, to the music that inspired him to start his career as a DJ and producer, a place to release music that stands for quality and originality, whilst avoiding being too obvious or merely functional. The label’s ever-growing global fan-base and long list of huge releases from the likes of Jona, Denis Horvat, Speaking Minds and Alex himself, bodes well for a very bright future.
October 2014 saw Alex Niggemann’s “Abaton” (AEON) highlight his affinity for texture and genre-defying sound, mixing ethereal chords with stark synths for a truly goose bump inducing aural experience. His “Materium” (Poker Flat) release, one of the 10 most charted tracks of 2014 on RA, stands as Alex’s biggest release so far, its genre surfing sensibilities making it a sure-fire future timeless classic. Sasha’s long time love and support for Alex’s music resulted in him releasing the luscious “Earth Symphony” on Last Night On Earth (2014), to yet more deserved critical acclaim.
Meanwhile, “Sorrow” (Watergate, 2014), saw Alex make his debut on the label of the world-renowned Berlin nightclub he loves to play (every 2-3 months since 2010) and join forces with acclaimed vocalist Bon Homme, to create one of the most memorable, beautiful musical journeys of the year. A beautiful “Afterhours Mix” for Pete Tong’s legendary BBC Radio 1 show, further cemented Alex’s status as one of the most exciting global artists of the future.
Alex Niggemann is well known for gracing the decks at the world’s finest clubbing establishments, an ever-growing list that, in Europe, includes Watergate, Berghain/Panorama Bar in his home city, London’s clubbing institution Fabric, and the White Isle’s hedonistic centrepiece Space Ibiza. Alex’s DJ sets are loved by clubbers everywhere, his non-stop global touring schedule now takes him from Europe to North America, from South America to Australia and on to Asia, entertaining sell-out crowds all night long.
Alex Niggemann is continuing to forge his own path through 2015 and beyond, with no need to follow the latest musical fads, fired by his passion and strength of will to reach his goals and realise his dreams. His inner strength and self-belief have shaped his engaging personality and helped him grow into the maverick DJ and producer that he is today, releasing exceptional music purely for lovers and people who dance, celebrating life.