The good, the great & the unexpected w/ Nur Jaber

In between running an own label as well as owning a club in Beirut, the Lebanese floorfiller was so courteous to spend some of her precious time having a chat with us.

Everyone who knows the currently Berlin-based producer and dj Nur Jaber, also knows that’s she’s not shy of sharing top-level, highly energetic and emotional techno with us. Although we’d like to dig a little deeper into Nur’s music memory lane, and find out what untypical tracks we could link up with her. In short, who’s the person behind the persona?

Hi Nur Jaber, in advance we’d like to thank you for having us. Well, let’s cut right to the chase. Now that we are all familiar with the music you’re known to produce or play, can you name 3 iconic tracks that we wouldn’t normally link to you? Can you elaborate why these tracks mean that much to you?

Before all else I’d like to mention ‘The End’ by The Doors. This song was introduced to me as a toddler by my father. He gave me my first ever classical cassettes when I was just 10 years old. Once I grew older, he greedily turned this on at home on full blast. Then there were these summer afternoons on which he started singing along whilst continuously explaining how important The Doors were back in his time.

It’s crazy actually how my father had a major influence on my taste in music. So obviously this track evokes numerous beautiful and strong memories, a moment where we truly connected through music. Fun fact, if and when the day comes for my Berghain closing set, this would most definitely be my closing track.

Next up there’s ‘War Pigs’ by Black Sabbath and ‘Roads’ by Portishead. And beside these, I also have to squeeze in ‘Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You’ by Led Zeppelin. The actual clue is hidden in the strong lyrics and the messages behind them. They all cover war and war stories, be it an internal or external war, which in my opinion we are all going through every single day of our lives. Eventually when I listen to these gems, they strengthen my faith in my purpose and remind me of why I am doing this and that we are not alone, we never are. In particular when I’m feeling low, they bring me back to that awareness.

Is it just these specific tracks or the genres in general that you are fascinated by? If not, is there a specific genre that fascinates you?

Not really actually, but if there’s something I’m truly fascinated by then it’s the musical arrangement in classical music. Meditative music and mantras are also a form of sound that genuinely fascinate me and that I listen to quite regularly, if not daily. I’d like to dig deeper into both of these genres as a form of sound that heals the human mind and body.

To be fair, I actually never listen to techno music. Except when I’m on ‘work’ mode. When I’m on tour I prefer meditation music which has a frequency of 528 Hz and 432 Hz. It truly helps calming the mind and body, indispensable when on tour.

Are there any instruments in these songs you can play yourself or would have liked to play? Maybe even considered to take another route, discovering this instrument or genre to a professional level?

I played the drums for six years and initially wanted to take it further through my courses at the Berklee College of Music, Boston. Thanks to my father, who used to be a bassist at a younger age, I picked up the bass guitar as well. The pleasure was mine to be passed his Fender sixties precision bass, which nota bene survived the war back then. And last but not least there’s the piano.

I basically learned all these instruments at a younger age, being fascinated by jazz, rock and classical music. Here my father’s influence has been nothing but prominent as well. Eventually, when I’ve decided to discover new paths and put techno a bit more aside, I’d love to dive into the fascinating world of classical music. Especially the piano arrangements. I always cherished the dream to write a classical symphony one day. It will be hard work, but fortune favors the bold.

As we are looking for some unusual tracks in regard to you as an artist, we would like to end this interview with two unusual questions. Let’s start off with your guilty pleasures? Do you have any?

I do actually, but I don’t really feel like this is the right time to announce it publicly yet (laughs). But in order to lift a tip of the veil, I can tell you all that it’s a music genre and one specific act of this genre in particular. Faites vos jeux!”

What character trait should more people have according to you?

Patience. It’s not simply the ability to wait, it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.

Massive thanks Nur Jaber! Now let’s all peacefully practice patience until you come tearing apart our Anode Stage on Sunday the 11
th of August. Appointment at the electricity plant!

- Article by Victor Seys
- Interview by Michiel Demeulemeester