Selections: Nene H

Selections: Nene H

“The whole thing is a meme within a meme,” says Nene H about her new mini-album, ‘ISSA SCAM’, which will be released via the Live From Earth label in February. Across six tracks (and a sped-up bonus cut), she takes a scalpel to a range of topical issues, from digital trends and internet culture to plastic surgery and mental health, all played to the tune of pumping techno, with irreverent flourishes of happy hardcore, psytrance and acid. “The meme that started it all is a meme that says: ‘The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters’. The quote is so old yet so now.”

These tracks are, first and foremost, club slammers, but with their pop-singed aesthetic and tongue-in-cheek guest vocals from ‘Bubblegun, they flirt with satire, without ever losing sight of the underground dancefloors they’ll wreak havoc on. Listen to ‘Plastic Pleasures’ and ‘Fix & Break’, and pre-order ‘ISSA SCAM’ here.

For the Berlin-based Turkish musician, producer and DJ, electronic music has always been a vehicle for creative freedom, and for exploring concepts close to her heart. Her 2021 debut album for Incienso, ‘Ali ع​ل​ي’, paid tribute to her late father with samples of Middle Eastern instrumentation and FX-drenched vocals, all woven through a richly composed tapestry of synths and thunderous drums. Her ‘Trifecta’ EP celebrated the music scenes of three important cities in her life – Istanbul, Copenhagen and Berlin – with three cuts of high-speed techno packed with playful basslines, snapping drums and a cheeky spoken vocal from Nik Mantilla.

Through the Istanbul-based Sirän collective she co-founded in 2022, Nene H seeks to elevate the city’s queer electronic music scene. It’s an endeavor that’s mirrored in her non-profit UMAY label, which she launched in 2023 with an EP from DJ Mag Artist To Watch BASHKKA, and which champions emerging queer and QTBIPOC artists, as well as those from the SWANA region and its diaspora. 

As a DJ, Nene H is similarly purposeful. Her maximum velocity mixing swerves through deep, driving techno tunnels, reaches upwards into ravey acid peaks, and takes plenty of left turns into percussive club stormers from the SWANA region and Latin America. As she told DJ Mag back in 2021 in an interview accompanying her On Cue mix: “With my music and performances, I don’t want to just serve the privileged, hedonistic culture [of Western dance music]. I want to keep my culture at my core.” 

It’s an energy that’s captured in her Selections, which take in cuts from the late Silent Servant, percussive genre fusions, Anatolian progressive trance, full-throttle techno, and cuts at the intersection of “body music and mind music”. Dive in below.

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