Natalia Augustyniak, aka Eksish, is an emerging Bristol based artist who has caught our eye here at Mantissa due to her musical taste and style when DJing. She is an emerging talent in the techno scene and we at Mantissa were lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with the Bristol based DJ.
Hi Natalia, it’s great to be able to have a chat with you, your rise in the DJ circuits over the last couple of months has been a wonder to see! I guess the first question from me is how did you get into this music scene?
I used to attend a lot of after parties in my teenage years back where I grew up in Birmingham, the main one I remember the most was Social underground – which by the way is still doing an amazing job.
The atmosphere and the crowd at those sort of low key events is just beautiful and so different to your standard 10-6 ‘raves’ I have experienced. The music felt magical and ‘made sense’, it was sort of like you jumped on some sort of imaginary magic carpet and took you on a journey, rather than just listening to a build-up and a drop. It made me feel like I was somewhere far away, you know? So I carried on going to those events, learning more about different djs and labels from people I would have met on a night out.
Few years later, I went to Berlin and visited the famous Club De Visionaire – I’m still not sure who was Djing the night, as I was still pretty new to this. But what I do remember is how much I enjoyed dancing for 12+ hours nonstop until they shut us down. It was a feeling that I will never forget, it made me realise that I want to make people feel the same way I did back then on the dancefloor.
You’re known for having developed your own style of kind of loopy, hypnotic techno. Where would you say you honed your skills or style? Who would you say are the DJ’s that influence you?
A think becoming a raver at a really young age had its influence in terms of shaping my style. I’ve attended events since I was about 15 and only started djing when I was about 20 / 21. That’s a lot of time to figure out what you like and how you want to sound.
I think traveling a lot and the constant discovery of new music played a massive part in where I am now musically. I think it is important to sometimes be on the other side of the stage – as a dancer you can understand what works and what doesn’t, and then apply it to your style. In terms of my influences, Bella Sarris, Villalobos, and the usual suspects such as Raresh, RPR sound stem or Cristi Cons always leave me wanting more and motivate me to push myself further. I also always make sure I get back to Berlin annually to recharge my batteries and come back to where it all started. It’s really refreshing.
You have a residency at The Nest in Manchester, how did that come about?
It’s actually a pretty funny story – I had Tee O (The Nest Promoter) contacting me on Facebook saying he’d listen to few of my mixes and is wondering whether I wanted to be a resident. I was like wow okay, I never met you guys, I also have never been to Manchester previously – but you know what? Why not! I’m a massive risk taker so literally accepted the offer through Facebook without meeting the guys – and it was a great decision.
I Absolutely fell in love in Manchester and the nest and I’m super proud to be part of it – the atmosphere at those events is amazing, and there is also so much effort that’s put into the venues, sound and lights at those events – which I really value as a DJ. So yeah, shouts to The Nest crew! You guys are great.
Are there any emerging DJ’s or producers you really respect/would recommend following? And what is it about them that has caught your eye?
Jordan Magee, Jake Hodkinson, DARR & Unai Trotti! These guys are just DOING IT, you know? And most importantly, having fun. I had the pleasure to dance to Unai at a day party last Sunday, and ohhh boy! Wasn’t it great!
Are there any tunes in particular you find yourself coming back to again and again when playing out?
I am always looking for new music before playing out – I get bored of tracks I play out very quickly , it’s kind of hard to explain. If I’m playing in a city which is 300 miles away from the last city I played in, I always get weird anxiety thinking that I shouldn’t play the same tune twice – although I am totally conscious that even when I play this track in my own time millions of times, most people in the crowd probably never heard it, if it’s something I have been digging, or at least haven’t listened to it the amount of times I have!
Buuuut … 2raumwohnung – Somebody Lonely And Me (Ricardo Villalobos Remix) has a special place in my heart , and when played at the right time and place, is truly touching.
What are the sort of nights you find yourself going to most often as a music lover and what do you look for in an event/night?
The Annual Villalobos at Fabric of course! I try to see him play at Fabric at least once a year, the experience is truly life changing. I also always make sure to give Berlin a little visit once a year to re charge my batteries and get a fresh perspective on dance music. Other than that, Half Baked, HOME, Stump, Strange Frequency, Penda & Social underground are among my favourite ones.
In terms of what I look for in those events , I would say I first look at the line up, then the sound system, and the venue. It is sort of weird but just by looking at the line ups, venue, promoters etc I already know whether I will enjoy the night or not.
Finally, we know you’re playing at Farr festival this year, congratulations! Have you thought about any particular theme for your set there?
Thank you! So are you! Looks like we will be finally sharing the stage together so I’m very excited. I never really plan my sets, they are always very spontaneous , but I’m guessing I will be playing sometime in the evening, so I’m thinking of mixing up a little bit of tribal and some of my secret weapons to get people grooving!
Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us Natalia!
Be sure to check out some of Natalia’s soundcloud mixes here to get a better feel for what this DJ is all about, and make sure if you’re at Farr Festival to go see her live!