Eli Nissan reflects on a momentous 2019, We Are Lost, and more
One might argue that 2019 has been a year where Eli Nissan has really come into his own as an electronic heavyweight. The longtime musician imbues his roots in progressive rock into his progressive house, displaying a keen ear for textures, melody, and taking his listeners on a journey with each production. It’s this ear, his palatable passion for his craft, and patient humility that have brought him to great heights. Earlier in the year, the producer released his mini album, The Last Poem, on Lost&Found—a record filled with dancefloor weapons that continue to be rinsed heavily in the melodic space. A stop at Tomorrowland, heavier world touring in general, and a recent mix via the esteemed imprint Balance has only built his acclaim. Now, he’s begun taking North America with a series of events on USA’s East Coast, and more importantly, We Are Lost’s expansion in Toronto.
With perfect weather and a crowd of eager aficionados, Eli Nissan proceeded to lay down a nuanced, grooving set that further proved why he’s been ascending to rapidly up the progressive ranks. The dance world is his proverbial oyster, and fans are certainly in for the ride. We were able to catch Nissan ahead of his We Are Lost Toronto performance, where he offered an in-depth glimpse into the life of an artist on the rise and a studio geek at heart.
Hi Eli, thank you for joining us! You’ve been touring a lot lately – tell us about where you’ve been over the past few months and some nice memories you made from the road.
I’ve been touring in Argentina, Moscow, Amsterdam, London, India, Mexico and of course my home base of Tel Aviv. Now, I’m in New York for an amazing boat party with Guy J forthe highlight of this tour: We Are Lost Toronto festival.
India was a very sweet memory for me, as it was my first visit at this special country. There are a lot of beautiful souls and true music lover, and I’m sure I’ll be back there very soon. I also had a special adventure in London with Roy Rosenfeld, where we played an intimate venue called “Kimberfest.” It was one of the most magical places I’ve ever been for an extremely special community. We stayed there for three magical days and it was, “wow!”
Earlier this year you released a mini album on Lost&Found, which got a ton of good reviews. Can you talk about how the record came together? Was there a wide theme of the album? How was the process in choosing which productions made it inside?
The idea for this album came in Cyprus while Guy J was playing. In the middle of his set he suddenly asked me to do something new for Lost & Found and I said, “yes, sure! But lets make it a special one”…and he immediately replied with, “Let’s make the FOUND edition.”
That moment, I began a nine-month process that took me on a deep journey into myself. I didn’t release music during this period, and was fully focused on that project. Step-by-step, the music started to become one piece for me.
I sent to guy some unfinished tracks from it and he start playing them in his sets. The first track that got the vibes was “Naked.” Khen, Guy Mantzur, Nick Warren, and more also played it in every set—then, I realized that the music was going in the right direction. I must mention here that Roy Rosenfeld and Khen that were there for me all the way and helped me a lot with the final mixes. Their advicee was pure gold!
What are some tracks you’ve made that you’re particularly proud of and why?
That’s a hard question! I’m proud of every track at the moment. The melody of “The Last Poem,” the special groove of “Arpu,” the magic summer deep vibes of “White Voodoo,” the fat beat in “Helium or Poly,” and the prog ride in “Naked.” They’re all my children.
You’re known for being a ‘Lost Boy’ – a close friend of the Lost&Found brand and all the artists associated. How did your relationship begin with Guy J and the others?
Yes, we are all good friends! Its a very time right now in all our lives, I think.
I’ve known Khen since he was a child from my close friendship with his older brother Vic. I’ve also known Sahar Z, Guy Mantzur, and Chicola for 20 years, thanks to the club and electronic scene here in Tel Aviv. I met Roy Rosenfeld after his ‘Epika’ with Mantzur.
When I went back to producing electronic music in 2016, they introduced Guy J to me—and the rest is history
What is your current studio setup like? What’s your favorite piece of hardware?
My studio set is pretty simple. I have a very small area for my studio in my house, so I can’t use too much equipment.
I use a Deepmind 12 synth, plus two Roland boutique Juno + Jx, Machine. I have a also a few guitar pedals, effects, and many many plug-ins (Cubase 10). My favorite right now is a synth I don’t have yet…Prophet 6.
Soon I will manage a place for it in my home studio…
How is your musical taste affected by the world around you, and is it also affected by music you listened to while growing up?
My musical taste affects everything I do. Music is all around me, and naturally it takes a main place in life in many ways. I can’t sit 10 minutes in a place where the music is not good. On the other hand, I have no boundaries and I like a lot of music styles. And yes, the music I’ve been listening to when since growing up still plays a huge role in the wayI produce my music today.
On that note, you’re a known rocker back in Israel. Have you ever thought about making a new sound that fuses progressive rock and progressive house?
Nice question! Until recently I had no need to combine the worlds I was in with what I do today. I am not a nostalgic guy so what
But at the same time, I recently produced a track together with the duo Jos & Eli. I played live guitars there live that combined with sophisticated electronica. I love this tune he have a Pink Floyd sound spirit.