Named after the ancient geographical phenomena that are Nzca Lines (formerly known as Nazca Lines), Michael Lovett has been producing lush waves of electronic sounds on London's Lo Recordings, heavily influenced by the likes of Aaliyah. His new release, Compass Points, is the first single to be taken from his forthcoming album, with work from Charlie Alex March and mixed by Ash Workman (which you can hear has worked with the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, and Metronomy etc), fusing R'n'B beats and pop melodies. Check out the new video directed by James Houston.
Dazed Digital: If you had to, how would you describe your sound?
Nzca Lines: It is the last day Earth orbits our sun, but it’s hot; though some of the beaches have already turned to glass, this only provides a further dancefloor on which beautiful women, some still sipping bubbling Cristal, continue to dance. The sheer reflective gloss of this surface and the bronzed bodies upon it makes you flinch, turn away. Glancing behind you, the source of the music becomes apparent - a man wearing a ceremonial robe is placing giant chrome discs inside a huge speaker stack. As someone passes you your last glass of champagne, another Nazca Lines track stutters through the bass cones.
DD: Where do you draw your musical influences from?
Nzca Lines: Aaliyah is a big influence on my vocal sound. Right at the beginning, when we were working out how best to represent these songs, I accidently found the acapella for ‘Try Again’, and it blew me away. I had no idea she was singing so softly. I am a big fan of RnB in general, such as Ciara and Rihanna, because it can yield the greatest pop songs. You’ve got all these incredibly talented people working to create a product that’s just … perfect. Instrumental electronic music such as Ovuca, DMX Krew and Drexciya is also a big influence on the album. Drexciya’s music has a strong narrative behind it, something I have tried to create myself in the lyrics for this record. Each current Nazca Lines song sketches in different elements of a futuristic mythology, centred on New Magnetic North - an artificial set of magnetic poles - and the compasses it controls.
DD: As your latest single Compass Points was produced by Lo Recording's Charlie Alex March and mixed by Ash Workman - Did working with these experienced and established professionals change the way you make music?
Nzca Lines: Yes, pretty drastically. When I started working with Charlie I was just a fresh-faced young buck with a handful of songs and a crap computer. Cans were something baked beans came in; a mixer was what went with the Bacardi you bought at the Student Union. Now look at me. I can talk about ‘phase issues’ and the benefits of analogue synthesizers, and I know what a woman being sucked out of a piano into a space-cube sounds like. It’s been great working with Charlie and being able to mix the record with Ash was a real treat. These people were both my friends before I started working with them professionally, anyway. Are they still? Well..
DD: What are you most excited about next?
Nzca Lines: Lots of things. Releasing this record with the wonderful label LOAF, for one. The Japanese label Big Love are also releasing a Nazca Lines 7” soon, which is extremely exciting. Playing live. Making a new record (once people have actually heard this one). I’ve been working with Charlie on a project of his too, designing a machine to manually play keyboards - 'Messier 001'. It's in the prototype stage, and i’m excited about what could happen with it. Also, keep your ears open for Night Works. That’s all i’m allowed to say for the moment.