For Brooklyn-based producer and DJ, Nickodemus, "painting outside the lines" has always been a motto at the forefront of what he is and does as an artist. Never one to be pigeonholed into a single sound or cultural tip, he's built a career out of pushing a vast, global sound, and through his formidable sets at NYC's famed Giant Step parties in the mid 1990s, to his own Turntables On The Hudson events throughout the last decade—he's stayed true to an ethos of fearless eclecticism.
While Nicko has always strived to keep on reaching towards something beyond the norm, now in 2015, he's finally looking back in the form of a retrospective mix CD entitled WONDERWORLD: Ten Years of Painting Outside the Lines.
The artist describes the mix, which you can stream exclusively above before its release on Feb. 24th on Wonderwheel Recordings, as a retrospective of some of the highlights from the past ten years. As far as the CD's title goes, he explains how it all traces back to his seasoned mindset as an artist: "It refers to the random and often off-the-cuff DIY way I started and continue to make music. I didn't have any formal training, just my records, turntables, a sampler, keyboard, an 8-track, and lots of talented friends willing to trust me to collaborate with them." When listening to the mix, you can hear shoutouts from some of Nick's many friends and collaboraters, with name-drops from Bonobo to DJ Spinna and Nappy G.
While it's often a cliché way to describe a DJ mix, on WONDERWORLD, you can sense Nickodemus' career-long desire to take the listener on a journey through the world's many corners, one that's spontaneous and without an itinerary. "I never tried to conform to one genre, I know my life would have been easier if there were one category for my music & sound, but I have too much interest in all music for that to ever happen. " "Spotify and Pandora—they still don't know how to categorize me," he jokes.
With a 25 tracks, narrowed down from over 120 originals and remixes from Nickodemus' six albums, WONDERWORLD is a delightful messege from an artist who found himself spinning at his own Turntables on the Hudson parties at NYC's Pier 61 from 1998 to 2010—a time he describes as the "golden years." Years after, he still hopes his music will influence those to operate in such a free and spontaneous manner: "I feel that dance music in 2015 would be much better if people actually DANCED to the music! It's pretty hard to find parties where people danced the way they used to without being pre-occupied by their phones or watching the DJ. I feel like people lost their courage all over the world to just lose themselves in the music."
Maybe this mix will help us get back to the golden days the artist describes, but if not, it certainly will still make your day. Props on ten years strong Nicko!
Catch Nickodemus on tour:
February 14 @ Acabar - West Hollywood, CA
February 15 @ Elbo Room – San Francisco, CA
February 27 @ Croquet Club Fringe Festival – Adelaide, Australia
March 05 @ Ponsonby Social Club - Auckland, New Zealand
March 06 @ El Grande Soundclash - Auckland, New Zealand
March 07 @ Boney – Melbourne, Australia
March 08 @ 45 Sessions - Sydney, Australia
March 13 @ The Museum of Fine Arts - Houston, TX
March 20/ 21 @ TBA
March 27 @ "Turntables on the Gulf" – Dubai, UAE
April 04 @ "Turntables on the NILE" - Cairo, Egypt
April 25 @ Tambor Party - Atlanta, GA
May 02 @ Metro - Chicago, IL
May 05 @ Mi Casa es su Casa - San Jose, Costa Rica
May 08 @ Freqo de Mayo - San Francisco, CA
'WONDERWORLD: 10 Years of Painting Outside the Lines' is available Feb. 24th on Wonderwheel Recordings in CD, digital, and limited edition mixtape form. Pre-order.