“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 علي’, 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.
“When I started, electronic music artists like Regis, Veronica Vasicka and Silent Servant were some of my first inspirations. So sad this happened. May this legend rest in peace.”
“FEMME FINESSE TO THE MAXX. SEXXX. PUSSY. CVNT. Also, check out all releases from Mabel, Step Ball Chain and Roza Terenzi. It’s not a good look if you haven’t yet.”
“Okay this is an Argentinian label I wanna hype. This record is giving Latin club, grime, tribal but also to me it’s giving 100% SWANA as well. The drums are the drums I grew up with. They sound exactly like darbuka and the art of playing is the same as well. The similarity is making me insane.”
“Jupiter4 is one of the Berlin labels that keeps on delivering on another level. These tracks work on so many levels at a club night. Dembow, deconstructed club, bass, Latin core vibes to its core.”
“If you are into some nerdy stuff that is playfully flirting between body music and mind music for the after afters, on another mental stage, Japanese talent Oyubi will help you with that. I live for this.”
“This is a hyping my boos moment. Lawrence Lee and Mohajer are such hardworking angels, with distinct sound, taste and mega talent. They both represent the Berlin club scene, as well as their own communities, so beautifully. Here is their fist EP as a duo on my label UMAY.”
“This Irish kid is so talented. It's that juicy, straight-forward, honest, powerhouse techno that I love playing in my techno-oriented sets.”
“Can’t make a selection without having a UK gem in it. The banger with the Turkish lyrics and singing by Elif Murat made me fall in love with this album. The first track is literally. Does this genre exist? Yes it does.”
“Jaymie Silk representing the old-school to the fullest with a modern hardgroove twist. These tracks feel like commentaries on winning back the power vibes, which I also get from artists like WTCHCRFT. I dig this so much. It’s culture. It’s realness. It’s reclaiming techno.”
“Bounce to these super chic house trax by 131bpm and yell FREE PALESTINE randomly while running errands, shopping or wherever :)).”
“Another techno style that I love playing is this kind of minimal but very driving – a bit mental, a bit ravey type of techno. This is such a great example of it. I love this record. Especially ‘Eye Shake’. You can mix that track with so many different genres.”