Spinning with SIM

Nervous Horizon’s SIM is a DJ and producer based in Montreal. Having been involved in the Music industry for more than a decade he has developed great insight into what makes the Montreal techno scene one of a kind. We spoke with him about his new EP ‘Terminate’ and how spinning in Montreal has affected his sound. 

What drives you to create music? How did you first get started?

    I first got into the music world in 2010 through my cousin Emile Racine who we all know today as the Racine founder. He had just got a small DJ controller and we would get some blend started. He introduced me to Dutch Electro, Tech-House, Dubstep, etc. He would always put me on what’s hot at the moment. I eventually grew lots of interest in Dancehall and the Soundsystem culture in parallel to Techno and the UK rave scene.

What was inspiring you as you created this EP?

As this EP was written at the beginning of the pandemic, with all the clubs and venues shutdown, the only way for me to be closer to that euphoric feeling was to imagine myself being in a warehouse with the energy, the sweat, the excitement. The tracks I wrote are the ones the DJ played!

How would you describe Terminate to someone who hasn’t heard it?

Terminate is like an exploration of the sonic limits that a warehouse has. [Its] Booming sub-bass, squeaking highs, wonky minds, etc.

, Spinning with SIM, Liminul Magazine

Walk us through the process of creating terminate. What were some of the highs and lows of making this project a reality?

    This project actually got done super quick. I remember sending TSVI (Nervous Horizon label head) the early versions of ‘Big Mac’ and ‘Fall’ and he really liked them. After he asked me if I wanted to write a whole EP, I got the drive to just write non-stop. I guess this whole experience was the high I need at the time haha.

What are you hoping to do next with your music?

    A lot of stuff [is] in the works at the moment, like a small Europe tour in June. I also have some remixes here and there that should drop sometime this year… many collaborations with local and international artists, but who knows… maybe a second EP? Who’s to say.

How has spinning in Montreal impacted your development as a musician?

    Spinning in Montreal has definitely impacted [me] in some way, especially when I used to run a monthly show at Bar Mme Lee in 2019. That kind of club DJ experience, where people are used to giving song requests (please never do that) taught me how to really read a crowd and create a journey with music. I also learned how to please a crowd while staying true to my sound.

Who are 5 Montreal creatives you think we should know about?

The first one has to be my Sound system sista Honeydrip. She’s been my day one since 2016, we’ve been growing as artists parallels for so long. Even if we were kinda doing our own thing for some time our paths crossed once again when she started working on her KILLER debut EP ‘Anti-Ego.’ Her rise as an established producer is only starting and she CAN’T BE STOPPED! Definitely have an [eye] out for her.

    Laced is someone that keeps me on my toes for sure. Not only [does] she run her own two labels ‘Casual Chain’ and ‘Audio Bambino’ with her partner LCL_Stream, she pushes me to create better stuff. We often share ideas, and discuss visions, Laced definitely is someone Montreal needs more of. 

    Liliane Chlela is also an artist I’m watching at the moment. Her productions are nutssss and her sets are just as crazy. You can hear that she takes sound design to a whole new level. Liliane, if you’re reading this, let’s collaborate bruv? I’m a big fan! (Thank you Julien for putting me on)

    NAP is someone who I have the utmost respect for. Other than his incredible talent, he’s an individual that is truly for the culture. Through his ISLA label he facilitates collaborations and establishes grounds for everyone to build something greater than all of us. Even though he’s known to live a nomad life, I assure you he can consider Montreal a home.

    Lastly Ultimate Esuna, who’s the newest addition to the Nervous Horizon family and to Montreal as well. Her taste in music is very refined and this gets translated both in her killer DJ sets and also her productions as well. 

 I could go on for days about this! I feel like everyone of my colleagues in the scene should be mentioned haha. 

, Spinning with SIM, Liminul Magazine

What is your favourite place to spin in Montreal?

Hmmmm that’s a tough one. Datcha or PHI center are always fun to play for sure. Though the club context has a certain level of assurance, I really like to play in DIY one off spots that are popping here and there. I’m also a big fan of what the Homegrown Harvest crew has been putting together [by] making the rave scene a bit more organized on the levels of London or Berlin. Also on the lookout for small collaborative spaces like Aussenwelt. These are definitely places like Aussenwelt. These are definitely places that you would see me play at!

What makes the Montreal music scene special?

I think what makes the Montreal scene special is the fact that its own cultural ecosystem.It has the energy of New York with the flair of London but the fact that it’s distant from other big cities makes it its own big thing. There’s a sense of proximity with everyone contributing to the scene as well. 

Kate is an Editorial Intern at liminul.

She is a writer, photographer, and graphic designer based in Montreal. Kate is currently in her final year of her B.A. at McGill University where she is double majoring in history and art history.

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