My Gear: Nadia Struiwigh

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Nadia Struiwigh is an electronic music producer and DJ from Rotterdam, Netherlands. Her music is heavily inspired by the flourishing 90’s UK electronic music scene, sitting somewhere between Biosphere and Boards of Canada. Struiwigh’s refined downtempo electronica takes you on a journey full of synthesized soundscapes that flirt with ambient techno and soundtrack aesthetics. She was kind enough to provide us with insight into what she values in her studio.

What do you attribute to your sound and how would you describe it?

That’s an interesting question! I often ask myself this, and until today I can’t really describe my own sound. I feel I use many different genres in my music, but I always end up having organic rhythms and textures. My main influences over the years come from England early 90’s like Boards of Canada, Autechre, Aphex Twin, Biosphere, but I also love DJ Shadow, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Global Communication…. And these days I’m more connected to film music. However, IDM has always been my way of expressing my thoughts and feelings. This in combination with ambient and the underground Industrial techno sounds is for me a match made in “Music” heaven.

What pieces of gear are essential to your sound?

I always compare this with a favourite snack or favourite dish. For a certain time, I’m eating the same stuff over and over, until I lose my interest or spark. When that happens, I move towards a different piece of gear, or I start shopping haha. Of course, I always have a few pieces that inspire me like the Korg Electribe MX, the Maschine+, my Moog Sub 37, and my FX Big Sky.

How does your live set-up differ from what you use in the studio?

Actually, my live setup is pretty much the same as my studio setup. I might swap out devices from time to time to refresh my current setup, but mostly it stays the same. I do choose devices that are probably easier to carry with me or that are less fractal. For example, my Moog or Nord Lead often stay home as I don’t want them to get damaged.

Do you hoard gear, is there an emotional connection to your gear?

Haha, well… I would like to say NO I don’t hoard gear, but I would lie. The moment I discovered my connection with technology was at an early age. My dad was always working with Technology as a commercial director, and we grew up with a lot of gadgets. The night was always the time I would feel alive because the devices are coming to life through their colours, lights and mystical appearance. When I started making music and purchased my first keyboard, I knew this was my path. I almost never sell my gear, until I feel it deserves a better place. My collection became bigger over time, but I still use every device I have and of course, I am attached to all of them. Mainly because they all represent a different side of who I am, and I have so many memories with them. So yes, I am definitely emotionally attached to them.

If you could create your ultimate instrument or piece of music gear, what would it be what would it do, and how would it work?

This is actually on my wish list. I always said one day I will have my own creation. As I love FM synthesis, sequencers, keys, and FX, I probably would design a synthesizer that has a combination of all of that but is still portable somehow. It would be amazing if people could expand the synth with “expansion packs” that are not virtual. I love bright colours because it’s a pleasure to watch when during the day. At night the colours of the synthesizer should be adjustable too, so it will match the vibe of the track. Aesthetics are just as important as technology and sound, for me.

Who would be one artist/producer you haven’t worked with that you’d love to work with?

#NOSHAME, but I wrote Ludivico Einaudi one day, and I sent him a track that I made for him only. Unfortunately, I never heard back, he is a legend and probably way too busy. I love his work, simplicity but with a lot of depth. Classical but understandable. It’s the language I understand, so he would be probably one of the heroes I would like to work with. Also, Boards of Canada, there is nothing in the world that comes near what they do. It’s melancholic, driven, deep, warm, and electronic. I feel at home when I hear it. Last but not least, Hans Zimmer is an expert with his film scores. His productions amaze me each time, and I think I can learn so much from this man!

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