Frieder Nagel

With only two ep´s released by french imprint InFiné Music, german composer and newcomer Frieder Nagel has already collaborated with David August and Daniel Brandt, appeared on Boiler Room and played at the Reeperbahn Festival. He writes regularly for orchestra, dance, theater as well as documentary film – always luring his listeners into a mystical world, full of warm synths and detailed sound clusters. The self-taught musician has a secure feeling for harmonies and „combines Jazz, neo-classical, synthetics and broken beats with supreme ease“ (GROOVE Magazine). Mostly working during night his groundwork lies in improvisation, escapism as well as the endless overdubbing and resampling of analogue manchinery. With his music Frieder Nagel is mainly on the lookout for the subconscious and DAWN captures it perfectly – in an intimate mixture of melancholy and relieve.

Dawn by Frieder Nagel, the second single from the Ambient Layers compilation, is out today via 7K!Dawn is about the strange feeling that one can sense when the first birds start to sing in the morning – something in between farewell and a new beginning.“


1:  You are your biggest critic.

2:  Fear is a disease.

3:  Life is short.


1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Intimacy, long nights, silence and an empty mind with just feelings running through…

2. How and when did you get into making music?
I grew up in a family of musicians… that meant sleeping in the car, when my parents played in a jazz club or being bored during endless orchestra rehearsals. When my godfather died he left me enough money to buy my first computer and I started spending day and night playing around with cubase sx and as many plug-ins I could find.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
At the Drive-In – Relationship of Command
Rˆyksopp – The Understanding
Trentem¯ller – Fixion
Deftones – White Pony
Cypress Hill – Temples of Boom

4. What do you associate with Berlin?
A promise.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Currently I am living in a very small village with only 80 habitants allocated at the clearing of a forest – I hang up a punching bag in the garage with a direct view into the woods. It is a pretty good lockdown spot I would say!

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Be a gardener or a cook.

7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Floating Points – Crush.

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
No doubt that would be Trentemoller.

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I travelled from Marseille to Paris for one night to see Rone at Zenith and it was totally worth it: perfect show, perfect audience… I was simply blown away by the energy! Also met with the InFinÈ label crew for the first time that day.
My perfect gig was when I did a dj-set spontaneously at the birthday party of a friend in an abandoned brewery in Berlin – It was super intense – a packed basement with immediate response, I never felt that natural connection to a crowd before.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Very – something in between a blessing and a curse.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I am lucky to have a brother, who literally persuaded me to start producing music professionally. He even showed me a lot of the techniques behind the process. He lives in the US now, but still keeps being one of my biggest fans and supporters.

Photo © Moritz Huettner