She's known to some as the "Queen of Techno," and here in Dallas we don't see dance music royalty of her kind very often. Nicole Moudaber is the definition of the modern techno tourist — which is to say, she's a professional party goer. She fell in love with club culture in '90s New York, first being only an audience member, then an underground culture leader and finally a DJ in her own right. She's an unstoppable force, and this weekend she'll appear at It'll Do Club for her first-ever performance in North Texas.
Although she does have a deep love for classic and tribal house, Moudaber in a live context is considerably darker, deeper and oftentimes harder than most DJs. With her face staring intently at the mixer while her wild hair flips around in chaos, you can’t help but compare it to head banging. In many ways her very aggressive approach to attacking the dance floor is not all that different from a metal concert. It's just that it has more groove to, so that you'd rather dance aggressively than start a pit.
Most of her early years in club culture were spent traveling the world in constant search for the best parties. While she was a consummate music lover she was happily just an audience member for years before she got involved behind the scenes. Traveling from her birth place of Nigeria to London to Lebanon and back to London, her nomadic nature has given a bird’s eye view of the global dance culture.
During her time in Beirut, she established herself as one of the first promoters to bring in top-tier talent to the Middle East for her well-curated events. At this time she was still more of a taste maker and it would be years before she actually got behind the decks. Her stint as promoter lasted just over five years before she moved back to London to focus on her label after a brush with local media and police proved her parties did not jive well with the conservative sensibilities of the region.
After a short break from heavy activity in the scene, Moudaber returned but this time as a DJ and producer. Her natural intuition developed from years on the club scene and being a taste maker quickly translated into her productions and DJ sets. This led to early support from giants of the industry like Danny Tenaglia, Carl Cox, John Digweed, Richie Hawtin and Loco Dice. After a string of well-received singles she released her debut album Believe on Drumcode in 2013 which stayed at the No. 1 position on Beatport for a solid month. That same year she launched her own label, Mood Records, and the following year started her “In the Mood” podcast, which has garnered over 2.8 million subscribers since its 2014 launch.
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Despite the accolades and global success, Moudaber very much has her feet grounded in the underground sound. In an interview with Magnet Magazine she explained her love for underground music and contrasted it with the ugliness she saw in mainstream EDM culture. ”What we do is more than bring people together," she said. "You can say we bring people together but all music does that, but when we bring people together under one roof like in a club where people understand what is going on there’s a different vibe. There’s a more connected vibe than these commercial events.”
Moudaber is in the States for tour dates supporting her new EP, Her Dub Material, out now on her label Mood Records. She also has an upcoming appearance at the world-famous Movement (formerly know as DEMF) Festival in Detroit, so Dallas is especially fortunate to get her visiting town before she heads up north.