CRSSD‘s 7th edition is a special one —it marks the official third birthday of the festival. Hosted at its usual location at the picturesque Waterfront Park in San Diego, the semi-annual event certainly hasn’t faltered in its lineup curation, inviting the likes of Cirez D, Empire of the Sun, Henry Saiz, and Tchami onto its bill across March 3 & 4. Dancing Astronaut joins organizers in digging a little deeper into its roster to unearth its top underrated performers to find out their backstories thus far.
Nicole Moudaber‘s deeply-rooted adoration for rhythms and percussion is evident in the way she carries herself musically and in her sets. Such infectious passion rubs off on her followers, earning her the title “Queen of Techno” for good reason.
The stalwart boasts an impressive, and expansive resume, cutting her teeth on the Lebanese scene by bravely putting together underground parties amid a tumultuous period of war and oppression. Her ardency carried her forward, however, until she was picked up by Carl Cox years later and thus began her ascent into the iconhood that she’s reached today.
These days, Moudaber dips her hands in many arenas of the techno and house world. She runs her wildly successful In The MOOD radio show every week, and launched MOOD Records in 2013. Through it all, she still manages maintain a heavy tour and production, breaking barriers with bold collaborations like her projects with Skin, and bringing the darkness in singles like her recent Hector collaboration “Retrosaw”
We were able to catch Nicole ahead of her CRSSD performance, where she’ll be dominating the City Steps stage over the weekend of March 3 & 4. She divulges details on her comeup, inspirations, and more.
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What catalyzed your love for dance music?
I’m a music fanatic, always have been. I’ve been hooked on music since I was very young. Growing up in Nigeria, I was listing to afrobeat, funk and soul music. I still love that tribal sound and rhythm, and it’s a big influence on my music now – there is something almost spiritual about coming together to dance to a strong beat like that. As I get older, my passion for music only gets stronger.
What was your first label release? Would you still play it?
I released a track called Dilemma on Plastic City in 2008 but I don’t play it anymore. Both the scene and my own personal taste has evolved and I’m working in a different space musically.
Describe the moment or event that made you realize that you were meant to be a full-time DJ.
I’ve always traveled around the world to experience different types of parties… I considered myself a professional clubber. I had my epiphany moment watching Danny Tenaglia playing in New York – that night was so magical, it really pushed me to pursue my own career in music.
What’s your opinion of the dance scene in the US right now?
There’s some cool things happening for sure, more and more festivals are embracing the underground, and I think finally the whole EDM thing is imploding, thank God!
What are you looking forward to most about CRSSD Fest?
Sunshine, beautiful people and of course, techno baby!
Where are your favorite places to play in the world, and why?
It’s hard to pick just one, but some of the clubs where I’ve had amazing experiences are Stereo Montreal, Output New York, Space Ibiza (RIP), DC10 Ibiza, the list goes on.
What are the biggest things in your pipeline at the moment?
I just released the Retrosaw EP with my friend Hector on his new label VLack. It’s available on Vinyl now. Other than that, I’m really excited to be continuing to tour the states after CRSSD, and getting back in the studio to work on music.
If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?
Sasha, Cristoph and Alan Fitzpatrick.