Beatport Hype: Nerang Recordings
With a population of around 17,000, Nerang is a suburb of the City of Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. It’s a place Christopher Mcivor (AKA DJ Whipr Snipr) holds dear in his heart. Named for Mcivor’s home town, he launched Nerang Recordings in 2016 to give both himself and his talented squad of bedroom producers a place to release music.
Soon after launching, Nerang’s output began to catch the attention of house music diggers all over the continent. And before long, Mcivor found himself connecting, recruiting, and releasing with various labels around the globe, turning his Aussie imprint into an international pack of dedicated artists. Among Nerang’s most outstanding records are EPs such as Soela’s Downfall, DOS’ Can’t Even, Tech Support’s Good To You, and Low Tape’s Reality Zone.
Expand its catalog and moving beyond the realm of house, Nerang Recordings relocated to Berlin, where Mcivor resides with many of his musical acquaintances. In addition to providing a sharp mix that gives us an exclusive look into the imprint’s refreshed sonic direction, Mcivor shares some info about his humble punk music beginnings, partying on the Gold Coast, and his everlasting love for his label mates.
Tell us about your initial intro to the house music scene. Can you name some of the early records that first captured your imagination?
I’ve always been amused by all genres of electronic music. The weird thing is, I was singing in punk bands and then going to my friend’s weekly nights in Melbourne when I was living there back in 2012. That’s when I really fell in love watching selectors like Moopie perform. It just blew me away. The one record that would always be ready for when we got home was by Roy Davis Jr., and I’m quite sure his tracks brought a lot of us these feelings of connection through sound. But it was more than just a record or a track — it was us wanting to create something that gave people that feeling they can’t resist on the dancefloor. It still gives me goosebumps.
What inspired you to start your own music label? Tell its origin story and the idea behind the name ‘Nerang Recordings.’
Nerang is a little town on the Gold Coast of Australia, where I grew up. It’s 10 minutes from the beach and five minutes from the mountains. It’s a beautiful place and will always be my home. When starting the label, it was quite fun. It was created so that I could release my friends’ music in Australia since they weren’t getting put on the platforms that they deserved, in my opinion. In all honesty, I never imagined I would be doing this interview about it! The main factor when introducing a new artist is a family mentality of close bonds and lifelong stories of joy.
What is the dance music scene like in Gold Coast/Queensland?
The Gold Coast itself suffers quite severely from the government shutting down any events that go well as soon as they hear about it. It becomes obsolete, so I have had many friends, including myself, that have run parties there, and it would just turn into trouble. If you go an hour north to Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, you will find yourself in a city that can accommodate great parties — especially the guys behind Centre Source Records. They inspired me the whole time I lived there and were consistently bringing artists to our state that would usually only play in Melbourne and Sydney.
How did you get acquainted with most of the artists on your label? Were you friends before or did you seek them out for their sound?
At first, it was only friends, and then as things progressed, I made some great mates through various mutual contacts. Now it feels like I have known these people my whole life. They’re all incredibly talented and kind people, and it only continues to grow.
Tell us a little bit about Nerang’s aesthetic. Who designs all the artwork and merch? Do you insist on having control over the label’s look, or is it more up to the artist?
So our in-house designer is Michael Padgett (AKA Ole Mic Odd). He is the man behind the scenes taking control of all designs. We occasionally have guest artists for a merch design, but Ole is the brains behind the whole aesthetic, and I couldn’t be happier to work with such a professional and humble person I hold in such high regard.
What are your plans for the imprint moving forward?
We never planned to be pinned as a house label, but our first handful of releases were very house influenced. Then we did some heavier electronic records like Low Tape’s Reality Zone. Our next release is a compilation with six of the finest producers in the game: P.Leone, Ole Mic Odd, Nasty King Kurl, Sentient State, DJ Swagger, and Main Phase. This new VA effort showcases the many paths we will take in the future in terms of sound. The main thing is to keep that family mentality intact when it comes to new artists and releases.
Tell us about the mix you made for us.
In some ways, this mix represents the direction the label is going, and the people inspiring me right now in these weird uncertain times. It features lots of unreleased stuff, and I very much hope you all enjoy it!
Cameron Holbrook is a staff writer for Beatportal. Find him on Twitter.