Niconé, the versatile musician and likeable style-icon: unshaven and latently blearyeyed, of course, but elegant and – thankfully – modest at the same time. Alexander Gerlach has become synonymous with a certain playful touch and light-hearted attitude that flows through his music and goes hand in hand with a laidback natural tenor. Originally founded in 2007 as a collaborative music-meets-fashion project together with Helena Kapidzic, Niconé has since left his mark on the illustrious nightlife of Berlin and beyond.
Rightfully refusing to be tied to one particular sound, Niconé moves fleet-footedly between summery anthems, tight deep house and leftfield pop-not-pop, while all of his output is united by the fact that there’s always a twist – Niconé is anything but boring, in other words. While tracks such as ‘Una Rosa’ (2008) and the Bar 25 hymn ‘Nur mal kurz’ (2009) led to well-deserved underground fame early on, the last years have proven particularly fruitful. In 2011, Niconé teamed up with his good friend and partner in crime Sascha Braemer to record their hugely successful ‘Romantic Thrills’ album, released on Stil vor Talent. Showcasing a wide spectrum, rather than a rigid definition of house, the album was all killer, no filler, with standouts like ‘Caje feat. (Album Edit)’ becoming inescapable floor movers.
The past year saw ‘Why’, released on OFF Recordings and remixed by Monte, Niconé & Gunjah’s ‘Paez, Luv and Harmonium’ on Acid Pauli’s ‘Get Lost V’ for Crosstown Rebels, as well as two follow-up EPs on Stil vor Talent in collaboration with Sascha Braemer. Testament to Niconé’s special relationship with the infamous Bar 25, moreover, comes in the form of the soundtrack of ‘Tage Ausserhalb der Zeit’, the film documenting the Spree venue’s heyday. Naturally, one finds ‘Thänk You’ on it.
Added to this, Niconé founded another platform to realise his musical vision, launching the Dantze label in 2006 together with Philip Bader. The duo later on became a trio as Sascha Braemer came on board – the more, the merrier. With a mission to capture the essence of long nights and longer after-hours on record, Dantze relies on a solid core group of artists, as a family-like atmosphere is close to its heart. If a track fits their standards, they release it. To impressive results: 2012 witnessed diverse EPs by the likes of Dirty Döring, Nico Stojan, Gunjah, NU or Rampue, often with one or all of the label heads on remix duties. The kind of house music propagated by Dantze is best described as playful, different – not too unlike Niconé himself, then.
While Berlin has long been home to the Dantze parties, held at hotspots Watergate, Kater Holzig or Sisyphos, Niconé has recently been gracing the decks of Social Club in Paris, Fusion Festival and Hive in Zürich. Among others, Timewarp Mannheim and Rave Autonomica in Munich are confirmed for this year. But whether it’s within the context of an intimate club or the more exposed festival stages, Niconé remains true to his ethos: take it easy!