Nathan Jonson aka Hrdvsion is an all round nice guy, and here at Berlin Loves You we like nice guys and gals, so it made sense to sit down and have a chat to find out what he’s up to. Raised in Victoria, Canada he has been a resident of Berlin for over 4 years now. A quick glance at Nathan’s discography reveals an artist who seems to be constantly releasing diverse techy and experimental electronic music on a broad range of excellent record labels, such as Wagon Repair and International Deejay Gigolos. Known as a prolific remixer, Nathan is also making waves as part of the live electronic double act Midnight Operator with his brother Mathew Jonson. You can check out their excellent Boiler Room set here.
#1 Hi Nathan, can I first ask how did you choose the name Hrdvsion, where did all the vowels go?
It’s a little complicated but lets just say I would have just kept it as ‘Hardvision’ but I knew my mom would look me up online and I didn’t want her going to a porn site (the now defunct – http://www.hardvison.com) by accident trying to find me.
#2 You grew up in Victoria Canada, what was the best thing about growing up there and what do you miss the most now that you’ve been based in Berlin for a few years?
There are so many fantastic people that I met in Victoria, that I miss dearly. Luckily it is easy to pick right up when I am fortunate enough to see them, but that makes the time away that much harder. That and the choices for incredible restaurants DESTROY Berlin’s.
But of course Family and Friends are the hardest to deal with being separate from.
#3 So you’re ragging on Berlin’s restaurants, are there any that actually float your boat?
Three off the top of my head that I like are The Bird, Cocolo Ramen, and Hello Good Pie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all terrible. There is some fantastic food here, but over all I think there is a consistency in Victoria. Places that aren’t either great, or super cheap (€1 pizza for when the bars close) will go out of business.
#4 How long have you been making music and who inspired you along the way?
Hmmmmm who inspired me…. We had musical instruments around us since I can remember and when I was 8 and my brother was 10 we were put in piano lessons. We didn’t have a piano for practicing so my dad bought us a full sized weighted key electric/MIDI piano. It had a 2 channel MIDI recorder, and a General MIDI Soundbank. I guess that’s when we started recording electronic music. Before I knew what electronic music was. It was just at such an early age that it was always part of our lives. I don’t know if I had any “inspiration” back then. It was just something we did. Later on labels like Warp, Rephlex, and Planet Mu had a huge influence on me, but that was 8 years later.
#5 Are there any specific new artists who inspire you today?
OK, artists that inspire me today…
Most of the time something that draws me to an artist or a particular song is because of a production technique, a trick, or something that is perhaps designed to push peoples buttons. I love when an artist sounds like they have blind confidence in what they do, where you can no longer hear any doubt in the music.
#6 As a DJ you are often to be found showcasing your skills in many different clubs around Berlin, what has been your most memorable show here and why?
I’d have to say the Kleine Reise Peter Power release party at Wilden Renate was one of my favourites as of lately. Big family vibes all around. Dope music all night long! That’s always my favourite kind of night to be part of, when it’s a label party you’re surrounded by friends all night!
#7 When you’re not at home, in a friends house, or doing something music related, where is your favourite place to hang out in Berlin?
Hmmm, I don’t do much that doesn’t have anything to do with music… unless I’m going to eat at a restaurant. I particularly like to eat in places outside of where the clubs are or the area where I live. It ends up feeling like a mini vacation and is always stress relieving.
#8 In terms of what’s going on in the world today, what worries you most, and conversely, what makes you feel like everything might turn out just fine?
I don’t know what worries me the most. It’s all a bit overwhelming, and I have a hard time taking it all in because there are so many horrible things always happening in the world. I’d rather spend my time trying to focus on the positive things. I also don’t think that I’m very qualified to talk about world politics. I do find that to me, it seems that we are slowly becoming more concerned about our fate and our behavior, how that will affect us and how that will affect our future. I remember when I was a vegetarian I was criticized continuously, and while I am no longer a vegetarian, I do feel people’s minds have opened to that concept, and don’t merely think of it as a hippy thing to do.
#9 What was the last piece of music, good or bad, that made you cry?
Frederic Chopin can make me cry… I can’t think of much else off the top of my head that can make me so easily emotional. Chopin: Impromptu No.4 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 66, CT 46, “Fantaisie-Impromptu” is my favorite song….of all time.
What an uplifting end to an interview, let’s all cry together!
If you want to catch Hrdvsion in Berlin this weekend you are in luck. This Saturday he hosts his own party ‘Everyone a Nice Time’ featuring guest DJ Peter Power at the intimate and cosy Farbfernseher venue, located beside Görlitzer Bahnhof.
Full details can be found here.