MMA Radio: Kiss Nuka’s ethereal electronica mix channels early rave days in Goa
"I wanted to represent where I’m coming from and the various influences that make me the artist I am today."
Kiss Nuka first grabbed our attention with her music video for ‘Dakini’, in which the artist expressed an ode to the divine feminine energy through sensual drum’n’bass. We were quick to realise at Mixmag that the artistic manifestations of Anushka Manchanda were not to be missed.
Both her performances and releases have become highly regarded, with invitations to festivals across India and attaining worldwide impact from her releases. In September lasty year, she debuted her live multi-genre and original electronic set for Mixmag LAB from Vagator, Goa. One of the highlights was her performance of 'I Love The Drive', which eventually got a release on Ahead Of Time, the label Coldcut set up in 1987 and the forerunner of Ninja Tune; The release included a dub mix from Matt Black using Coldcut’s Jamm Pro app.
Read this next: Kiss Nuka’s ‘I Love The Drive’ is a percussively groovy ode to illicit love
Her recent ‘Serpentine’ EP is loaded with dance floor gems, with tribal and psychedelic tones — the EP evokes Nuka's reflective attachment to the serpent, as “she sheds her skin and breaks free as an artist, a human being, and a voice without boundaries.”
Standing out through multi-genre outputs that make for poignant soundscapes (think jungle techno, footwork drum'n'bass and ethereal electronica), it's a pleasure to welcome the visceral artist who has compiled a set for Mixmag Asia Radio with just her original productions.
Hit play and get to know more about Kiss Nuka below.
Where are you based and how did you get there?
Currently, I am in India, bouncing between Goa and Mumbai, and this summer I will be setting up a home outside of Barcelona with my partner. I’m going with the flow, letting my intuition guide me.
What’s your favourite thing about the music scene there?
We’re arriving in a place where there’s space for all kinds of music. The scene in India has been booming for the last few years, with really exciting homegrown talent and curators.
In five words, what do your DJ sets sound like?
Nothing- You’ve - Ever - Heard- Before
And in three words, how would you describe yourself?
Committed, impulsive, passionate
What recent trends in music have you been paying attention to? Have you caught onto them?
I am not glued to what's trendy but I’m finding more of the high BPM super ravey music being played on dance floors. That’s my jam. I was raving in Goa for many years, and you can hear the influence of that in my music.
Are there any producers and DJs in Asia that have recently caught your attention?
Dotdat has such an evolved playing style. Watashi from Bangalore. I heard him play some deep bass, tribal, drum and bass at the Far Out Festival in Mumbai. Super good! Sohail in his new moniker Rafiki is a master of the dance floor. He can knock the socks off of any kind of crowd.
Describe one prediction you have about dance music in a post-pandemic world that’s being driven by new technologies.
As much as I have to embrace new technologies, I wanna go to rave in the forest or at the beach or in the mountains. I need some Mother Nature dance floor healing!
Tell us about the inspiration behind this mix - what drove your thoughts and emotions, and how did you curate your selection?
The mix is full power from the start and just goes up up up! Considering that this set was for the good folks at Mixmag Asia, I wanted to represent where I’m coming from and the various influences that make me the artist I am today. Since I only play Live sets with my own released and unreleased music, I was able to bring in some desi elements that excite me.
There’s a bit of Hindi poetry from a hip-hop track 'Paathshaala'I produced with the Indian MC Spitfire. There’s a version of 'Ramta Jogi' that I produced because I love the original so much, that I’ve never put it out there but it’s in this mix, especially for you :)
What equipment did you record this mix on?
Ableton is the recording software, I use the Push and an Akai MPK Mini as the two controllers, a Microfreak for general synth fuckery, an SM 58 for the rare moments I decide to sing, and my RME Fireface soundcard.
Where can we hear you playing next?
I wrap up my last few gigs in India before I leave for Europe this summer. There’s a banging remix compilation of my debut EP Serpentine, Serpentine Remixed coming out June 23rd with some of the most prolific and exciting producers from the scene. Maybe some release parties would be the last few. See you on the dancefloor somewhere, come say hi!