Something Happening Somewhere spaceship operator Nuno Dos Santos steps forward with a beaming 77-minute mix of rugged electro, lo-fi house and dubby techno, next to sharing the latest on his Ultrastation moniker, upcoming projects and SoHaSo label.  

Nuno Dos Santos is an absolute powerhouse within the Dutch scene. The Lisbon native has enriched our Amsterdam hometown, and far beyond for over a decade and we’re nothing short than grateful. Between running Something Happening Somewhere, playing eclectic sets across the international circuit and organising carefully curated events, his endeavours are ones we’ve closely followed ever since attending the first SoHaSo showcase at Trouw. Operating with expertise and skillfulness, the label’s catalog balances a great selection of upcoming and well-known producers such as Love Over Entropy, Dixon, Kiani & His Legion, Sigward, Cosmic Force, Kurt Baggaley and Nuno himself.

Taking control of the 34th installment in our podcast series, the Something Happening Somewhere honcho steps forward with a refreshing 1-hour, 17-minute mix of beaming lo-fi house, rugged electro and dubby techno. In addition, we fired some questions across covering all things SoHaSo, his collaborative Ultrastation moniker and upcoming projects. Dig in below!

Welcome Nuno, what’s been going on? I catch you off the back of a busy weekend, playing Doornroosje in Nijmegen and Amsterdam venue Thuishaven. How did that all unfold?

Things are good here! Always fun to play two different gigs over the course of the weekend. First I had the privilege of closing the small room at the 7 years of Subcultuur anniversary party in Nijmegen. I ended up playing quite a jacking set there. At Thuishaven I took over from George Fitzgerald, who ended his set around 132 BPM. This allowed me to play quite up-tempo with some techno cuts, next to some deeper stuff as well.

Something Happening Somewhere has had another strong musical year. With the first EP release of 2020 coming up next week, and a hinted first album outing for the record label scheduled, what can we expect the coming months? And tell us a bit about this year’s account opener by Sjoerd Sigward.

Yeah, I’m very pleased how last year played out for SoHaSo. We’ve been able to release some great music, which I’m grateful for. With the vinyl scheduled to release this Friday, the first record of 2020 comes courtesy of longtime label member Sigward. After releasing his first EP back in 2014, I’m happy to have him back on-board for the second one. It’s a very diverse package, featuring broken beat and ambient on the A-side, next to some vibey cosmic stuff and arpeggio-driven electro with Italo leanings on the flip.

The album comes from another SoHaSo regular; Far Out Radio Systems, also known as Kiani & His Legion. I’m super excited to release the first long player on the label. Before the album drops, we’ve another big release coming up in the form of our second NOWHERE compilation. It’s a 12-track various artists bundle featuring music by the likes of Mark Du Mosch, Tripeo, Luna Ludmila, Ian Pooley and Tjade.

You’ve gathered quite a wide array of Dutch producers around you like Love Over Entropy, Cosmic Force, Sigward, Eefje de Visser and Bas Dobbelaer.. What decides you to collaborate with a musician in particular? 

That’s very simple in my case. I don’t think in boxes – never did – and I like to keep an open mind towards new stuff that crosses my path. If I like it, I release it. There’s no bigger process behind it. I just release music that I enjoy listening to and gives me the feeling the world should know about as well.

You recently joined forces with good buddy Cosmic Force and cultivated Ultrastation. How does this collaboration project differ musically from what you’ve been doing solo and what sparked the endeavour?

We already knew each other for a while. One day we just started playing around with some machines in the studio. Aside from us having a lot of fun with it and becoming good friends, nothing came out of the first couple sessions. After around two years of fiddling around, our sound direction became clearer and the material more solid and well rounded. The idea of doing hybrid sets under the alias followed quickly, incorporating live synthesizers and drum computers into the DJ set. Other than my solo work, the Ultrastation stuff is a bit more aggressive and uncompromising. It’s also the way we make music, with live takes. We like to keep it raw.. 🙂

Tell us about the mix on display here today. How did you approach it and special records we need to be looking out for?

I wanted to record a set with some tracks which I really like at the moment, next to incorporating some special upcoming bits and pieces from the label. Starting out like a club night with some vibey stuff, pitch the tempo a bit and slowly builds through to a more trippy section and ends with some broken beat-driven material..

What else is coming up?

I’m working on some new solo EPs and I just started a new alias with which I’ll be doing some more ambient and listening music orientated stuff with. Next to that, we just signed a new Ultrastation EP with Snork Enterprises, so keep an eye out for that one. Aside from the earlier mentioned releases for SoHaSo, we’ve a collab EP coming up with Marguerita Recording that will be the debut EP of Freek Fabricius.

Nuno Dos Santos: Facebook // Soundcloud // Instagram // SoHaSo

Photo credit: Maeve Stam