Nichols Takes a Cosmic Trip with Cowbells in Space

Kalen Bergado

On his new release for Mirabilis, Cowbells In Space EP, Grant Nichols showcases his innate understanding of the push and pull effect that can make techno make time disappear. Focused on the melodic side of techno, both tracks feature embracing melodies that pull you into new worlds, albeit different worlds at that. The title track “Cowbells In Space” is a journey through galaxies propelled forward with its powerful bassline and pushed to the beyond when the dubbed out cowbells arrive. The second track on the EP, “Society In Fabric” is a much darker affair, fit for soundtracking a stroll through an abandoned building late at night. We got a chance to chat with Nichols to get more of an understanding how his year has been thus far, some of the inspirations behind what he has been producing lately, and insight into his studio set up. Check it out & get Mirabilis 117 today: Buy Cowbells In Space EP on Beatport

Alongside the release of this EP, what else have you been up to?

Recent highlights have been some pretty special gigs at Burning Man for Playground and Celtic Chaos and aside from that I have been locked in the studio working on new Nichols and Soul Of Noise material

What are some of the inspirations and ideas that you have been contemplating when producing these days?

I have been trying to be more fluid and go with a riff or groove that sounds good and see where it ends up and not really stick to a formula or specific genre. Inspirations are so varied from new wave electro pop, Talabot/Jobse electro, Warren/Burridge melodic/progressive and also techno.  Everything involves melody and I want the tracks to work on a dancefloor whether that is at sunrise on the playa or peak time in a techno club.

Can you tell us more about your vision and mood when producing “Cowbells In Space”?

It started with a throbbing arp synth groove and the twisted cowbells which sounded great together and I wanted to take it on a cosmic, driving techno tip.

What is current studio set up like? Do you have any favorite pieces of equipment, bits of kit, or plug-ins that you’ve been using recently?

I share a studio with my good friend and production partner Matt Tanner (Dyart) and we have a variety of outboard toys which I use with logic X. Loving the Roland JX-03, all the U-he synths and the soundtoys plugs. All roads lead to Valhalla too.

How do you approach an original production differently than a remix?

Exactly the same so I will only use the parts that I really love in a remix and build a track around them based on what I feel sounds good.

What have been some of the most rewarding moments of 2018 so far?

The most rewarding thing is managing to get a consistent string of releases. After my debut on The Soundgarden I had a break for a while whilst I made more material but it is really satisfying that I now have more releases out in the public domain with loads more to come (hopefully)!