A genre-bending mix from one of the most underrated producers in the game
You may not know the name, but you know the tracks. Since 1995, Ali Gibbs has been diligently releasing funk-infused electronic music on some of the best imprints around. His work as Nebraska has received plaudits from tastemakers across the genres and has seen him release on titans of the underground scene such as Delusions of Grandeur, Rush Hour, and Mister Saturday Night – the latter including his track ‘Green Marimba’ on the commercially released Weekends and Beginnings mix.
We’ve been huge fans of his music ever since we first heard his sophomore album Displacement so it’s with great pleasure that we present an 80 minute insight into the record collection of Nebraska.
What’s been your journey from music fan to a highly-rated producer of electronic music?
Firstly, that’s very flattering – thank you. I got interested in making some kind of cut’n’paste music after hearing Double Dee & Steinski and Coldcut in the 80s. Luckily, at school we had a few pieces of relevant kit (a 606, a 202, etc) and an encouraging music teacher. One of my best mates – James Mason – also had some kit at home and around 1993, we finally put out a self-funded, home recorded white label, which sold 1000 copies – we got the bug. I carried on solo when I moved to London in 1996.
What have you been up to recently?
A. I work from home, mostly. My studio is set up to work on visual projects (work for brands like Burberry is largely how I earn my living) as well music. So on an average day, I spend time thinking about and making visual things and dip in and out of audio and music.
You’ve been running your label Friends & Relations since 2016, how has the transition been from recording for other people to recording for your own label?
A. I guess the only real difference is making that final A&R decision about which tracks to release. Having worked with quite a few great labels, I know that my favourite tracks are often not the same as other people’s, and sometimes things I think are great no-one else does. So I spend quite a bit of time making sure I really believe in what I’m putting out… the question is really “as a punter, would I pay for this on a Saturday afternoon in a record shop?”
If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?
A. I did some studio time with my good friends Session Victim in the past year, which was great – we did a track called ‘Dawn’, which was released on Delusions Of Grandeur. If it were a complete fantasy situation, it’d be amazing to even spend time in the studio with someone like Herbie Hancock or Quincy Jones. Or if we broaden that ‘artist’ definition, someone like Christian Marclay would be high on the list.
Where was this mix recorded and what did you use?
The mix was recorded in my home studio, pulling records off the shelves to play on the same Technics 1200s I’ve had since the early 90s and my Vestax PMC 05 mixer, with an old Boss half-rack delay and a dub siren kindly made for me by my old mate James. All really simple kit, and mostly records I’ve loved for years.
DJ Nature – Billy C
Stomu Yamashta/Steve Winwood – Surf Spin/Time Is Here
Steve Miller Band – Macho City
Traffic – Gimme Some Loving (Live)
Les McCann & Eddie Harris – Compared To What
Allen Toussaint – Night People
Dennis Brown – The Exit
Shinehead – Billy Jean
Playa – Don’t Stop The Music
Hidden Agenda – Channel
Firefox – Who Is It
Underground Resistance – Hard Life (Aaron Carl Mix)
Tony Lionni – Found A Place
Skylevel – Dreaming
Nebraska – Stand Your Ground
Sly & The Family Stone – Thank You For Talkin’ To Me, Africa
Once you’ve finished listening to the mix, take a tour through Nebraska’s outstanding vinyl discography