Listen: NATE08’s Good Vibes-Inducing New EP ‘Lightwork’
The record is a follow-up to this year’s four-track ‘DOPPELGANGER BOOTLEGS’ EP
The first time I came across Mumbai bassist-producer Nathan Thomas aka NATE08 was when he sat in on bass duties in 2011 alongside drummer Kristofor Mendonca (from erstwhile rockers The Mavyns) and alt-rock band The Koniac Net’s guitarist Aaron D’Mello at the city-based St. Andrews Auditorium for a couple of songs. At the time, Thomas was still in school but he showcased some sublime talent with thunderous basslines, slaps and pops.
Since then, the musician has carved a niche for himself as one of the go-to bass players in Mumbai, performing with everyone from multi-instrumentalist Sidd Coutto, blues rockers Blackstratblues, electronic artists Sandunes and Kumail, singer-songwriter Nikhil D’Souza, musician Tajdar Junai, singer-composer Amit Trivedi as well as drummer Dhir Mody (on a duo project called Drum ani Bass). Thomas says, “I always knew I wanted to play music and never saw myself being able to hack the desk job life.”
Apart from being able to hold the low end exceptionally well, Thomas also doubles as a producer under the moniker NATE08 and has released a host of singles as well as two EPs including 2018’s five-track DRMZ and this year’s four-song DOPPELGANGER BOOTLEGS. Now the multi-talented artist is back with fresh music in the shape of his latest two-track EP Lightwork which dropped today. “I was making beats in my bedroom around early 2018 to just explore a different side of my creativity,” says Thomas. He adds, “I started working on Lightwork around mid-2019, but got really busy with things once the season started last year. I had some downtime right now and thought it was a good time for a release.”
Lightwork – which clocks in at just over five minutes and was produced, mixed and mastered by Thomas – opens with the dreamy title track bringing together relaxing soundscapes, a melodic snare pattern and minimal vocals. On “Waitawhile,” NATE08 experiments more with keyboard and synth arrangements while maintaining the feel-good vibe of the record overall. “[There’s] no real conscious decision behind any of my music-making, it was just another day digging for some tunes to sample and these two tracks happened. I felt both the tunes fit together perfectly,” says Thomas.
With the musician always in demand by other artists to be a part of their projects, we ask him how he balances Nathan Thomas the bassist and NATE08 the producer. He says, “I prioritize my bookings on whoever gives me a confirmed date first.” Thomas tells us that it’s important to have a balance between his bassist gigs and solo work as budgets are low when it comes to playing club shows. He admits that it is a challenge to keep switching hats on a regular basis but says it’s “something I’m learning to be more aware of and give 100 percent in whatever situation I’m in.”
Thomas also had a four-city tour planned for April which is now canceled due to the current global health crisis. The producer is keeping busy though, with Instagram videos of him running his beats through a sampler, constantly working on new music which he hopes to put out through the year and also using the downtime to catch up on video games he’s been wanting to finish.
Also in the works is a full-length Drum ani Bass record coming out this year. Thomas and Mody have collaborated with musicians Sid Shirodkar, Warren Mendonsa, Mallika Barot, Azamaan Hoyvoy, Ron Cha, Yung. Raj, Vasundhara Vee and Shirish Malhotra for the project. “It’s in the mixing stage right now. Work on this took a little bit of a pause because of the virus situation, but hopefully, everything should be ready to release very soon,” says Thomas.
Stream ‘Lightwork’ on Spotify below. Click here to hear the EP on other platforms.