Jordan Nocturne talks Nocturne imprint, The Night Institute, & plans for the future | Soundspace

Jordan Nocturne talks Nocturne imprint, The Night Institute, & plans for the future

Jordan Nocturne Interview - Soundspace

Belfast DJ and all round dance music aficionado Jordan Nocturne has been a key player for the cities club scene for more than a decade now, and the past couple of years have seen him really step up his game in terms of both label releases and international touring.

Alongside releasing his own productions on top record labels like Permanent Vacation, Correspondant, Turbo Recordings, and Polari, his own Nocturne imprint has also been making waves, having brought us tracks from keen producers such as Man Power and Alex Virgo.

2023 has been his biggest year yet as an artist, and this weekend we see him celebrate the 8th anniversary of his The Night Institute party, which he heads up in partnership with fellow Belfast stalwart Timmy Stewart.

We spoke to Jordan Nocturne about the occasion, what other parties The Night Institute has planned, what we can expect from both himself and his label, and more. Read the full interview below.

So how has July been for Jordan Nocturne so far?

July has been great – I started the month playing Tengu in Dublin for a great little party called Bella Festa. The residents were playing some of the best music I’d heard in a long time. I was actually pretty nervous before going on, but it was one of my highlights of the year so far. From there I headed straight to Ibiza, I was playing Pikes for the first time which was a real dream for me. I haven’t stopped thinking about getting back there since. It’s a really special place. I’m now back in Belfast and played a six hour set at Thompsons Garage last week, and am gearing up for two weeks of big parties as The Night Institute celebrates eight years and I’m also playing London next week too!

You’ve been touring abroad quite a bit recently, what’s been one of your highlight reel moments as a DJ in 2023?

Pikes surely was a highlight. I first played Ibiza when I was 16 and have been a bit obsessed with the magic of the island ever since. My biggest regret is not having done a season when I was a student. Other notable standouts were Kultas in Lithuania, Dure Vie in Paris, and Night Tales in London.

Your Nocturne imprint has previously seen music come from the likes of Perdu, Man Power, and Alex Virgo – who else might we expect on the label in the near future?

I’m finalising the debut release of Josh Ludlow on Nocturne. Josh is one half of the Make a Dance duo & label and is just a world class producer. He can turn his hand to anything and the attention to detail in his tracks are just amazing. That’ll be the green light to signal the label swinging back into action after a bit of a breather, so there’ll be plenty more to come.

And how about your own music on other labels?

I have two releases coming up this Autumn on Cormac’s Polari and Benjamin Frohlich’s Permanent Vacation. The music is right across the board on those two releases – original vocals, acid, italo, house. I’m really pleased with both of them and blessed to be supported by such strong labels. I’ve also just remixed Django Django so keep your ears peeled for that.

Jordan Nocturne Interview - Soundspace

The Night Institute continues to be one of Belfast’s best parties, which dates should we be keeping free over the next couple of months?

The Night Institute turns 8 this weekend. It’s something myself and Timmy (Stewart) are really proud of. Running a party in a small city without guests is a tricky enough task, but we’re lucky to have a really loyal band of regulars who trust what we do and it’s thanks to them that we’ve been able to adapt and thrive through almost a decade. We’ll celebrate 8 years with myself and Timmy all night at Ulster Sports Club this Saturday. The following week is our biggest show yet, it’s an open-air gig as part of EastSide Arts Festival – a collaboration with David Holmes’ Gods Waiting Room party. EastSide have been massive supporters of us and we’re eternally grateful that they have the faith to let us put on a thousand capacity party in the middle of East Belfast. It’s almost sold-out so they made the right decision in fairness!

What’s your best advice to any aspiring promoters out there?

Honestly, I think it’s important to be honest with yourself about why you are starting the party. If it’s something that you truly feel there’s a demand for or a sound or a community that’s not being catered for then fill your boots and get stuck in. If it’s another house night or another techno night, consider reaching out to the promoters who are already doing that and show them what you have to offer. I think there’s a sentiment that it’s difficult to get gigs, I personally am always keen to hear new DJ’s and offer support slots at The Night Institute as long as the music’s right. If you are always having the door slammed in your face, then maybe you’re right – it’s time to do it yourself.

If you decide that’s the route you’re going to go down – start a party, not a club night. There are plenty of struggling bars in the current climate, reach out to them, throw a party in their back room and build something special organically without the financial pressure of flying in guests. Your venue doesn’t always have to be a club, think outside the box.

Are there any names in Belfast, or Ireland in general, which have you particularly excited about what they’re doing?

Chris Frieze has just launched his new label Mystic Arts which is being really well received. He’s one of the best DJ’s in the city as well and hands-down the best dressed. Check out his mixes for Never Never. In terms of parties, it’s the Ponyhawke parties and Schmutz gigs that have been luring me out recently.

And tell us one of your guilty pleasures, something that people might be surprised to know you listen to?

I make no secrets about my questionable taste. I’ve been rekindling my love for early 2000’s tech-trance recently – Marco V, Sander Van Doorn, and Picotto. It’s also slow in contrast to a lot of the hard and fast techno that’s genre du jour at the minute, so I’m getting away with playing it in my sets!

Is there anything else you want to mention before we wrap things up?

Yes, after we wrap up July’s big The Night Institute parties, I’m starting August off the right way with my Fabric debut for my friends at Midnight People, Fatima Yamaha & Make a Dance. Big one!

40 Questions: Ramon Tapia