Just when you think you have her figured, Maayan Nidam is the kind of artist that will switch up on you and charge off in a whole new direction. Stylistically her music has always orbited house and techno, but within that broad tapestry her labyrinthe back catalogue reveals myriad shades and methods that make for an artist not to be underestimated.
From her roots in Tel Aviv to settling in Berlin, Maayan quickly forged a musical path for herself through a rich spread of projects and releases, most notably rising to prominence under the Miss Fitz moniker at a time when minimal techno was yielding its most creative and inspiring output. Likewise the Laverne Radix alias and collaborative projects such as Mara Trax (alongside Vera Heindel) spoke of a mind brimming with ideas to unleash.
It was in 2009 that Maayan first emerged under her own name, delivering an ambitious project that saw her broaden her horizons away from the dancefloor. Night Long was an album that saw her work with a rich library of recordings from Cuban folk musicians, naturally joining the dots between modern dance music and the passionate, melodic sway of Latin American traditions.
From that jump off point, ever broader sound sources fed into Maayan’s music while the music itself started to take on a more colourful slant that matched her instinct for the bizarre with undeniable hooks. The delirious choral chant that runs through 2010 track “Perplexday” may be anything but conventional but its anthemic qualities are hard to ignore. Her most recent long player New Moon built on these qualities and stretched them over eleven tracks of swerving moods and tones, steeped in wild ideas played through warm machines and yet easy to dive into.
From there Maayan has been immersing herself ever more in her studio, engaging with creative neighbour Alex Picone in a loose-fit jam-based project entitled The Kicks. Getting intimate with the idiosyncrasies of her own set up whilst capturing the results of like-minded souls tinkering with it, this latest exploration of sound represents a free and easy approach unbound by the demands of the dancefloor or the scene that feeds it.
Of course though, dance music is where Maayan’s musical trajectory has stemmed from, and her love of undulating grooves is ever quenched by her work as a DJ. With selections that span the ages without fear of switching up the vibe, she may be as wilfully esoteric on the decks as in the studio but she always strikes the balance to keep from veering into self-indulgence. That is, after all, the test of any great artist, to entertain and challenge in equal measure, and Maayan Nidam has that approach locked down.