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Nyxen on 10 Artists That Influenced Her Debut Album ‘PXNK’

Sydney electronic artist Nyxen released her debut album, PXNKon Friday, 19th August. Nyxen’s profile has been rising over the last half a dozen years, with the 2016 single ‘Running’ capturing the attention of an international listenership. The singles ‘Nightmare’ and ‘Tunnels’ preceded the release of PXNK, giving fans a taste of the album’s emotive register and retro electronic influences.

Nyxen has described PXNK as an “amalgamation of sounds and stories that have influenced my life”. To that end, we asked Nyxen to name ten artists, albums or EPs that had a discernible influence on the record.

Nyxen’s ten biggest influences

1. John Carpenter: Lost Themes III: Alive After Death

My album took it’s name from the cyberpunk movie genre. John Carpenter didn’t have many cyberpunk movies, but I’ve always associated his soundtracks and music with it because it’s so futuristic for the period. In the later stages of writing the album, John Carpenter released Lost Themes III. His music past and present will always be a major source of inspiration for my music.

2. Metric: Fantasies; Live it Out; Art of Doubt

Metric are probably the single biggest musical influence I’ve had. I first heard their music when Fantasies was released in 2009. The big single from the album was ‘Help I’m Alive’. I was watching rage on TV one morning and they played the music video and I was instantly absorbed in the lyrics, instrumentation and structure of the song.

I searched for Metric online and went on a journey through their discography uncovering Live it Out, which featured ‘Too Little Too Late’ and ‘Handshakes’. Metric and all eight of their albums are on constant repeat in my house to this day.

3. New Order

New Order have always had a way of fusing electronic music with rock. That rock/electronic fusion has always been a sound I’ve been drawn to and I hope you can hear sprinkles of the New Order inspiration across my record.

4. Icarus

I’m not sure the Icarus influence translates as much as some of my other influences, but the emotion Icarus manages to convey in their music is something I really strive towards with my own writing.

The In The Dark EP and single ‘October’ soundtracked a solo trip I took to Indonesia a few years ago and has been my way of travelling back to that memory ever since. I don’t think I listened to anything else in that time except for my airplane take-off song, Thelma Houston’s ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’.

5. Vitalic: Voyage

Vitalic is nuts. Another artist I love entirely. I love the soundscapes he creates and the varying levels of intensity you get across each of his tracks. The album Voyage has so much movement within it. Pulsing basslines with warping synths spiralling in and out of focus. ‘Levitation’, ‘Lightspeed’, ‘Nozomi’ and ‘Waiting for the Stars’ are highlights on the album for me and are a definite inspiration for some of my more synth-driven songs.

6. Ministry Of Sound: The 2007 Annual

I still have my double-CD copy of this. The Ministry of Sound 2007 Annual compilation came out at a time I was first experiencing dance music made for clubs. I still find myself going back to the songs on the ’07 annual. So many classics. It was a great year for dance music and has influenced the dance music I’ve been drawn to ever since.

7. Bruce Springsteen: Born In the USA

I’m a sucker for this album. My tracks, ‘I Wanna Know’ and ‘The Search’, wouldn’t exist without Born In The USA. The end section of ‘The Search’ was written with the tones of this album in mind. Favourite song from the album is ‘I’m On Fire’. I’ve got the vinyl at home and it’s not uncommon for me to run back to the record player a few times to listen over and over again.

8. College: Teenage Color

I love this EP. I first discovered College via his song ‘A Real Hero’ from the Drive soundtrack. I went digging through his Spotify a few years back and came across the title track, ‘Teenage Color’. From there, I found the EP.

I was listening to it a lot when I was writing ‘Radio Silence’. The synergy between the kick and the bass, the tone of the snares. This EP lives in a similar world to Vitalic’s album Voyage for me.

9. Van She: V

The first gig I ever went to was Van She at the Metro Theatre in Sydney for the V album tour. I was front and centre, pinned against the barricade completely absorbed in every moment. V is my favourite Australian synth-fusion record.

‘Kelly’, ‘Strangers’, ‘Changes’, ‘The Sea’ and ‘A Sharp Knife’ are album highlights for me. The sound they achieved on this record has influenced the music I listen to and write ever since.

10. Pixies: Doolittle

Doolittle is one of my favourite albums. The Pixies have influenced me in the same way anyone’s favourite albums influence them. I’ve listened to their music so much, the tones are cemented in my brain as a preference. I think it’s most noticeable in the drums. My favourite track from the album is ‘Hey’. I’ve even got a tattoo that references some of the lyrics.

Nyxen’s debut album PNXK is out now. Nyxen is on tour with the Grapevine Gathering this October.

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