Najel Monteiro: The ‘Shine A Light On’ Mix


Through his musical pursuits Rotterdam-based DJ and producer Najel Monteiro is exploring the African rhythms that soundtracked his youth, but approached through a contemporary electronic lens.

Whilst these influences are present in much of Monteiro’s music, like his inspirations that came before him – principally Detroit techno pioneers Jeff Mills and Robert Hood – his mission is to use his music as a vehicle to “challenge the status-quo”, channeling this into authentic and forward-thinking electronics.

With several releases under his belt, landing on the likes of DNA REC, Forte Techno, Induxtriall, Motech Records and most recently on Carista’s Modern Intimacy compilation, we expect it won’t be long before we’re hearing a lot more of Monteiro’s name.

Ahead of the release of Modern Intimacy, we invited him to take care of this week’s Shine A Light On mix. So lock in and get yourself aquainted…

Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you

I’m Najel Monteiro, producer from Rotterdam with Cape Verdean roots. 

What does your music sound like?

It’s hard to say because music it is differently interpreted by the listener, but I would say it sounds like old African rhythms that I grew up on, but modernized with todays technology. I never understood why I liked synthesizers and stuff until I saw a documentary about Cape Verde where they showed that in 1968 there was a cargo vessel with all types of synths that washed ashore on Sao Nicolau. They had all the synths in the music a long time ago and we used to listen to that music all the time so it made sense to produce techno later on. This is the link of the short doc. 

Where was the mix recorded?

The mix was recorded in the basement studio of my home in Rotterdam.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

The ideal setting for this mix would be when you’re doing something or going somewhere and need to think about stuff.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

The Vision – Detroit Circle

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Too many to name one.

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

I think that a back to back should grow organically. 

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

My first setup up was 2x CDJ1000 and a DJM800 I think. Now it’s 2x CDJ2000 and a DJM2000Nexus.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

Both are equally important, but the track I start with decides which way I’m going so I’ll pick that one.

What were the first and last records you bought?

The first records I bought that I can remember were Snoop Dogg’s The Doggystyle album, 36 Chambers, East 1999, a few Coladera tracks and Cape Verdean music. The last records I bought were tracks from Deano, Rene Wise, Maurizio, Robert Hood and Cravo.

Anything else we need to discuss?

Well the compilation album, Modern Intimacy vol. 1, on Carista’s label which features a lot of new Dutch artists is coming up. She did a great job on that release so yall check it out. I’ve got one track on the release called ‘Limbo’. That track is about how uncertain things in life can keep you stuck in limbo.

Follow Najel Monteiro. Buy Modern Intimacy Vol. 1.