Reduced by Nexcyia

The soundtrack to a reduced frame of mind and an expanding resource to encourage better self-careExplore the archive.

Students of early hip-hop may be aware of the small print on the back sleeve of LL Cool K’s 1985 album Radio: “Reduced by Rick Rubin”, in homage to his pioneering minimalist arrangement. It’s with Rick’s same approach to musical minimalism that this series emerges: stripping sound back to its most transcendental, restorative and atmospheric textures to block out the noise and aid focus, attunement and relaxation.

Discussions have come a long way in recent years, but there still remains a taboo around not being okay. To accompany each audio presentation, we’ll speak to the creator about their experiences with self-care and, if they’re comfortable sharing, mental health. We’ll unpack personal processes, explore the nuances of self-care across cultures and raise awareness of charities with a personal connection. We hope this will grow into an evolving resource of knowledge and experience to provide solace, inspiration, reassurance and company in difficult times.

For the next episode, we welcome musician and sound artist Adam Dove AKA Nexcyia. Based between Paris and London, Adam’s work—released via imprints like Cafe OTO and Alien Jams—is grounded in ambient and experimental sonics, seeing him explore discordant and harsh textures that conjure up diverging moods, emotions and places.

Describing his Reduced Mix, Nexcyia explains that “the idea was to convey a sense of peace and tranquility. I would like the listeners to feel calm and balanced after listening. When I think of this mix, I think of myself being underwater. So the sounds I chose have an underwater feeling.”

He pairs the mix with three charities: two Black-owned mental health charities, BLAM UK and Beyond Stigmas, and The Black Cultural Archives, the only national heritage centre in the UK that focuses on Black British history.

Nexcyia’s Origin EP is available now via Cafe OTO.

We now premiere all our mixes a week early on Mixcloud. Subscribe to our channel to listen first, download all mixes, and ensure that the artists included in each one gets paid. Read more about our decision here.

First a nice easy one: what does self-care mean to you?

When I think of self-care, I usually think of peace, quiet and relaxation. As introverted as I am, I usually like to use this time on my own. Self-care to me means taking the time out to focus on myself – this could mean going to a park and reading a book or unwinding by meditating.

What does your daily or weekly self-care routine look like?

My daily self-care routine usually happens at the end of each day, or when I take breaks.

I usually try to relax either by reading a book or listening to a podcast. Since I mostly work with sound I like to give my ears a break too so I’ll do this by either painting/drawing or just sitting in my garden.

Can you tell us about the self-care spot at home you’ve photographed and how have made it an optimum spot?

My self-care spot is going to be my room for sure! It’s where I rest, paint and practice yoga to gather all my energy for the next day.

Can you tell us about the outdoor location you’ve photographed where you go to find tranquility.

I think for me any location that doesn’t have many city sounds feels quite nice. I find a lot of tranquility when I hear the ocean. This beach is lovely to go to between 6-7am – it’s really calming to close your eyes and put your feet in the sand. It’s also special to me because my dog loves it. I think it’s a self-care thing for him too!

What benefits has self-care brought you over the years?

It has given me peace of mind, patience and more kindness.

Are there any specific techniques you favour or come back to more frequently?

There are some yogic breathing techniques that I like to use whenever I’m nervous or not feeling too well – inhaling slowly for 4 seconds and exhaling for 8 seconds is very nice technique when you feel under pressure.

What advice would you have for anyone who is either sceptical about the benefits of self-care, or is new to it and feels intimated by the wealth of options available.

My advice for anyone that is sceptical about the benefits of self-care is to maybe start with a guided meditation followed by some breathing techniques. I also think if someone is sceptical about it they shouldn’t feel forced to do it – I think it comes with time.

What was the idea behind your Reduced set?

The idea was to convey a sense of peace and tranquility. I would like the listeners to feel calm and balanced after listening. The tracks are mostly ambient, drone, field recordings and quite textural. When I think of this mix, I think of myself being underwater. So the sounds I chose have an underwater feeling.

How would you advise listening to your set?

My best advice would be to sit back, listen with headphones or monitors and close your eyes.

What does good mental health mean to you?

Good mental health to me would be the balance of good physical and psychological care. I think in order to achieve good mental health, it is very important to take care of your physical self too.

Are there any experiences with mental health that you’d like to share to provide comforts or connections with others who are/have suffered? Dark times you’ve left behind you, or difficult moments you still struggle to overcome?

I guess I still suffer with quite a bit of social anxiety and for me what helps is to not be too hard on yourself. Taking the time out to heal and be with people that understand can be very nice. Talking with a friend or family member that know this can be a great support. 

What advice would you give to people who are suffering from poor mental health and either can’t understand why or don’t know where to turn?

My advice would be to find like-minded people who are also looking for help. When my mental health was quite poor, I decided to stay in an eco-village in Portugal. The months I spent there were extremely nice, it helped me unwind with yoga and meditation for two hours every day – it was super peaceful.

Based on experiences where others have helped you, what advice would you give to those who are close to someone who’s suffering but doesn’t know how best to support them.

I would tell them to listen, don’t be judgmental and be there for that person when it gets harder.

How is mental health viewed in your own culture or immediate surroundings? Have you faced challenges getting support if/when you needed it from your community?

In my current household, we do talk about it from time to time. I think it’s important to be able to chat about it in a safe space. Mental health in my family back home in France isn’t really discussed as a collective but hopefully that will change soon.

Are there any initiatives or sources of knowledge doing important work in mental health that have benefited you, that others should check out?

The BlackBandcamp platform/movement was really helpful for a lot of black and brown musicians struggling with everything that was happening during the BLM protests.

Can you tell us more about your selected charity, the work it does and why it holds a personal significance?

BLAM UK and Beyond Stigmas are black owned mental health charities that help people of color.

The Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, London, is the only national heritage center in all of Britain that focuses on black British history. It holds a huge significance to me because it’s a heritage center that doesn’t get enough funding by the government.

Nexcyia’s Origin EP is available now via Cafe OTO.

We now premiere all our mixes a week early on Mixcloud. Subscribe to our channel to listen first, download all mixes, and ensure that the artists included in each one gets paid. Read more about our decision here.



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