Disconnected Podcast 020: Andy Ash

Andy Ash

Easy Andy, how’s it going?

I’m good thanks. I’ve had a quiet weekend as I had a cancelled gig in Russia!

That would have been a vodka fuelled party, at least you can safe your liver a bit. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Well, I live in a pretty quiet town near liverpool with my family where I am a primary school teacher by day and DJ/Producer by night! I have been producing and DJing for about 8 years now but I can’t claim to have been into the kind of music I make/play all that time unfortunately (there were a couple of pretty bad ‘Trance’ years)… Anyway despite that I am now a massive fan of anything house and disco orientated, I kind of see them both as the same genre.

I guess you are enjoying this disco/soulful turn that house music seem to be on there?

Yeah, definitely. I was talking about it the other day. I have always been into house music but it seems to move in waves. I think it went through quite a weak patch four or five years ago and around that time I started exploring a much wider variety of music, I think a lot of people did that. What seems to have happened now is that house music is more popular now and a lot of those people who stopped playing and producing house music have brought all those other influences back and the genre has become really exciting again. Obviously this is only my perception, I am sure others will think different!

How did you get into music?

Thats actually a difficult question, it would be nice to say that I grew up listening to my Dad’s selection of rare soul records but I didn’t… I mostly had a diet of Cliff Richard and Pinky & Perky as a young child. But I guess the main thing is that I have always been massively into music ever since I can remember, no matter what genre that music is! When I was about 10/11 I begun to get a bit obsessed about the concept of the ‘DJ’, I used to listen to all the Radio 1 weekend DJ’s (Rampling, Pete Tong etc) and dissect the way they played music and the way it could be mixed. I then stole my parents Sony HI FI set which had a turntable and tape deck and started buying music, I used to mix between the tape and vinyl pretending I had my own radio show. Since then its been a pretty standard progression; I bought a set of decks and started buying records; I bought a computer and started making music!

My Mum loves a bit of Cliff, I think its engraved in my soul somewhere from listening to it when I was a baby! Anyways..I first came across your music on the OTP release. That record is still in my bag most weekends. Was that your first release, and how did it come about?

I actually had quite a few releases before that. I think my first official release was a digital EP simply called ‘AA’ and it was released by Graeme Clarke (The Revenge) and Ali Ooft! on their old label ‘Five20East’, after that I had a few others including my first vinyl release which was a double 12″ on StillLove4Music. It had a bunch of edits and original bits on there and its still available from some places, that came out in about 2008 but I only just got paid for it a few months ago!
The release on OTP with ‘Freak’ on it first came about when I met Jacques Renault in Barcelona I guess, we hung out at a party there and he gave me a bunch of music, after that we were in contact and I sent him some tracks including ‘Freak’ and it took off from there…

You’ve got a remix on the new Fastastic Man record for Kolour, there’s the boogie originals gear doing the rounds, and Another World on On The Prowl, lots of quality stuff, you happy with how things are going?

Yeah man, I’m really happy with how things are going! I love this music and the scene and I’m just really happy that I am a part of it. I love DJing and producing and thats the reason I do it, its not about the money for me (but that still doesn’t mean I want to get ripped off!). I have quite an erratic production style, I can’t do it the way some guys do it and belt out a great track every time I make music, sometimes its ages before I can make something I like but then I’ll have a run of making loads of stuff I like. I guess it all depends on my mood. I’m happy with some of the forthcoming releases I am a part of, there’s the next Boogie Originals release with my track ‘Part of This’ on. I’m really pleased with that record as a package. I’ve also done a bunch of remixes recently so keep an eye out for them!

We had your man Cosmic Boogie down with us at the Big Chill House a couple of weekends back, he’s a good old boy, you guys are doing the Boogie Originals label together right? What your plan/motivation there?

I think, for me, it just goes back to the fact that we just love music and there was this opportunity to be part of the label with Stu so I thought ‘Why not?’. It’s not a financial thing, we don’t make any money, we both just love being able to ask these great producers that are around at the moment for music, and to put it out on wax. Its also a great way to put your own music out too, it cuts through all the inevitable waiting that comes with dealing with other labels. Saying that we really don’t want it to be just all about our own music.

That sounds very similar to our motivations for the DSCNTD label. What’s your production set up?

I keep it pretty simple. One PC, two speakers and one midi keyboard. There are plans to extend that to include a Juno 60 or something but that will come as soon as I have moved house and got a proper studio sorted. I have tried out quite a few different software setups but I always find that when I put too much in front of myself to use I get lost in it. I think that, to an extent, deliberately restricting yourself in terms of your tools as a producer can really force you to get creative and interesting in what you do.

And the mix, what’s in there, and how did you record it?

Recently I have been out in clubs from pretty early on and I have seen a massive variety in warm-up DJ’s. This mix basically gives an idea of the kind of thing I would like to hear when ‘being warmed up?’ in a club and how I would warm up myself as a DJ, its where I started out, warming up at a local house club when I was 16. Normally I would play a bit faster and more energetic. In the mix there is a variety of stuff, mostly new bits, that I’m really into. There’s tracks from Nicholas, myself, Fantastic Man, 6th Borough Project, James Johnston, Lewie Day, Cosmic Boogie and that great new Medlar track on Wolf.

The mix was recorded mostly using vinyl with a few CDRs added in. I did it live and I never plan mixes so I apologise for any dodgy mixes!

Nice one dude, big up for the mix and the chat.

Nice one

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