Todays guestmix oozes personality. This is the standard for Andy Ash. He’s been Djing for a very long time (since he was 15) and although he’s a bit of a house addict he’s picked up wonderfully eclectic style and can be heard spinning all kinds of unexpected stuff while always maintaing his core house aesthetic and style. Beginning his career in Cambridge Andy moved to Liverpool and set about crafting his own style and sound. He started off with a small digital release on Five20East (The Revenge’s original label) and has gone on to release multiple orgional productions, edits and remixes on labels such as On The Prowl, Boogie Originals, FOTO and Kolour Recordings to name a few. Having recently taken on the role of co-runner for Boogie Originals Records. This is testament to just how important a role music plays in Andy’s day to day. The mix that he’s created for us is, well, different and fresh. It pops and crackles (no snaps) to life and you know straight away that vinyl is important to this man. It gathers pace well with pulsing and slightly gritty house tracks and this becomes more defined as the mixes progress until your immersed in real loft party music. Vocal hits and elements are a constant theme throughout and do well to add a little warmth and soul to the gritty house beats. The track selection is wonderful because it all came as such a surprise to me. I shamefully didnt recognise one track until 43 minutes in which kept me guessing and surprised. Toward the end the house only policy gives way to more shimmering beats but Andy never abandons the mix’s housey core. One of the most surprising and impressive sets I’ve heard in a while. Whatever ‘it’ is, Andy has ‘it’.
Where did your career as a producer all begin? What was the catalyst?
Well, I started DJing when I was about 16 and realised pretty quickly that producing your own music was the best way to get your name out there and be asked to DJ… so I guess that it was the love for DJing that I have which pushed me into producing! From there I basically kept making my own stuff, giving out CDRs to whoever would take them and generally hassling people haha! That was back when I was about 18 and before the whole internet myspace/soundcloud/facebook scene had kicked off. The only way I had to get my music into other people’s ears was to give out CDs!
You left Cambridge in favour of Liverpool, why was this?
Well, I went to university in Liverpool where I trained to be a primary school teacher. I actually now live on the Wirral with my family, its quieter and I get loads more stuff done.. Liverpool is a cool place, it gets a lot of bad press but once you get past that its cool.
How does your music go down in Liverpool? Do you find most of your gigs are outside Liverpool?
Yeah, definitely! Almost all my gigs are outside Liverpool.. When I do play in Liverpool its usually pretty small stuff and more often than not people don’t have a clue who I am (and probably don’t really care haha). But there have been some really good clubs and one off nights over the years. Stu (Cosmic Boogie) used to run a night and they had some amazing parties. The problem is you could put on someone amazing and end up with about 20 people in the door, it often comes down to how many people you know and whether they can be bothered to come out which is a shame.
You have a pretty varied style and seem to have a wealth of influences, where did your eclecticism come from?
I basically started off just playing house and I guess at heart I am really a house head. But for a while I went completely off house music, I think the scene went stale for a bit, and I just started buying loads of different records and really widening my musical taste. I now love so many different kinds of music, everything from KISS to Alice Coltrane and a bunch of stuff in between. I really like anything that’s authentic and not just manufactured rubbish! I also find that when I am out in a club or whatever I find myself really wanting the DJ to vary what they play, not necessarily flipping from genre to genre, just something different you know, something that stands out rather than a 2hr set of beats and bass lines with a few beeps… I think that’s what makes a really good DJ, someone that can get you excited with whatever music they are playing.
You’ve just joined Stu from Boogie Original Records, how have you found the transition from producer to label/A+R man?
Its cool actually, I love picking music for the label and being able to put together records, I’ve always wanted to do it. It seems like a pretty natural transition for me, it means I have an output for my own music and get to support artists I really like!
Do you think profit-wise vinyl has been reduced to being a loss leader for digital sales?
I think so yeah, unless you’re selling a load of vinyl. We sell around 500 copies per release and I think other labels are similar. At the moment we make more money of digital sales than vinyl but I guess it could change… Anyway, its not like we’re talking big money haha, we barely break even and for me and Stu its all about the music. We’re both just buzzing off being able to put the music we love out!
What is the importance of vinyl to you and where do you see the industry in 5 years?
I am a massive vinyl fan! For me its basically my staple musical diet… I love buying, collecting and listening to vinyl (my wife isn’t so happy about it taking over half the living room!). I also think vinyl is the original and best format for DJs, I’m not trying to outdo other DJs who use traktor, ableton or whatever they’re all cool too and have big plus points but its all about vinyl for me (just watch me .. in a few years I’ll probably have traktor like everyone else, all it’ll take is my records to get lost at the airport a few more times!) I think vinyl will stay strong though, sales have gone up in the past year and there is a core group of people around the world who will continue to buy and play vinyl (I’ve already got my 6 year old son into it haha). I don’t think there’s massive scope for making money off it, but it’ll be supported by those people who have love for the music and the format.
What have you got up your sleeve for the next year?
Well, my wife is having a baby in a few weeks to that’s gonna be a pretty big thing! Apart from that I’m busy finishing two EP’s at the moment for On The Prowl and a new label called Black Key Records, a track on Nicholas’ House Sound Records and a track on DSO’s label Use Of Weapons, you can also expect more stuff from me on Boogie Originals! Remix wise there are a few things; a remix for James Johnston on Under The Shade, a version of a track for SAM records which I am excited about and I can’t remember what else!
Thanks to: The Unity Agency
Tracklist to come!