Andy Ash, DJ and Producer tells us about his experience running a label, his first few records, experimenting musically and dancing like a monkey,
Tell us what it was like growing up where you lived, where did you hang out, what did you listen to? I spent most of my time growing up in either Cambridge or London. Me and a good friend of mine got into house music early (I was about 14) and on Saturday's we would go to the record shops and ask to listen to loads of records, thing was we only had about £7 each and could only ever afford one record! I think the guys at the record shop used to get pretty pissed off with us... At that time I was mostly into more progressive house sounds but that grew into tribal house and that jackin Derrick Carter sound, we used to get really fed up because we would hear a great mix and then try to hunt down all the tracks only to find they weren't released. When I was 16 a local guy who ran a club called 'Goodtimes' (not THE Goodtimes but a house club with the same name) in Cambridge let me do a warm up slot after me nagging him with mix tapes all the time (and yes, they were actually tapes haha). Anyway after that me and my friend used to get let in the back door of the club every month and occasionally I would DJ early hours, it was great! It was a bit crazy and we were exposed to a lot of stuff we hadn't seen before but we were also exposed to some great house music.
When and how did you first get into music? I guess I've kind of covered some of this already... I grew up with a musical diet pretty much consisting of Cliff Richard and Pinky and Perky with some classical thrown in. My Mum used to have this box of old 45's and I was obsessed with them, when they weren't around I'd put on something like a Pinky and Perky record and have a go at 'scratching' haha! When I was about 12 I became really into the whole radio 1 friday and saturday night show thing (Danny rampling and yes, Judge jules). Through that I was exposed to a lot of good (and bad) music but it was then really that I became obsessed and knew I wanted to be a DJ.
You recently gave a free download away in June called Experiment 005 - how important do you think it is to experiment in music and how do you go about setting yourself a challenge? I think it's really important to experiment and push yourself, otherwise you get stuck in a rut, just doing the same old thing. It happens to everyone and I guess you have to be able to notice it and then try something different to change it up a bit. I usually find a new piece of software or, more recently, hardware and just set myself the challenge of learning how to use it and making a track with it. i'm not a very technical producer so doing things like that really help me.
Free music giveaways - do you think they are a key ingredient to success? Not at all. it can be a bit of a gimmick to get more 'followers' on whatever website you use. I'm not into that I think it can make you care too much about what other people think of your music. The only reason I would ever do a free download was if it is an edit that's pretty average but I think people might like to play or if it's something that's a bit of an experiment and not really a proper track.
You own Boogie Originals Records, what's the driving force behind the imprint? Ha! well I actually don't co-run the label any more. I used to do it with Stu Robinson (Cosmic boogie) but it just got too much and I wasn't enjoying it. For me it's got to be about straight up music production, getting involved in the other side of things got too complicated and it wasn't fun, fun was what it was meant to be all about! But I guess the main force behind the label is music that is good quality and still has that party element, something like that. The latest release was the last that I helped do, check it out, a track by Naiad (one half of Deep Space Orchestra) it's really good!
You cite the influence for the label on facebook as 'Darkness', what would you say makes your music especially dark?Well, that's pretty much Stu's sense of humour. There's not much more to it. And I would say that my music definitely isn't dark (most of it)...
What key ingredients do you need to 'Boogie'? Any favoured dance moves?My wife would tell you that I dance like a monkey and she's probably right! Apart from that the main ingredient has got to be good music, something with a groove!
What are your top three tracks for the remaining months of the Summer? Ahhh, thats a hard one. There's a lot of good stuff out there and a lot of obvious stuff I could pick so I'm going to go for the less obvious choices! Simon Baker - Riker (Eliphino remix). This is an ace track, such a good drop when it really kicks in.Evan Stalker - Parkway (Runaway remix). Another cracker, Runaway are on fire! Deep Space Orchestra - The 10-4 Rule (toby Tobias remix). Not out for ages probably but I'm going to try and play it at every gig, great track, great remix!
It also says on your facebook that your genre is 'Electronic Dance', would you say that the American term 'EDM' is slightly tarnishing the concept of what UK Electronic Dance is? I tend to try and keep my head in the sand when it comes to this stuff, I really have no idea what EDM is.
What do you have in the pipeline for the rest of 2012? A few bits and pieces... I've just finished two remixes and am waiting on parts for another one soon so they'll be out sometime. There is also an EP i've done for a new label (Fly By Night Music), thats the label that the DSO 10-4 rule track is coming out on as well... Aside from that I have also started a new project under a new alias which is top secret at the moment. New stuff from that will be coming out at the end of this year!
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