INTERVIEWS

Andrè Crom Interview

Hi André, thank you to be here on AltroVerso
Thanks for inviting me!

If I don’t mistake this is your tenth year as a producer. Looking back, what was the key release of your parable, the one that marked a turning point?
There have been several over the years. From the early minimal-influenced stuff over the more housy things, but the most recent one would be the “Jaunde EP”, because to me it marks the beginning of the release series in my current style; and it’s the first release that came out of my solo producer marathon which i started around a year ago.

2016 was for you a year rich of changes, the move from Berlin to Barcelona and then the choice to set aside the house and to start to produce purely techno. What prompted you to make these important decisions?
Pretty much just passion. I still love Berlin and the more time i spend away from it, the more i am missing it; but 9 years of northern german winter was just enough for me, and Barcelona offer’s an amazing quality of life.
About the musical change, after many years playing, producing and releasing house music, i just felt the desire for something new that could excite me again. I get that from underground techno, although i still do play some house as well; so i’d say my move was more “towards underground electronic music” in general.
The more underground kinds of music feel more real and authentic to me; the motivation behind it is not to sell a lot of downloads or get a million youtube plays; it is more about honest artistic expression; and that touches me and i believe also the audience on a deeper level.

Was there anything in the months of „Circuit Breaker“ work that has influenced themes and sounds? For example: listened releases, lived stories, things that have happened, and so on.
My productions are mostly influenced by the music i listen to and play out as a dj. If there’s something that really connects with my taste and the audience goes nuts to it, i take that influence with me to the studio.
One key element about the Circuit Breaker EP, i wanted it to sound really warm and raw; so the drums are pretty oldschool and saturated. And i wanted it to be an extremely functional ep for the dancefloor.

Due to technologic progress, the recorded music has undergone many transformations, until the loss of its material support, the vinyl record. How do you live this situation?
Well, nowadays we have a pretty substantial vinyl revival, which i honestly could not have seen coming 5 years ago when it felt like everybody switched to digital.
As a label however, sales are lower no than 5 or 10 or 15 years ago, especially when you do underground music which does not get streamed a lot.
So with our move towards underground music, we have to reinvent our “business model” from being just a record label to becoming a “music brand” including an events & booking division, which we’re just building with regular labelnights all over europe.

The OFF Recordings continues to use the vinyl as a first choice.
I see it more as equal alternatives. When you compare the sales of vinyl and digital and especially the amounts of streams over all platforms, not to start on the illegal downloads, then we still reach more of our audience digitally.

What did it mean for you, especially from the artistic point of view, growing in Berlin? In a scale from one to ten, how much it influenced you?
It’s funny, while living in Berlin i did not really do a “Berlin sound” – it’s more now, having moved away and moving more towards underground, that i get influenced by Berlin producers. But yes, the Berlin music culture definitely influenced me a lot, playing the clubs many times does give you a special perspective on DJing.

In your opinion, among expressiveness, technical ability or inspiration, which quality is of primary importance for a good dj/producer?
I think expressiveness and inspiration are definitely more important for a dj than his technical abilities; i mean it’s pretty easy to technically mix 2 records, and i’d definitely forgive a few sketchy mixes if the music i hear is amazing.
For a producer though, you pretty much need to master it all. If your music has amazing themes but sounds technically bad, it won’t work on the floor and nobody will play it; same if you do technically great stuff but it lacks something interesting.

What are your projects for the immediate future?
Continue my producer marathon, there’s still a lot more to learn. Thankfully, i recently moved into an amazing new studio in Barcelona which permits me to work on a better level than before.
And we’re just setting up tour for south america and asia, always nice to escape the winter for a few weeks.

And to finish, the ritual question: What would you like to recommend to future djs and producers?
Richie Hawtin summed this up perfectly: “find what makes you special and then fucking ride that!”

Thank you André, we wish you all the best for you and your career
Thanks to you!

AltroVerso Radio Roma

 

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