A Sit Down With DJ Andy Moor
Grammy-nominated Andy Moor is an icon in the electronic dance music industry. Undeniably one of the most respected producers in the genre whose substantial talents and work ethos have earned him a catalogue of accolades. Recently nominated for the 2009 DJ Awards, Andy is currently rapidly scaling the DJ Mags Top 100 @ 15th. Named Best Trance Producer and Best Trance Track at the 2004 Trance Awards, Best Dance Record at the 2006 International Dance Music Awards, Andy received his Grammy nod with a magical remix of Delerium-Angelicus in 2008.
"I think that it is going to be hard to be the next big thing in this genre, due to the way that other genre's now seem to dominate things. You need to do more than make + play good trance music to be the next big thing in my opinion, its a shame, but its reality."
Tell us a bit more about Andy Moor, before every big name DJ in the world knew your name?
When I was young I was encouraged to play musical instruments, and started playing the piano, the recorder was compulsory at school, and then the Bassoon, so I developed an understanding of music theory from a young age. But my real passion was this electronic music that I was hearing, like Jean Michelle Jarre etc. I was desperate to know how to make those synth sounds and as I grew older was frustrated by an M1 keyboard at school that nobody knew how to use, so I started to sequence that from an atari.
Many consider you a pioneer of the progressive side of Trance. Who would you give credit to motivating you into producing this amazing subgenre of Trance?
I was into Trance as a kid, and then when I got into production I was friends with all progressive people, so naturally I went this way. Eventually the progressive I loved went more minimal and that just wasn't for me so I went towards the Trance end (receiving much mockery from the prog guys along the way). So I would have to give credit to whoever made progressive go more minimal. Now though prog is getting more complex and interesting again, and trance now has a wider variety of sub styles so I'm always debating which way to take each track.
Youre bio contains an impressive list of accolades including Grammy nominations, Best Trance Producer and Best Dance Record, amongst others. How does one go about making something new without those facts dangling over your neck?
I dont worry about those facts. I always think about the future, and the past doesnt affect my decisions. I try and stay true to the sound that I love that is the only important thing.
Youve always been focussed on pushing the rhythmic aspect of your own music towards other cultures, assimilating beats
Yeah absolutely! I think rhythm is the first thing you need to get together as a musician or a band If you have good tunes but a shit drummer your not going to get far and there are many bands where I like the music but the beats can really let it down. So many drummers seem to immediately choose for old heavy rock beats even today,.and it baffles me. Also if you can play a good rhythm on a guitar then the melody will find its way
What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?
Forming the band Volunteer Slavery & Dog Faced Hermans in Edinburgh in 1986 and in 1988 seeing The Ex live for the first time in a pub in Sheffield in 1988 and joining the Ex in 1990. Playing with Tom Cora and The Ex was also a great shifting moment for all of us. Equally when we started a project with Ethiopian saxophonist Getachew Mekuria. Hearing and seeing Big Flame, Sonic Youth, Don Cherry, Art Ensemble of Chicago, the Birthday Party, Han Bennink, Konono No 1, DJ Rupture, John Butcher, Anne-James, Chaton. All of these concerts changed me fundamentally - on a musical level anyway. Discovering Ethiopian, Ugandan and Algerian music and Rebetika from Greece were also big moments in my musical life and working with Yannis Kyriakides was a big change in direction for me.
Can you offer insight into some of your musical inspirations?
I get inspired by all sorts of music, and also by situations that are non music based. Im instantly attracted to music that is deep and has meaning. I am also heavily inspired by the production of some music, good and bad production are like day and night to me, so extremely good production on any type of audio inspires me a great deal.
Your remixes are some of the most sought after in the world, what is your approach as far as remixing is concerned?
The main thing I do is analyze the original track, find which parts I want to use as they are, and then find other interesting ways to be creative with it, such as how to manipulate various parts in other ways. Also if there is a theme to the track, then find a creative way in which to be creative with the theme yet keeping it recognisable.
How was your experience collaborating with other artists in this album? And who would you like to collaborate with in the near future?
It was fantastic to work with the artists on the album. They are all really easy to work with, and they all motivated me dramatically whilst working on the music. It is always a positive experience for me to work with others, vibing off them and receiving a differing opinion to my own.
What's the weirdest thing you've ever experienced?
Being abducted by Aliens! That was weird . No, really the weirdest thing is actually having a normal life at home then having to adapt every week to being on stage with thousands of people looking at you. I'll never get used to that.
What's your favourite food?
I'm a proper foodie and love all food. If I had to choose, it would be South East Asian food.
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