Ahead of his first gig in Paris, we had the opportunity to chat with the Australian youngster Andras Fox which different albums and EPs on Mexican Summer, Omega Supreme or Dopeness Galore already had a great impact on electronic music.
Nothing is better than IRL meetings when it comes to music interviews, but we were victims of contradictory schedules and we couldn’t miss the opportunity we had been offered. We managed to catch Andrew Wilson through his inbox to talk about the RBMA Graduate’s passion, his digging and Australian scene, which is just starting to spread in Europe. At 26, he’s already proven his skills as a crate digger and as a talented producer. What can we expect from his now ? Investigation.
Your music is a clever modern funk and ambient blend. Where do those influences come from ?
I don’t know if I’d call it clever. It’s kind of purposefully simple, backyard, amateur. I’m just following the indent left behind by all those other musicians from the 80’s, 90’s and onwards that made music that didn’t comfortably sit in either ‘funk’ or ‘ambient’. You can be chilled out and groovy – as any 90s kid who grew up alongside the ministry of sound chill-out CD compilations can attest. I love all those home recordings by people who heard Prince and the broader Disco “revolution” and tried to have a crack at making an LP, even if they were chronically un-funky and had basically no idea what they were doing.
An adjective is frequent in your music descriptions : “Library music”. What does that mean ?
Historically, Library Music LPs were produced en-masse for use in the background of film and radio productions. The producers were partially anonymous, or used pseudonyms. Because they were produced for a direct, commercial purpose, they were often free of the kinds of egotism and progressiveness that a lot of early electronic music was burdened by. Just rhythm beds and melodic hooks that easily would blend in with their tele-visual environments. I like (some) library music. And I really like the esoteric / spiritual stuff from Joel VDB. He’s a producer who perfectly nails the genre. Whilst I love his band projects like Brainticket, it’s the forced minimalism and asceticism of the library LPs he produced for the German label Coloursound that make me super happy. A couple simple drum machine rhythms mixed with some eastern occultism.
How much time do you spend in the studio ?
I spend on average five days a week cabling, painting things, building furniture, getting the lighting ‘right’. Maybe one day a week making recordings in a burst of messy energy. And then another day tidying everything up before starting again.
Your music is really cinematic : atmospheric, broken and abstract in the same time. In the future, do you see yourself contributing to an OST ?
The new age project Overworld was a OST for a contemporary dance performance and was one of the more enjoyable things I’ve been involved with. Lots of friends work in video and film production and I’ve always had a bit of an interest in contributing more and more to soundtrack work. Definite long term goal.
I also read you “dislike funk music”, is this why you push boundaries of the Modern Funk ? To create and enhance a new sound that suits you ?
It’s not that I dislike all funk music, I’m just not politically or aesthetically drawn to brassy, pulsing, throbbing, overtly sexual songs. That kind of music doesn’t ask you to dance, it tells you to. It’s like the guy in the bar that goes up to a girl he doesn’t know, with his shirt unbuttoned, trying to press her against the wall. I prefer when things are a little more gently persuasive.
How is Australian scene at the moment ? We don’t have that much info from France. You asserted in an interview that it’s very rich…
Rich, aesthetically. We’ve got a good sense of identity right now. We’re not relying so much on the overseas sounds. I can hardly pretend to speak on behalf of a country’s music scene, but things are moving along nicely in Melbourne. I’m always playing records from my home town, from friends, from the past and the current scene.
How is crate digging in Australia ? Do you manage to dig there ?
I look for records all around the world, and my only guiding principle is to buy local. No point in digging for American funk in Australia. You won’t find much. I spend a lot of time in radio station archives, online, and in CD shops too.
Did your record collection lead you to radio shows or was it the other way round ?
I was buying records when I was in early high school, but around the same time I was also recording radio show demos on a tape deck in the lounge-room. I think the desire to collect music has only ever interested me when coupled with a desire to share it too. I often had daydreams about being able to share what I was listening to with the world. I’ve since realised how narcissistic and weird that super-power would be.
You seem not to stick up to any labels and you signed on different entities like Mexican Summer, Omega Supreme or Dopeness Galore. Can you explain what makes you choose a home for your records ?
Is a musical culture / background mandatory to you to be a good producer ?
For me personally ? I don’t have a option. I grew up around certain types of music, and that’s strongly influenced who I am and what I make today. But there are loads of people who come at what they do from a different position be it art, sport, the internet. They only thing I know for sure is that you need a broader background than the thing you produce. House producers who only listen to house music usually make incredibly dull records.
In an interview, you talked about your “family in Hungary” : do you mean family as a close circle of friends or in the strict sense ? Do you know the local scene ?
Family family. I don’t know the local scene too well, although last time I was in town I made some music with Route8, a producer in Budapest who also uses a Roland MC-307 groove box.
As a DJ, you spin weird and outstanding downtempo records, do you sometimes play club music ?
Yeah I play club music – at least – my own weird understanding of what that is. I’m not rocking up to a club gig with a bag full of Gigi Masin, Talk Talk and Steve Halpern LPs ! More interested in broken beat and rave type stuff of late. Even dipping into a bit of D’n’B again. Loads of great ruff-edged dance music coming out the last few years.
What can we expect from this gig in Paris ?
Loads of Australian music from Bell Towers and myself. Probably a half-half ratio of records to USB. Eq’s in +9db and i’ll likely push things into the red depending on the mixer and sound system. Cool ? Hopefully you’ll like it.