Ellie Fernyhough interviews Guy Andrews, a London-based, Brighton-born producer and DJ known for his dark, highly textured pieces. His newest release Tåke—Reinterpretations is out now on Houndstooth, and he plays a near-sold out show at Old Crown Courts tomorrow, Saturday 28th April.
I’m speaking to Guy Andrews in the run-up to a headline show at Old Crown Courts, and the day before his new EP Tåke —Reinterpretations. The EP features a remix by tour partners Vessels, and two of his own re-takes on a single from the album, Feelings. Guy’s aim for these re-works was to create a sound fitting a lighter environment, rather than his usual club scene; 'as I grow older I think I’ve started to realise music doesn’t all need to be fitted to a dark club environment' he muses, commenting that he’s previously struggled creating more up-beat tunes as they 'just sound cheesy—A word thrown around a lot in reviews [of his music] is ‘melancholy’, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing!'
It’s certainly true that the type of music he creates has found a very specific style, although his own tastes are much more of a 'melting pot'. I ask him how he sees his taste influencing his sound; he admits that his music is very separate to what he enjoys listening to— having to think more deeply about why he makes music has made him realise 'my influence comes from my own experience, as a guy in his early thirties'. Lyrics are used sparingly in Andrews’ sound; feeding his experience into music is more about 'being hyper-aware of your experience and surroundings, allowing that to impact sound design'.
Andrews’ live show is heavily improvised, and he discusses how what he creates in the moment during a performance have inspired studio productions. Going back to his albums and re-imagining them is born from this; 'I remix my tunes live and that creates new ideas that I can then take back to the studio'. This risk-taking is integral to his live appeal, creating experiences which he admits 'are scary, there’s always a chance it could go wrong' —but generally, so far, it hasn’t. This is something attendees at his Bristol show can expect; he hopes to create something in this show that he will take away and use for his next recording.
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This improvisational ability has been recognised and late last year, Andrews collaborated with critically-acclaimed vibraphonist, Masayoshi Fujita in a six-hour improvisation at Maida Vale studios. 'We’d never even met before' he comments, discussing the scariest and most fulfilling points in his career. Bristol’s own Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack has been another of Andrew’s collaborators, which, despite their near-legendary status, 'the scale of it didn’t really come to mind'. Guy appears to thrive on placing himself in nerve-wracking situations, from his collaborations to his live performances, which he has now started incorporating even into the DJ sets he has more experience in. 'I feel that I need to differentiate myself from being a regular DJ' in the Bristol show, he says, which boasts an impressive line-up of producers.
To be headlining the second room is a huge step for Andrews, and (just to add that extra level of risk) he hopes to experiment with elements of his live show. Attendees will be treated to a more techno-influenced and unique version of the producer’s music; 'the beauty of improvising is you can react with the space you’re in, with the audience.'
Featured image: Simon Glacken PR / Guy Andrews
Tickets for Guy Andrews' gig tomorrow night are available via Headfirst