Artist of the Week: Andy Moor
Although he has been nominated for Best Newcomer at the DJ Awards, the current number 18 in the DJ Mag Top 100 has actually been going strong for more than 10 years. During that time he has been confidently growing as part of the DJ elite, spinning records to masses of party people all across the globe, managing his AVA Recordings label and producing one big track after another. Yes, we're talking about Andy Moor. With his collab 'Faces' scorching the speakers and 'Stadium Four' looking to do the same, Andy's position amongst the high end EDM class is secured; but don't be fooled into thinking that Andy is getting complacent, he still continues to challenge himself to do even more...
Various different pies
Speeding through the various styles dance music has to offer, Andy has found himself immersed in an indefinable corner of sound, passing by progressive, trance and house, without letting it lose its flow. All this is an obvious result of experimenting with different genres; a thing Andy's been doing since an early age. Andy learned to play the piano at the age of five and mastered six more instruments in the years after. And so, it didn't take long for music to be his main thing. Andy:"I did always want to be in the music industry, but music was always competing with many other dreams that I had. Even though as a youngster I tried to keep my fingers in various different pies, overall music was still my main interest and became my main dream. I'm beginning to sound like Britney Spears already, and the interview has only just begun!"
No worries Andy, as long as you keep that shiny blond hair of yours where it's supposed to be, no one will accuse you of a Britney-breakdown. Unlike our pop-princess, who was probably introduced with mainstream pop music in uterus, Andy discovered the dance movement in his teen-years. Andy:" I started to fall in love with synthesizer sounds when I first started to hear these electronic instruments in non-pop music, such as science fiction films scores, artists such as Jean Michelle Jarre, Vangelis etc. This paved the way for my introduction to acid house music in the late 80's, then in the early 90's I became obsessed with EDM. " And we all know where that got him.
A defining point
Andy:"At around 7 years old I was given my first tape recorder, I would then borrow more tape decks from my friends and start to record different parts from my keyboard onto different tape decks using a clock as a metronome, then attempt to play them all back at the same time (essentially a multi-track). I just desperately wanted to find a way to make music, and through various other trial and error methods I ended up making music with an Atari and a midi keyboard. A local studio heard the music and invited me to help out with their studio sessions. Things started to move in the right direction when I got asked to help produce music for other artists in the EDM scene at the time."
In 2000, Andy had his first original out under his Andy Moor guise, 'Violent City'. The year after, 'Barotek' and 'Passenger' followed. Within the following years, Andy made his name with tracks like 'The Whiteroom', 'Air For Life', 'Halcyon' and 'YearZero', along with a growing status in dj'ing. Andy:" It's been one long continuous journey, so there was never really a defining point. Having a big breakthrough is something that a lot of people plan for and possibly put too much emphasis on these days. I think if some people spent more time and energy on the music, honing their skills etc, and less time on media and non-music related activities, then this will prove a quicker route to breaking through in the music scene."
Despite still growing in success and rising in popularity, Andy doesn't take things easy. Being a true perfectionist, it takes a long time before he's satisfied with what comes out of the speakers. Andy:" I'm not satisfied when I hear any of my releases. There is always something I would want to go back and change, but there has to come a point when you leave it alone. The final recordings that come out of my studio are normally called something along the lines of 'XXX version 382.wav'. I like to constantly improve my skills, knowledge and techniques, so it will always be difficult for me to be totally satisfied with my previous productions." No matter how many compliments he receives, he'll always strive forward. Speaking of compliments, being the great remixer that he is, Andy received nothing less than a Grammy nomination for his remix on 'Delerium - Angelicus' in 2008. But Awards and nominations aren't what Andy's all about. Andy:"It was a great feeling to know that people in the industry have gone and nominated my work, but on the other hand I don't do things to win awards etc. I just love being involved with music, so the biggest honour for me is being able to do this in the first place, anything extra such as awards is just a little bonus."
Interaction & motivation
Some of Andy's biggest successes have been in collaboration with other top notch producers. Above & Beyond, Markus Schulz, Leama, Adam White and Ashley Wallbridge to name a few. He even released a full album, 'Common Ground', under the Leama and Moor team-up. Though he really doesn't need anyone else to deliver the good stuff, working with someone else does make it a lot more fun. Andy:"I like the interaction. When working solo it is sometimes easy to get blinkered. Working with somebody has a massive motivational impact on me, we always have a laugh and it allows the whole process to have a completely different atmosphere. That's why I have chosen to work with people so often in the past, for my own personal enjoyment and so I can actually talk to someone other than swearing at the computer! As for future collabs, I already have quite a few 'in the bank' ready for my future album, and I am working on many more."
Andy's collab with Above & Beyond , the beautiful 'Air For Life', even won an award for Best Dance Record in 2006. And how did whole collab come together? Easy. Andy:" I can't really remember now, but it was all quite relaxed and something along the lines of: 'do you fancy making a tune?' 'yeah, your studio or mine?' 'I'm easy, did you watch the football yesterday?' 'yeah, sh*t wasn't it?'. A few weeks later 'Air For Life' was born. I look back fondly upon that year, progressive trance was really starting to get people's attention, and the typical trance sound was finally starting to include elements from other genres to create diversity within the genre. "
The AVA chapter
Early 2006, Andy gave birth to his own label: AVA Recordings. To date the label has released several top quality tracks from producers like Joonas Hahmo, David West, Orkidea, Steve May, Damien Heck and of course, Andy himself. Andy:"It was basically an extension of what I was doing at the time. I wanted to create a label that represented the kind of music that I play in my sets, and focus heavily on that style and sound, something very few labels were doing at the time. I also started the label as a portal to release my own music, mix compilations, albums etc."
In late 2008, the label became part of Armada Music. Andy:"Since we have joined it has allowed the label to grow the way we had initially planned, allowing me to spend more time hunting out suitable tunes, and working directly with the artists to help them and their music reach it's full potential. The label is really growing and providing quality releases."
Faces & Stadium Four
At the memorable celebration of the 400th A State of Trance episode there was one tune that really stood out. It was Andy's collab with UK producer Ashley Wallbridge and singer Meighan Nealon. To be revealed as 'Faces', this belter of a tune managed to whip the trance fans into a frenzy. Featured on the A State of Trance 2009 album and released on the 6th of July, 'Faces' has grown to be a true summer anthem within only a matter of weeks. Andy:"Ashley is a friend from the same city so we decided to get together and see what we could produce. He is a great producer with a great future ahead and has built quite a distinct style, so it was great for me to work with someone like this where I could actually take a back seat in a lot of decisions which is something I've never had the opportunity to do before. The collaboration was very effortless, and I think this shows in the final result."
2009 seems to be Andy's year for collabs, cause he's got a new one in the pipeline already. Andy:"'Stadium Four' is a collaboration with Lange. With this we decided not to work in any particular style, but to make a solid tune with a simple but sweet melody, staying away from any major vocal elements to make a tune with a slightly less obvious feel to it. We also wanted to make sure it was perfectly suited to the dance floor, something that would suit both of our DJ styles." Well, they surely pulled that one off. 'Stadium Four' is due out in late September, so the wait will be a bit longer but definitely worthwhile.
Armada Night, a new compilation & moon tans
On the 12th of September, at the lovely Westerunie venue in Amsterdam, Andy will be spinning alongside Josh Gabriel, Robert Nickson and ElSandro during Armada Night. Hard to fit into one style, we wonder what to expect of his set. But that's not a question Andy's able to answer. Andy:"I prefer to stay away from trying to name what genre the music in my sets belong to. Essentially its Trance, but contains a lot of other influences and rarely gets too cheesy. I like to play music containing club rocking baselines, lots of melodies and vocals. I put a lot of importance on creative mixing, and make sure my sets progress like a journey throughout the night, weaving in and out of styles. I'm extremely picky about the production of the tunes I play, often editing and remixing them to suit a variety of situations. Basically I'll be there for the crowd's enjoyment, I will get a feel for the crowd, and ultimately this decides how the night will musically progress. " We don't know about you readers, but we're already impressed.
But it's another 1,5 month to go before Armada Night and we're sure Andy won't be spending his time learning how to shake Caribbean cocktails with his feet. None whatsoever, for Andy's got a busy schedule and the poor guy will probably have to spend most of his time travelling around, pleasing crowds and avoiding sun while residing in the studio. A DJ's life is a hard one, but one Andy is extremely happy to be doing. Andy:"I will be continuing to tour a lot throughout the summer, which includes many nice festivals and outdoor events (if we ever see any sun here this year!). I never like to see a day wasted so in between tours and gigs I get straight back in the studio to continue work on productions. I will also be mixing the first edition of my new mix compilation series in August which is due for release in September on AVA/Armada. After which I'm pretty sure summer will be over and Ill still have a 'moon tan'! "
For more info on Andy Moor, checkout www.andymoor.com.