This week we had the pleasure to chat with Andre Crom, the mind behind the well known OFF Recordings, focussing on his shift from deep house to techno.
– Thanks for joining us! How are you doing right now?
Thanks for the invite! I’m good, just at the airport on the way back to Barcelona after a few days in Berlin.
My time and heart are divided between both cities. Barcelona has an amazing quality of life, but Berlin has TECHNO.
– Looking back to the past year, what have you done up to 2016?
Mostly, I worked very hard in the studio to raise my production skills. I started work seriously a year ago on solo production, and it takes time to come to a point of maturity, especially now when the competition is so fierce.
Besides, I am launching a new underground techno label called Voight, and a new booking & eventproduction agency, Thrust.
– OFF Recordings definitely signed your musical career. What does the label project mean for you?
It was the first enterprise in my life that really mattered to me, after years of working in different jobs in and outside of the music scene. For a few years it was one of the defining labels of its kind, until I grew tired of the sound we once stood for.
– What are the tracks published in the past you mostly enjoyed?
As my taste has changed so radically, I’d rather speak about our recent music. For example I love the EP of Charlotte de Witte with remixes by Cari Lekebusch and TWR72, really proud about that.
– Has been your label an occasion to improve yourself as artist?
Interesting question… I guess a little bit yes, but I think what made me a much better DJ was the decision to move towards a more radical and honest sound, I made that progression since a year or two, and noticed a much better crowd feedback since then, I also enjoy playing music much more since then.
Beside that, I think becoming a producer yourself also helps to understand other people’s music better, and to combine it in better ways.
– OFF Recordings had a huge impact in the deep house scene, and with the last releases it’s evident a restyle into techno. Why did you make this choice?
I just did not feel deep house anymore. There are some labels who do amazing music that touches deep house like Innervisions, Maeve or some stuff on Keinemusik; but a lot of the deep house sound felt kind of shallow to me at some point.
Techno and electronica on the other hand feel more honest, raw and real, and excite me more nowadays.
– Your track “Claritas” clearly shows this stylistic shift. Did also your creative process change?
Very much. As I said above, until a year ago I did not produce that much myself, and a lot of my older (co)productions were sample based. Now I produce almost exclusively without using any premade loops, relying more on developing my own musicianship and using step sequencers with randomizing functions to find interesting hooks and musical ideas.
– You’re part of “Different Grooves Fastmix” featured artists, what can you tell us about the mix you recorded for us and the ideas behind it?
It’s a recording of a set I played 2 days ago at “Warehouse” in Barcelona.
The set pretty much sums up my musical evolution of 2016, ranging from underground house to techno. Most of the tracks have a somewhat euphoric quality, which I generally like, and feel is especially suitable for a mixed crowd as we often have it in Barcelona.
As the DJ’s before me played house, my set is starting a bit slower than I usually play, but then I’m raising the speed and intensity during the set.
– Have you got any other forthcoming projects you could tell us about?
We’re also focusing strongly on establishing regular label events in Berlin and Barcelona both for OFF and my new label Voight; and from there to expand to further places over europe.
Oh, and 2 tours to South America and Asia in January and April!
– Thank you for having spent the time to let our readers know more about your music and thoughts!
Thanks for your thoughtful questions and to everybody who read this!
Interview by Matteo Pitton