Andreas Bühler is a progressive house producer and DJ from Germany, known for his ability to seamlessly guide his audience from the sunny, melodic vibes of the beach to the darker, driving energy of the nightclub.

A vintage synthesizer enthusiast, Bühler began his production journey with Cubase in 1996, moving to Logic and eventually Ableton Live as his technical expertise grew. His career pivoted significantly in 2018 after joining Finish More Music (FMM). Under the mentorship of Keith Mills, he refined his skills and mindset, leading to collaborations with artists like Nick Muir, Dave Gardner (Sasha), and Quivver. His creative partnership with Alex O’Rion during the pandemic further solidified his status in the progressive house scene.

With his latest single Nixie – a collaboration with Dowden – out now, we caught up with Andreas for a chat.

What are some of your earliest memories of discovering electronic music, and how did it captivate you?

Several moments stand out when I think about my early experiences with electronic music. One of those was hearing “Sonic Empire” by Members of Mayday at Mayday in Westfalenhallen, Dortmund. This moment was awe-inspiring, being immersed in light and sound.

Another significant memory was seeing Paul van Dyk play a set at Wiesbaden, Germany, in an old opera house. What made this night unique was that around 3 am, he unpacked a secret record case full of acetates and started playing his own unreleased music from vinyl for the next two hours. It was a mesmerizing experience, a testament to his immense talent, and it left a lasting impression on me.

How did the electronic music scene in Germany during the 1990s influence your musical journey?

The electronic music scene in Germany during the 1990s greatly influenced my musical journey. As you know, the electronic music scene was thriving in Germany in the 90s, with techno as the main genre. I was primarily into trance music from the UK and Belgium during that time. I recall being the sole buyer of nearly all the UK and Benelux imports at the record store. It was challenging to find a club that played this style of music. German artists like Paul van Dyk and ATB significantly influenced me from the beginning. However, I was always more influenced by UK artists like Sasha and Digweed. My days of playing trance music still impact my music today. Many progressive house artists appear to have their roots in trance.

Can you share any specific moments or experiences from DJing in clubs across Germany, Austria, and Poland that significantly impacted your career?

There have been many such moments, but one that stands out is from the year 2000 when I played at “Sofiensäle” in Austria as we transitioned into the new millennium with 3,000 people. The crowd’s energy was extraordinary and unique. Everyone was partying fervently because it was a significant transition into the year 2000. The location itself, an old opera house, added to the uniqueness of the event. The walls were illuminated, and there were big lasers. The DJ booth was in the center, so I was right in the middle of the people. There was also uncertainty about what the “Millennium Bug” would cause, which added to the suspense of the event.

That is certainly a special moment I remember. However, I also love and am passionate about playing in smaller clubs around Warsaw or in Prague with 200-300 passionate people. Sometimes, it doesn’t require a big stage to create special moments. Small moments throughout the night can also be very special.

How did your initial productions using Cubase in 1996 differ from your later works, and what lessons did you learn during those early years?

In the early days of music production, it was primarily MIDI-based. Cubase functioned mainly as a large MIDI sequencer and a tape machine to record audio, with very minimal plugin processing. I owned a Korg M1 and a Juno 106, which meant my work was mostly the opposite of working “inside the box.” It was a highly constrained way of working, with just these two synths and their internal effects.

At that time, an Akai S3200 Sampler cost $11,000. If you wanted an additional external hard disk with 80MB space, it would set you back another three grand. Compared to those times, today’s digital audio workstations (DAWs) and tools offer nearly limitless possibilities, which is great but can sometimes be overwhelming and distracting, resulting in less focus on making music.

Nevertheless, I learned two crucial lessons from that early period of making music in Cubase. The first is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to make outstanding music. The second is that limitations can be beneficial! Back then, we were confined to a few tools, which turned out to be a good thing. Despite having a lot of equipment now, I often limit myself to using only a specific plugin or synth. For instance, I may challenge myself to write ten melodies using only one synth within the next 20 minutes, without getting distracted by other equipment. This is really a big thing.

What challenges did you face when transitioning from using Logic to Ableton Live, and how did you overcome them?

Honestly, this transition was the easiest. Ableton was a new concept compared to Logic’s classical linear compositional approach, but it felt instantly right. It became my playground for sketching down ideas, just as it is today. The session view was a game-changer for me. Everything made sense, and the concept simply clicked. It remains my main DAW to this day.

How did your technical expertise grow over the years, and what resources or mentors were most instrumental in this development?

I’ve always had an interest in technical matters. While others spent their free time reading novels, I was immersed in manuals and experimenting with new tools. I dived into different DAWs, synths, and tools, essentially being a technical geek. Through this, I’ve gradually enhanced my technical skills over the years of making music, but the learning never stops. I continue to learn, and that’s where my mentors come into play, helping me streamline the learning process.

What role did Keith Mills play in your career after you joined Finish More Music, and what specific skills or insights did you gain from his mentorship?

Before joining FMM in 2018, I was struggling a bit to finish music. A lot of unfinished projects were laying on my hard drive. I think that’s something a lot of artists run into from time to time. I searched for someone who could help me get over this hurdle. I’m most of the time a really busy guy. I’m running a business with 50 employees, being a professional music producer who needs time for making music, doing sports, and having a family with three kids. So, a lot of people call this pressure. I knew in my inner self that the key to doing all these things and living a life without pressure and tension is mindset. When I met Keith, I instantly knew he was the person. Like me, he is doing his work with full passion. He is someone who can steer you through rough water, motivate you, light a fire in you, and finally make goals and dreams a reality. It is the impact he is achieving on the people he is working with. Having someone guide you, operating from a place of being able to do anything and achieve things you never imagined before, is a lifetime-lasting gift. Making our dreams come true creates magic in our lives and the lives of others.

How did your passion for vintage synthesizers begin? Can you tell us about your favorite piece of vintage gear and why it stands out to you?

As I mentioned, I’ve always been a tech geek. However, I also value tradition. I appreciate the tactile approach of manually tweaking knobs and moving faders. This is crucial to my creative process, as using a mouse and monitor often isn’t as enjoyable during production stages. The Juno 106 is one of my favorites. It was one of the first synths I owned. Its unique character and tone come alive when you activate the chorus or introduce some reverb and delay into the signal path. I absolutely adore this synth.

Can you share the inspiration and creative process for your new single, and how it signifies your growth as an artist?

“Nixie” is a track I began nearly two years ago. It was among the pieces stored on my hard drive. Last year, I started collaborating with Dowden regularly. Not only is Dowden an excellent person, but he is also an incredibly skilled professional producer. Our musical styles align closely. I presented an early version of “Nixie” during one of our sessions, and he saw its potential. At first, I was uncertain about how to enhance the track, but together, we finally crafted “Nixie.” I was thrilled when he suggested submitting it to Alex for his upcoming release on Alex O’Rion’s Solis Records, and Alex chose the track. I’m delighted that our EP reached No.1 on the Beatport release charts.

Dowden is now another mentor of mine. I’m genuinely grateful for his support. Along with Keith, I’m fortunate to have two remarkable individuals aiding in the development and refinement of my skills, supporting my mindset, and ultimately supporting me in delivering quality progressive music to the public. That’s my primary goal. So, stay tuned for more.

What do you want listeners to gain from your new single, and how does it contribute to your overall music career?

Imagine standing on the beach as the sun sets into the sea, cocktail in hand. We’re gently grooving into the night, and there’s this track that you just can’t resist dancing to. “Nixie” is the perfect example of this. It transitions your mood from the sunny beachside to the dance floor of pulsating nightclubs. That’s what I aim to achieve with my music during my sets, and hopefully, you can hear this reflected in my productions as well.

Thank you for the interview. It was a pleasure for me.

Nixie is out now on Solis Records

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