British producer Andy Ash makes a welcome return to Delusions Of Grandeur following last years Bottleneck EP. Having had output on such respected labels as Chicago’s Still Love 4 Music, New York’s On The Prowl and Sydney’s People Must Jam, Andy Ash has developed his own stripped back, floor-focused sound which is tailor-made for steamy basements and after hours sessions alike.
Here on this three track EP things kick off with Unconscious Therapy, a shuffling, uptempo house groove which calls to mind brilliant French label Basic Recordings and the deep and dubby MPC jams of Point G. Just the kind of minimal and hyp- notic underground sounds that made us fall in love with this music back in the early nineties.
Flipping over we have Sink which takes us down a darker path where saturated snares and crunching hi hats drive the jacking groove. Hints of acid enter later whilst an echoing vocal invites us to dance till day break, all underpinned by a hooky analogue bassline.
Artist: Andy Ash
Label: Delusions Of Grandeur
Release Date: 2020-02-26
Interview with Andy Ash
How are things for the City of Liverpool at this time? Probably like most cities really – pretty quiet. I actually moved to the outskirts several years ago so I haven’t been into the centre for what feels like ages now! It’s a really hard time for music venues. There are lots of great spots in Liverpool and I just hope they manage to weather this and return stronger once this is over.
How long have you been making music? A long time! I started when I was about 15 so going on 20 years now.
What other labels have you released on? It’d be quite a long list to put them all here! Still Love4Music, Dessous, Quintessentials, Saft, Delusions of Grandeur to name a few…
Can you highlight a release you are most proud of? That’s a really hard one actually. Can I say my latest one on Delusions of Grandeur? I am genuinely really happy with it and feel that it represents a progression in my development as a producer. Other than that, I do still go back to one of my first releases, ‘Carnival De L’Esprit’ on Still Love4Music – I wish I had known more about production technique then, but I am still really proud of it.
How have you been keeping yourself busy this last year? Well, I work in education so that has been keeping me pretty busy! Other than that, I have been keeping my head down, working in the studio on lots of new music, doing lots of painting and also climbing when I can get out.
Would you say that Andy Ash has a signature sound? How would you describe it? I struggle with the answer to this – I don’t really know to be honest. I guess I am really inspired by other producers who manage to keep things simple yet make really great tracks. I don’t like to use too many effects and try to come up with an arrangement that flows and moves in a natural way.
That’s an interesting title to your EP ‘Unconscious Therapy’. Is there a story to that? Like with most things I do, it has multiple meanings. Firstly, I really feel that music and dancing to music is like therapy for people. It can be like a form of escapism. Secondly, I think the process of making music is a bit like unconscious therapy for me personally. I have a pretty busy life and shutting myself away in the studio really helps me to sub-consciously process everything and switch off. Finally, I came across a cool sounding sample of someone saying, “unconscious therapy” and just had to use it – so I guess things just came together and I went with it! Let’s be honest, it doesn’t always have to be that deep!
Do you have a process that you follow when you start a new track? Not really – I try to mix it up so I don’t get stuck in a rut. Sometimes, I sample a load of records and something I find will inspire me and I’ll make a track based around it. At other times, I’ll deliberately limit myself – like I’m not allowed to use as keyboard, or no synthesizers… things like that. I feel pretty strongly that enforcing limits on yourself is a way to spark creativity. I’ve been in studios full of some of the best equipment and felt overwhelmed, yet I’ve sometimes made my best tracks in a few hours using just a bunch of samples and a computer.
Talk through us through the new EP on Delusion of Granduer? Well, there are three tracks on it, which show three quite different styles. The A side ‘Unconscious Therapy’, is a really deep tracky thing. I had been listening to loads of old Mood2Swing records when I made it so I guess some of that has hopefully filtered through. Then there is ‘Sink’ – I wanted to make a chunky New York style thing which brought to mind sweaty basement vibes. I was really inspired by old Burrell Brothers tracks on this one. Finally, there is ‘All of it at Once’. This one sort of just happened. I just started making this slower, weird beat and it grew from there.
You’ve done the artwork on this EP. The original hand painted art was on sale on DOG Bandcamp but I see its sold out! That’s pretty cool. Are you an artist by profession? Do you sell your work? Where can we see your work? Yeah – I also paint. It’s another way of expressing myself, the two together, my artwork and music, just feel right together. I make all music in my home studio surrounded by paintings I am working on, so I guess being in that room makes it all come together. I do sell my work. It’s pretty informal at the moment – usually through my Instagram account but I am hoping that one day, I can do some sort of exhibition somewhere. Maybe incorporating music as well. You may also see my work appearing on more record sleeves in the future as well!
Who do you think we should watch at the moment? Is there a producer you keep your eyes and ears on? To be honest, I’m not great at keeping up to date with new music. I do buy lots, but I also deliberately try not to follow trends of popularity. I’ve fallen into this trap before and it just leads to me being dissatisfied with my own work. There is loads of good new music about at the moment though. I’ve recently bought records by James Semi-skimmed, Vague Imaginaires, Shindo, Tee Mango, Simon Hinter and Stefan Ringer to name a few – those are all great releases. People I consistently buy from though are people like Levon Vincent, SoulPhiction and Theo Parrish. They are incredible producers.
What’s coming up next for Andy Ash? I have two or three releases that are coming up this year so – more music and more art!
Turn it up & enjoy!