By: Dan MacDevitt
Few other DJs have been there, done that and got the t-shirt quite like Andre Galluzzi. A native of Frankfurt, Germany, he first came to prominence in the late 90s, as he spearheaded an all new sort of techno revolution in his home country, initially as a resident at Tresor and more recently at Berghain, the Berlin club that's since become synonymous with contemporary 'underground' new electronic music.
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Much like all of the world's best DJs and producers, he's still hungry for more, which perhaps explains why his latest release, ''Beetle'', reached number 1 recently on Beatport's techno chart. We pulled up a chair with him recently to get the talk about the track, his debut solo album and his new label, Aras...
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! It's been a busy year for you so far. What have been some of the highlights?
Thanks for having me! There were many highlights – I'm not sure where to start! Recently I did ''Beetle'' with Dana Ruh for Cocoon 100, and I was pleasantly surprised to see it reach the top of several charts. I’m very proud of that one.
I believe ''Beetle'' just sort of came about one morning a few months ago. How often does it happen that everything just clicks so perfectly when you're producing a record?
Well it is always different, sometimes you need 5 hours for it to be perfect, while sometimes it can take a week. With ''Beetle'', the idea was very clear from the beginning. The fine-tuning needed a lot more time as the main sequence of the track is always changing with different effects. Finally, I played the track for my girlfriend and she said, it reminds me of a beetle. So that's where the name come from...it was perfect.
Considering you produced the record alongside Dana Ruh, who was in charge of what in terms of the arrangement?
You know, I've always liked vocoded sounds since my very first productions. With Dana, it's just great. It doesn't matter who brings the music, at the end of the day we're a great team and we have a blind communication.
The track is quite dark and mysterious. Was this the vibe you were going for from the off? What's your ideal sort of sound in a nightclub?
It's difficult to say it's only dark or happy or hard, soft house or techno. I think it's a good mix of all. Every style has its moments, so I try to create a whole story of a night.
Have you had the opportunity to play out ''Beetle'' yet? Do you feel nervous when you play out your own tracks for the first time? Or are you always confident about them?
Of course yes, I've played it many times. I'm not nervous but more excited to hear how it will sounds in different places. Most of the time we take that experience and find-tune the track back in the studio. And when you're playing it on vinyl for the first time, man, it's different again!
How do you think your sound and style has changed over the years? Is this something you're conscious of something that comes about organically?
It's funny when I listen to old sets of mine. Obviously the sound has changed over years; records are changing but you still hear the same ground atmosphere and where I wanted to go. So I think I have the same style but have new facets.
How are you finding the creative process when it comes to the album? Do you approach the task a lot differently compared to how you would an EP you were producing?
I think an album is always something else. I would say it's a way more sensitive process, and it should be a more rounded story. So I think it`s better you produce it in one session. And with an album you can go deep into the music. This is not always possible with a single track. My approach is to make it suitable for the dancefloor. From experimental downbeats to floorkillers, everything is possible. For me, it`s like a journey.
So will we be in for surprises with the album, then?
Do you get to the US often by the way? Where are your favorite places to play?
Yeah, I'm starting to. Last year I had my first North American tour which was really good! Montreal, New York, Washington DC., but my favourite place right now is Treehouse in Miami. An amazing club, nice people, great soundsystem and the perfect size.
You're also keeping busy with your Aras imprint recently. What can we look forward to there? Are you enjoying running your own label again?
Yes, we released Aras04 recently, a V/A release with Maher Daniel & Matthew Dekay as well as a track from Marc Miroir. The record has an excellent groove with some nice dark vocals and a very strong hypnotic atmosphere.
After that there'll be a remix packet from Aras01 with Guido Schneider, myself and Dana. Daniel Stefanik will be releasing Aras05 too. For Aras06 we have talked about future projects with Matt John and Sascha Dive which we're both negotiating. There'll be more great creations too, but I can't say too much for now.
Finally...How do you find the time to DJ, produce and run a label?!
Well, the good thing about my job is that it's not even a job - it's my love.