Podcast 560: Andy Hart - XLR8R
Slick grooves from a rising Australian.

Australian DJ-producer Andy Hart has called Berlin home for over five years, but he's been a regular in the German capital for the best part of a decade. He began making electronic music as a teenager in Melbourne—initially remixing and edits before making his own originals—while DJing with a friend at clubs and local house parties across the city. It was with said friend, namely Myles Mac, that Hart started the Melbourne Deepcast (MDC), a podcast series part inspired by that of XLR8R, aimed at building the Melbourne scene. Up until 2013, the platform also operated as a label through which Chet Faker, Hart, Max Graef, and others have all shared material.

The success of Melbourne Deepcast inspired a move to Berlin—“We made a lot of friends in Europe thanks to the MDC, it opened a lot of doors for us" Hart recalls. The relocation facilitated DJ bookings across Europe, and Asia, too, and helped build a platform from which to launch Voyage. The label, launched in 2014, pushes warm, space-influenced, machine music, much like the sound of Hart's DJ sets. Hart himself has appeared on the label on several occasions—as have Roza Terenzi, LA's Urulu, Youandewan, and Albrecht La'Brooy—and he's soon set to return with Voyager One, his first material in over 18 months. "This is the first record I’ve put out in a quite some time as I’ve mainly been focusing on DJing and developing the label," he explains. We're told that the EP is a club-focused 12", and precedes an EP from Melbourne artist Rings Around Saturn, plus an upcoming tour of Australia and Asia again starting in November. 

Hart's podcast is a slick, stripped-back affair, impressively constructed with moments of driving dub—Bluetrain's "Moving Forward"—and warped, distorted techno—Alex Falk's "BETA"—contrasted with moments of utter bliss from the likes of Francis Harris and Vril, whose sublime "Haus" closer was originally released on tape but is now available on wax. 

What have you been up to recently?

We’ve just finished a tour of Europe with Wax’o Paradiso, a party and group I’m in involved in with Simon TK and Edd Fisher back in Australia. I’ve also been putting together the pieces for a Rings Around Saturn release on Voyage.

You’re about to release a new EP. Can you tell us some more about it? 

We’re launching a new series of 12”s with the label, more club-focused material. I’ve always liked double-sided 12”s from a DJing perspective and it’s something I wanted to introduce on Voyage for a while. Each of the tracks on this release was made quite some time apart, "Neutron Capture" being made back in 2014 or 15 and "LFTR" being made earlier this year after we re-organised our studio in Berlin.

How’s the label going? What’s on the horizon release wise?

I’m proud of what we’ve achieved with the label, the artists we’ve worked with, the visuals Sam has created and the support we’ve received over the years. The label continues to evolve and this upcoming EP from Rings Around Saturn is a great example. He’s an incredible artist and one of the most interesting producers I’ve come across, it’s worth checking out his entire back catalogue and various aliases (Dan White, Bleekman, Turner Street Sound, 2200).

Which Australian artists are really exciting you right now?  

Mosam Howieson, Fantastic Man, Roza Terenzi, Lou Karsh, and HYMNS. If you’re interested in what’s happening in Melbourne I would highly recommend checking out Skylab Radio, a new digital station featuring a who’s who of the scene there. Shout out Chico G and TK!

Having spent some time in Berlin, how do you feel it compares to the Melbourne electronic music scene? What’s good/bad about it? 

Berlin is very transient and has an international scene, people from all over the world move here to focus on music. Melbourne is very local, and there is an incredibly supportive scene for our home-grown artists. We also don’t really have many staple-clubs but people make parties in spaces whereas Berlin has clubbing institutions for the various types of electronic music. If Melbourne is lacking anything, perhaps that is something; however, the character of the venues that do get used is part of why Melbourne is what it is.

How and where was this mix recorded? 

The mix was made at home, here in Berlin with my Technics and an Allen and Heath mixer.

Is there a particular theme or idea behind it? 

No particular theme, however, there are some references to the music that inspired “LFTR” from the new EP.

How did you choose the tracks that you included? 

I knew I wanted to start with the Fugue track, which set the tone for the rest of the records in the mix. Once I have an idea of the aesthetic of a mix, I spend a day going through my records, pulling out anything that fits. Once I have 50 or so selected, I usually have them playing in the apartment throughout the week until I start to get an idea of how the mix will end up. 

How do you think it differs to your regular club mix? 

Given the right circumstances, it doesn't deviate too far from what I would play in a club, although perhaps a little more subdued.

Due to temporary issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.

Tracklisting

01. Fugue "Contrapoint" (Likemind)

02. Baaz "Modual" (Office Recordings)

03. Kuniyuki "Between Shadow And Lights" (Sprinkle’s Lights Out Dub) (Mule Musiq)

05. Chaos In The CBD "Drum Therapy" (In Dust We Trust)

06. Francis Harris "Minor Forms" (Valentino Mora Underwater Rephase) (Scissor and Thread)

07. Orlando Voorn "Waveforms Ahead" (CV313 Redesign) (Body Works)

08. Bluetrain "Moving Forward" (Sushitech)

09. RV800 "Equanimity" (Formula)

10. Alex Falk "BETA" (International Black)

11. Andy Hart "LFTR" (Voyage)

12. Ashworth "Launch" (Made of Concrete)

13. KAAP "Ancient" (ÆX)

14. Nathan H "Atmosphere (in 5)" (Acid Camp)

15. Vril "Haus" (Giegling)