REINVENTING HIMSELF AS AN ARTIST, REINVIGORATING HIS LABEL INTO A POWERHOUSE OF MAIN STAGE TECHNO, ANDRE CROM TALKS TO US FOLLOWING HIS LATEST EP ON TRONIC...
Hello Andre, thank you for taking the time to speak with us at Virtus. Where in the world are you right now?
In a hipster coffeeshop in Berlin Kreuzberg. I'm super happy about having moved back here from Barcelona 10 weeks ago. I got a lot of new bookings, friends, and opportunities since coming back, and it just feels right for me to live here.
You have been in the music industry for many years now, how did you first become interested in electronic music and was becoming a DJ always a career path you wanted to take?
Yes, pretty much since i was a teenager and saw some techno documentaries being a DJ/producer has been the only thing i ever wanted to do. I'm thankful for still loving it after all the years. With my recent development towards first a vegetarian and now a vegan diet, i also want to start working in that space though, so that's something i'll begin parallel to the music.
As a DJ, you must have played some extraordinary gigs in your time, can you pick a stand out show that you will never forget?
Hmm, that's really hard to answer, as there have been so many. Almost every gig at Sisyphos' Hammerhalle stands out to me as it's a huge warehouse space with massive sound system. In terms of special exotic locations, a gig on a boat cruise in front of Rio De Janeiro comes to mind, or some magical jungle or seaside locations on Ko Phangan.
As a producer, since your first releases in the mid 2000's, how would you say your sound has changed since then?
Phew, it has changed A LOT. I think there were 3 main phases, my early minimal house and techno phase, then i went towards groovy (tech)house and then my recent shift towards more radical techno.
Do you feel that techno has become more 'mainstream' in recent years...considering the size of the different global parties & festivals?
I guess you can say so. Social Media has been a big driver for this i feel.
Your label, OFF Recordings is now a stable for peak time, driving techno with atmospheric leads...can you tell us about upcoming releases and do you have any label parties in the future?
We have a whole bunch of strong releases coming up, for example EP's by Spartaque, Thomas Hoffknecht, myself with Alan Oldham Remix, 2000 And One... but the biggest thing for early 2019 will be our 10 Years OFF Compilation and Tour.
What producers are you really enjoying at the moment?
Of course the above mentioned and all other artists we are working with for OFF. Outside of the label, i really like Amelie Lens, Slam, Len Faki, Cleric, Truncate, and a million more. It'S quite amazing how many good producers are out there today.
In the studio, what are your favorite pieces of hardware or software that you just love to use in all your tracks and what is a rough time frame it takes you to write a piece of music start to finish?
The only stuff i really need are Ableton 10, my BeyerDynamic DT 770 and 990 Headphones, and an Akai MPK Mini Keyboard. When moving back from Barcelona, i sold most of the things from my former studio. It's nice to have some hardware to touch, and to have an acoustically treated room with good sound is actually a big advantage. But at the end of the day, you can also just work on headphones.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your latest EP on Tronic and are you happy with the reception it has received so far?
I mostly get inspired by what i like to play in the clubs, what works on the floor. So it's a mix of my favourite tracks that's inspiring me. The reception of the EP has been really great so far, with Adam Beyer playing the original at Awakenings at ADE, Amelie Lens playing the remix, and tons of other big artists playing or supporting the EP. It was released a week before i'm writing this interview and currently the 3 tracks are on #28, #62 and #80 of Beatport's techno top 100. Super happy about this!
Any more Andre Crom upcoming music we need to keep an ear out for?
Yes, i have another EP coming on OFF on 7 december, with a really cool remix by DJ T-1000 aka Alan Oldham.
Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to someone starting out a career as a DJ/Producer, what would it be?
As said above, don't believe you are limited by money. Equipment matters much less than the effort and time you put into your work. Understand that practice makes perfect. When sending your demos, find out the name and direct contact of the A&R. Explain why you send your music to them specifically. Work on your network, both personal, speaking to other producers and label owners, but also with social media.