Classical music beginnings from the depths of Eastern Hungary with a stern emphasise on theory and cogitation is the source of a restless curiosity that few can induce, though we’ll categorise our guest this week accordingly. Cultivating said past and being heavily inspired by electronica more aligned to the left, his relocation to Barcelona and signing to the minimal paramilitary establishment that is Alphahouse has ensured the justified exposure of the more prominent record “US.” and his collaboration with Butane that proceeded.
As far as performances are concerned, his voyages are comprised primarily of introverted characters imitating acoustics which produce a seamless compilation of attenuate and diverse rhythms that collectively entrance any given listener – this broadcast only serves to amplify this.
Andras Toth is your host.
Kn: Combining the backdrop of a beautiful city like Budapest, with a classical music eduction at the Bartok Bela School of Art and Music must of made for an interesting upbringing. Tell us about these early days, your formal musical training and where you first drew inspiration to pursue the art of DJ’ing and creating electronic dance music?
AT: I lived in Budapest for seven years, but originally I’m from Békéscsaba and grew up on a south-eastern area of Hungary. I was 6 years old when my parents entered me into the Bartók Béla music school, for learning piano in a formal way and I started to learn music theory and consonance disciple. My first inspirations came at home listening a lot to my parents’ vinyl collection. I listened to a lot of Frederic Chopin, Liszt Ferenc, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Jean Michel Jarre, Mike Oldfield, Kraftwerk.
I was already dreaming about creating my own music and to touch it on vinyl. After I finished 8 years of piano I got my first synthesizer-controller and started to discover more kinds of electronic music. I was listening to a lot of Autechre, classic techno and prog mixes, psychedelic and IDM music. These already made me want to find out how to mix vinyls together and soon I bought my first deck with a two channels -mixer. I was 16 years old when I first tried demos of a musicmaker software and this decided my next experiences as a musician.
Finally I left over starting at the technical college and the musical university, because I moved to London when I was 19, started to work and try life, and discovering new music monthly in Fabric and Turnmills. Needless to say how a young music lover could be inspired by these clubs for making electronic dance music.
Kn: You’ve recently moved to Barcelona. Undoubtedly one of Europe’s most artistically inspiring cities. Tell us how the city has helped you develop as an artist and if that has consciously filtered into your productions?
AT: I was here with good friends in 2007 for the first time, listening to Luciano and Cadenza artists at a Raum Playa event on the beach. I fell in love with this city then and now I have been living here for two months. Barcelona is really beautiful inside & outside, with its underwater-styled buildings, small labyrinths, tight dirty streets around La Rambla; just a walk in the center could be really inspiring for me to create new music, it fills me up with enough impulse and adrenalin.
Also I wanted to clean my head out for a bit, to pull myself out from home for a rebirth after the last years.
I love the soul of this city and loving the people around me which helps me to develop. I really want to finish my Alphahouse longplayer album here with some other good productions for the next year. Anyway, Derrick May gave the first musical inspirations for me here two months ago, he played a five hours dj set in Macarena Club. It was awesome.
Kn: Your current dj/liveset is really something else. What initially inspired you to move toward this approach. What typically goes into the process of creating an Andras Toth live set?
AT: I’ve been mixing vinyls as a dj for almost ten years and I learned to sense the soul of mixing, the soul of electronic music. It’s all about spirit and eternal energies of the universe and its sounds, all about how you’re using both sides of your brain and making your mind free with music. There is magic in mixing and in creating new sounds, when it makes my flesh creep this is really forever inspiring to me.
I’m always looking for the balance between dj’ing and playing a liveset, doing it in an improvisational way, but what kind of music I play always depends on my mood, on the crowd and the environment. Usually I try to keep my livesets deep, connected with the space, based on slowly upbuilt hypnotic techno and house, spiced with classical and acoustic elements. I always loved using vocals and acapellas too when I was dj’ing and I keep this in my livesets.
Also I really like using my mac and controllers as my instruments, as keys of the piano, processed with both hands at the same time. I’m mostly using my Roland Fantom X8 for creating music and after years of dj’ing in 2008 I felt I had to change for playing livesets, build it up from my own songs and my Roland-made groovy tools, loops and samples. These were the first ingredients.
Another of the most important parts of my livesets became the killer reduced groovy tracks and “suitable for looping, editing” DJ tools of Butane and Someone Else’s great berlinien label called Little Helpers. They are always surprising me with new promos and their taste really fits, makes every liveset sound complete for me.
During the last years I met some really talented young hungarian artists and friends with my view of creating music, like Nora Naughty, Aphiks, Anderz, Nermo and I’ve completed my livesets with their demos and their tools, and we always try to help each other in developing. Also, I just met with a really talented young spanish artist called Martin Brenn from Barcelona and finally I would like to create the vinyl label for all of us, based on these tools and music.
Kn: You’ve released some amazing original material and remixes on Butane’s ‘Alphahouse’ label, and your releases have been on rotation by some of the scenes elite, including Richie Hawtin, Laurent Garnier and Loco Dice. What future projects and releases do you have lined up?
AT: At first my next EP on Alphahouse called “Would U ?” will be released in January 2012, with 4 tracks on the vinyl and one bonus song called “Them (live edit)” on beatport. I finished my 8 track Littlehelpers EP for Butane and Someone Else and they will release it on the 21st of February, it is called LITTLEHELPERS 31. We also just started to make our second collaboration song together with Butane for a new interesting label for spring and I have a release planned with Bruno Pronsato for the next year. It will be a piano experience in three movements with a Pronsato reinterpretaion on the other side. I also just made my first solo piano compilation called “Ambienne “and it seems to be released around February 2012. Finally, I would like to finish my Alphahouse longplayer album for the next summer.
Kn: The music industry sheds its skin at a rapid pace, however your sound and focus is a direct reflection of your dedication. Described by Butane as a sound that sits “between an old school Plastikman and Sahko records sound”. What keeps you constantly motivated to continue traveling along the path you’re currently on?
AT: Butane really liked my future sounds on the LITTLEHELPERS 31 and I got very positive feedback from them. I’m always searching the ” new”. I don’t like to use my old saved platforms for making new songs. I always try to open new doors in the mind with creating music. There is balance in everything in life, in the music and I believe the music helps you find and keep that path where you can find the balance in every moment of your life.
Music composing can be an official knowing-yourself training but only for those who do it from heart with enthusiasm. Even if it takes years from your life finally you gotta find yourself on the other side of the perception. Only you have to follow those sounds that your soul really wants. If the music is good, it makes your flesh creep, that’s a simple but an eternal law. This is what can give borders to my musical path, if there are any.
Kn: If we were to cross paths in another life, what dreams and aspirations would you tell us about that you were proud of achieving?
AT: There is so much happiness and unidentified in this world, in this life, that I’ve never sensed yet. Human experiences. I don’t wannabe someone else yet, I just found myself again after 26 years, and started to sense other dimensions. ” How do you know that you are not dreaming now? “. I believe in lucid dreams because I sensed there are rules and borders in your mind, which are interfering with your sense of your own soul, which makes your dreams come true. Nothing is impossible if you are open-minded. Just keep your eye on it. The third one.