Musical Host this week comes from Manchester - Meet Andi Hanley
by Herb Essntls
A year ago
Manchester top lad, DJ, digger and illustrator Andi Hanley is our Musical Host this week. Remembering his NYC club adventures in the early 90s he has put together a long and pretty cosmic mix for us. We caught up with Andi for a chat about New York, music, digging, life as an audiophile and more.
What mood were you looking to set with this curation?
I wanted to play things that remind me of New York and my time living there.
Are there any particular records from the mix that you just had to include?
Captain Sky - Super Sporm
Hailing from Manchester originally, tell us about what brought you to New York, and how did music influence your journey?
I went to New York in 1993 with three of my mates that I grew up with. We all wanted to get out of Manchester to see and do something different. When I got to New York it reminded me quite a bit of Manchester and we all fit right in. We used to go to clubs like Club USA, Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium etc. We saw some funny sights in those places.
You played warm up at Body and Soul for years, drawing dancers onto the dance floor. How important is setting the tone for a night? Are there any standout records that you still return to?
I realized how important it is to set the right mood from listening to Francois K at the very first Body & Soul party in 1996. He would always start with Ambient sounds and tracks and progress into downtempo tracks from whatever genre he wanted and then on to wherever and whatever, and then bring it all back down at the end, like a story.
You have a knack for editing, having released a number over the years on Rong Music, Ruf Kutz and Misadventures to name a few. What is your approach to editing, and what criteria do you have for choosing a track?
I try not to do too much to the edits / overdubs. I like to just add a touch of what’s I think is missing to make it that bit more than they already are. The criteria is for it to be a timeless sounding piece of music, regardless of the genre.
DJing has evolved so much over the last few decades, from the purist Mancuso style, Joe Clausell’s “acrobatics” and all the way through to EDM’s over the top performances. How do you describe your approach?
I try and play things that have a connection in some way or another.
You’re an audiophile, and assembled a pretty legendary system whilst you were living in New York. What were your influences in audio, and how important is this quality to how we experience music?
I was introduced to high end audio playback systems by a few friends who had been influenced by David Mancuso and going to his The Loft parties. The Klipschorn speakers that David Mancuso used at The Loft have a special sound and when I heard a pair for the first time I knew I had to get myself some. They have an effortless sound and after I got them I realised how shit most bars, clubs sounded and would rather stay at home and listen to them instead of going out.
You have an extensive record collection, but have always followed your own path, not the latest fad. What’s your proudest digging moment?
I haven’t got a proud moment that I can think of because most of the records I buy aren’t worth much in terms of price. I love buying a stack of records for 50p or 99p each and taking a chance there might be something good on them so I can edit it and make it better, something out of nothing and all that.
Collaboration is a recurring theme of conversation in many interviews. The music and greater DJ-community is a social one. Aside from making music with friends, what makes a good collaboration?
I suppose collaborators just need to have a similar idea of how to make their idea a reality.
You are also a talented illustrator! How are you inspired artistically?
I don’t know if I am inspired artistically, but art is all around, take nature for example…
I’m always astounded by how amazing a designer Mother Nature is...