Andrew Bayer, a Feature Interview
Between working on a new EP and remixes for Anjunadeep:04, Washington DC’s very own Andrew Bayer stopped to chat with Glow about his work with Above & Beyond and his debut album “It’s Artificial.” Originally part of trance duo Signalrunners, Andrew has expanded as a solo artist- branching into glitch-hop and exploring his potential with a progressive sound.
Glow: Critics praise your experimental, innovative work as “truly progressive.” What inspired the unique glitch-hop sound we hear on “It’s Artificial?”
AB: Well, Nexus 6 was the start of my final project at Berklee College of Music, and also the first “glitch hop” track I had ever done. I was tired of only doing club music for such a long time in my life, I wanted to do something different and more musical. I was really just challenging myself, to see if I could do it. I feel that is really important for my work flow. There have been people pioneering that field of glitch hop and instrumental underground hiphop for years. Some great people to check out if you like that sound are: J Dilla, Flying Lotus, Bibio, Samiyam, Shigeto, and Mux Mool.
Glow: Your work is very diverse- if we put your remix of “Thing Called Love” next to “A Faded Memory” you wouldn’t guess the same artist did both. What is the process you go through when writing a song?
AB: I try to be as diverse as possible. This is mainly an exercise as a musician, but also a record producer as well. I feel like alienating one style is selling yourself short. After all, if we’re dedicating our lives to music, it’s silly to say “well only THIS type of music.” I think of doing a “club track” when I’m doing something like the Thing Called Love remix. I get a kick out of thinking what it’s going to do on the dancefloor. But with something like A Faded Memory, I’m thinking more along the lines of composition, which has an emotional pull to it. Sometimes I do like to cross the lines and write something that would both serve well on the dance floor as well as have that emotional pull to the harmony and melody.
Glow: How did you get started working with Anjunabeats? How has working with Anjuna influenced you?
AB: I signed my first record to Anjuna as Signalrunners when I was 18 I think. Since then, I have grown very close to the label and to Above & Beyond. I love them. They are like my family, and have my back for anything I want to do. Releasing “It’s Artificial” was a hugely risky move for them, and they still did it and supported me 100%. The scenario was: “Andrew has been producing with a partner under a successful alias for years, and wants to start a solo career. Not only that, he wants to release a debut full length album, even though no one knows who the f*ck he is… in under a year.” This is dance music industry suicide, but they had my back and believed in the project. Every single member of the team is diamond. I can never stop thanking them for what they do.
Glow: We’re loving your collaboration with Matt Lange on “In and Out of Phase.” How was that track conceived?
AB: Thank you so much! Matt and I have been close friends for years, but had never collaborated together. We do send each other pretty much every single snippet of audio that comes out of our respective studios, but never worked on an “official” track together. The track was produced in 3 different studios, over the span of like 9 months (whenever time allowed). The full 11-minute version has 3 completely independent sections, which took a lot of time to craft.
Glow: Are there any artists you’d love to collaborate with that you haven’t already?
AB: Yes, tons and tons. I’d love to do some more vocal work and would love to work with people like Sufjan Stevens, Ane Brun, Patrick Watson, and the list could go on forever!
Glow: How has the EDM scene in DC chanced since you first started producing music here?
AB: The scene in DC really snuck up on us the past few years when dance music started getting a bit more commercial. I think people realized that they all actually liked dance music and wanted to partake a bit in the lifestyle. DC was ready for this moment, as we’ve had phenomenal clubs here for years. Glow has been pulling in top acts repeatedly ever since I can remember. I have met a ton of local producers and DJs lately, the scene seems to be growing quite a bit!
Glow: What advice would you offer to aspiring young producers in DC?
AB: GO OUT! Alot. Honestly it’s the best source of inspiration I’ve ever found, especially while I was (and still am) discovering my own sound. Almost every major stylistic breakthrough in the first 5 years of my work, I can trace back to a specific night at Glow. Pretty crazy to think about actually!
Glow: What do you think is “the next big thing” in EDM?
AB: Hmmm! I think Mat Zo is going to blow up. His stuff is on fire lately and he truly captures the combination of making something musical, cool, and 100% accessible on the dance floor. He’s also like 4 years old. It’s disgusting. Every time I see him I openly tell him how jealous I am of his ridiculous amount of talent. I think now that the general public have been broken in by acts such as Guetta and Afrojack, they may hunger for more and start delving into some more musical dance music like A&B, Mat Zo, etc. We can only hope!
Glow Contributing Writer: Zoë DisselkoenTweet