Having supported some of the most revered names in house and techno such as Answer Code Request, Dave Clarke, Recondite, Derrick May, Jeff Mills, Mr G, Developer and Rebekah, Andy Muscat aka ACM has progressed from his first residencies at the now defunct After Dark Social Club and Survivor! Club of Legends. Starting off purely as a DJ, Andy first tried his hand at a live set back in 2013 with a hybrid/live DJ set influenced by Jeff Mills, who had performed in Melbourne only a week earlier. In recent times, this has turned into a full live production, where he has embraced an all hardware set up.
He’s now being regularly booked for his live shows and getting well-known as a live act in the Melbourne techno scene. This Sunday Melbournians will have another chance to see him perform at the new weekly Sunday night at Boney called VAMOS The After Party. Supporting him at the upstairs level is special guest Chiara Kickdrum along with resident DJs Sundelin and Luke Stein.
Who was your first big musical influence?
This is a tough question – If you look back to some of my earlier DJ sets you will find tracks in there from the likes of Chris Liebing, Steve Stoll and Robert Hood. I don’t think there is one artist in particular, in fact my first big musical influence was probably the sound of a 303!
When did you decide to do live gigs and not just DJ sets?
I recall watching early video’s of Jeff Mills do his hybrid thing with 4 turntables and a 909. Without having any real idea around what I was getting myself into I went and bought NI Maschine. I played with it at home a little and got used to it. The next gig I was booked for I told the promoter that I was going to bring the drum machine along. Next thing I knew, the event was announced and I was booked as “ACM (Live)”. Instead of trying to mimic Mills I put a very basic live show together with FL Studio and Maschine. The set went well, people were interested in seeing something different so I decided to do it again.
How did your love for hardware synthesizers start?
I worked with midi controllers and an unreliable computer for a while as I found the idea of spending hundreds of dollars on my first synth quite daunting. Having a background in piano, I quickly found that clicking around on a computer screen wasn’t for me. I wanted to work with my hands. I bit the bullet and purchased a Mochika XL by AtomoSynth. I really enjoyed the immediacy and unique sound of the synth. I think for me it’s more the ability to get hands on with my gear and manipulate sounds instantly that got me addicted.
What equipment do you use for your live shows? Can you explain a bit what each of them does and how you incorporate them in your set?
The heart of my live show at the moment is the Arturia Beatstep Pro – this is the main sequencer for everything. For drums I use a Vermona DRM1 and an MFB 522. The majority of my bass lines come from the Moog Slim Phatty but I like to take the Korg Volca Bass and Mochika as back up. For arpeggios, pads, leads and all sorts of other whacky stuff I use my Roland System 1 and Korg MS2000r. I’ve also got a Kaosspad in my setup for its variety of delays and reverbs. That’s everything at the moment.
You’re a part of the local techno crew Bunker, were you there from the start and what’s your role in the group?
Yes, I’ve been with Bunker Music since it’s inception. My role is focused around technical setup and making sure our artists performance needs are catered for on game day. This means working with my partners Adrian Bell and Jake McDonald to ensure our line-ups flow, both in sound and technical requirement. It’s a bit different to what a sound technician might do – it’s a bit more personal with the artists, having them know that they will be looked after on the day so they can focus on their performance. It allows us to put on more complex line-ups without being aligned to any particular venue. I also co-host our weekly web stream on TRNSMT and maintain our podcasts.
We’re super excited for your live show for VAMOS this Sunday at Boney. Have you got anything special prepared for us?
I’ve been working away on brand new material but you’ll have to wait and see!
Have a listen to ACM’s live set from Bunker Presents Norman Nodge (Ostgut Ton) at The Mercat in October last year and get a feel for what is coming up this Sunday March 28th at Boney:
To find out more about VAMOS The After Party this Sunday the 28th of March check out the Facebook event page. And to make sure you stay in the loop with the VAMOS parties click like on their Facebook page.