With a career spanning 29 years, Andrew Till is one of few players with a stake in not only the establishment, but the defining of electronic music in Australia. If ever the term “pioneer” was to be thrown around, it might well be thrown at Andrew Till – and it would stick. Andrew is known for being an innovator: a stylist whose sets are part a conjuring act, part an act of persuasion – a composite of timing and compositional balance. As a DJ, producer and repertoire manager, his success marks him as elite.
Amidst a budding club and rave culture, hot on the heels of the halcyon summer of love, from playing at first the outdoor events in Victoria to being a resident DJ at Melbourne’s infamous Hellfire club. Andrew Till was amongst the first delivering the new dawn. First as DJ and event organizer, then as co-founder of Australia’s first and most influential electronic label.
Psy-Harmonics burst onto the scene in 1993 and would quickly thrust Till and partner Ollie Olsen onto the world stage, riding at the crest of a new wave of electronica that would crash far beyond our shores. For the next 16 years this label would offer up countless gems, to cement a timeless place in the worldwide pantheon of dance music.
He grew up on steady and seedy diet of krautrock, reggae, post punk, EBM, industrial, new wave, acid house, experimental through to the birth of techno and beyond which formed a wide taste and understanding of music. His legacy has earned a legion of fans the world over. Launching from hometown Melbourne, his tour schedule has taken him to headline shows in, Helsinki, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Greece, London, South Africa, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Portland and the list goes on and on.
His globetrotting takes in all corners but none more so than Japan. Harbouring a particular fascination, Japan has played host with 60+ gigs over a 20 year period, including a collaboration performance with legendary Jazz trumpeter Toshinori Kondo in font of 15,000 people in Yoyogi park, to largest festivals and nightclubs such as Ageha, Liquid Room, Womb, Velfare, Unit, Nagisa Music Festival, Space Gathering, Total Solar Eclipse festival (Amami-Oshimi) to the most intimate indoor and outdoor venues.
As a long term DJ and artist, you would have gone through many fluctuations in your popularity and personal drive to maintain your presence in the dance music industry. How do you think you have been able to maintained both your relevance and drive in the scene?
With a balance and strong passion for music across all genres and driving force for finding new and interesting sounds that inspire me. I never got into the industry for its popularity status, I’m solely interested in the sonic evolution of dance music and to push new sounds.
Tell us what you believe to be your personal height of achievement in your career and what lasting effects that has had?
There’s been many personal highlights that have kept me going, from being a part of a driving force that was Psy-Harmonics (’93-’09), that pushed out a huge catalogue of creative music and supported artists across a myriad of genres. You name it we released it; techno, trance, electronics, industrial, ambient, abstract, psy-trance, drum n bass and experimental.
I’d say my highlights has been travelling the world through music, being invited to play at some incredible venues and making life long friends.
If there is one choice you made in your music career that you got the option to change, what would that be and why?
I wouldn’t change anything, as the past has defined who and where I am now, through trails and tribulations, the peaks and lows its the learning experience of the entire ride that has enabled me to do what I have for so long.
Do you believe you will ever stop being a part of the music industry?
I think I’ll always be involved in the creative aspect of the industry in one way or another as I don’t know anything else. I’ve been doing it for pretty much the majority of my life, starting as a teenager designing flyers and record covers for independent bands and labels in the 80’s. Then as a designer for most of the nightclubs in Melbourne; working as a DJ, promoter, producer, label manager, working in record shops and running distribution services etc.
There’s also the part of sharing the knowledge and experience I’ve gained through all this time to mentoring up and coming DJs and artists. As for the immediate future I plan to get back into the studio and start producing after a long break.
Intro to mix
KONTRAST COLLECTIVE is a group of creative spirits who loves to combine raw sounds, dark, thumping beats and intense, edgy musical experiences with extraordinary visual elements in an experimental and innovative way. Apart from organising events we love to shine light on Australia’s best upcoming and veteran DJ’s. The tenth round of the KONTRAST Mini-Mix series marks an historical step for KONTRAST and will run from January 4th to 25th. Because of this we have chosen to give each artist the same 4 questions together with the podcast to see how they has experienced their musical career.
Mini-Mix Series #10: