INTERVIEW: Andres Campo: In Conversation | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Andres Campo recently touched down in Tyneside alongside Eats Everything for Loop’s sixth birthday celebrations at Digital. The Spanish selector had not long arrived from the prestigious Amsterdam Dance Event when I met him for a chat at a Newcastle institution.

A quick stroll along the quayside and up Dean Street brought him to 586 Records, where we each had the chance to do some crate digging and chat about Andres’ maiden Newcastle visit. Being surrounded by records was the perfect environment for Andres to explain what made him tick as both a person and a DJ. “I began by playing on vinyl with Traktor. In the biggest clubs you can play on whatever you like, and whatever you put on your tech rider. In the beginning I hated CDJs, but now I’m okay with them. It was difficult to move my vinyl library onto CDJs, but the new ones make it easier. I have turntables at home, and I still love to play on them.” 

His passion for wax is obvious, but as his personal collection ticks into the thousands, it’s maybe just as well that he wasn’t made to carry the lot along Pilgrim Street. It was a typically dreary Tyneside afternoon, not that that had dampened his enthusiasm. Andres described UK crowds as “crazy” and placed them up there with the Italians for their stamina and all round riotousness. Although he had played in the UK for elrow, In Motion, Parklife, Nightvision and Mint Warehouse, Newcastle had eluded him until now. He spoke with purpose, and a passion for music which suggested that, whilst conquering many iconic clubs around the globe, he had a fair few dancefloors he still wanted to tick off his list.

Eats Everything, who played for six hours in Digital’s main room for Loop, has been largely responsible for his UK breakthrough. Andres was headlining Room 2, but the pair have many more dates pencilled in before the year is through, specifically a six date Spanish tour where they will play back-to-back.

The two of them met through a back to back that was far more impromptu than even they could have expected. “We share the same management, and they’d booked us to play back to back for five hours in a club in Barcelona about three years ago. We planned to get together so that it wasn’t super weird doing the back to back. But his flight was delayed and he arrived straight to the DJ booth. I was like, okay, ‘Hi I’m Andres Campo.’ And then we played for five hours.”

It was a working relationship, turned friendship, forged in the most stressful of circumstances. But its enduring success has led to an extensive back to back tour and the formation of a brand new record label. “It’s going to be a techno label launching later this year called 8. We’re doing the back to back tour to promote the label, and we’ve got some amazing artists lined up for the first four EPs already.

At the start there were makina tunes, which were originally from Spain. It wasn’t maybe like the more ‘happy hardcore’ you might be thinking about. I recently did a podcast for Suara playing this kind of music, the tracks that influenced me when I started out playing

The forthcoming label may have a distinctly techno feel to it, but it hadn’t always been this way. Much like many DJs across Newcastle, Andres started out playing rave tracks. “At the start there were makina tunes, which were originally from Spain. It wasn’t maybe like the more ‘happy hardcore’ you might be thinking about. I recently did a podcast for Suara playing this kind of music, the tracks that influenced me when I started out playing.”

Despite his protestations, there maybe isn’t as much that separates his own DJ education from the hard house so readily associated with the North East. Andres is more forthcoming when talking about other British musical institutions such as Joy Division and the Bee Gees, who he says had a profound affect from an early age.

Having grown up in Huesca, originally aspiring to be a graphic designer, his DJ prowess led to him DJing at 14 and performing in local clubs at the frankly scandalous age of 16. Having started at a young age, his ascent has been rapid and measured in equal parts. It’s a quite unique position to be in, and it’s one that has seen him hold a residency at the renowned Florida 135, one of the country’s oldest and legendary clubs, for the past seven years. Ultimately, he would move to Barcelona where he currently resides, to operate out of one of Spain’s musical and creative hubs.

His favourite club in that same city, Input, bears a fair resemblance to Digital’s second room. Small, crowded, and invariably raucous, it’s a space which fits his own personal style; dark, intense, and not afraid to take risks. Although what he plays in clubs isn’t necessarily the same as that which he produces in the studio. The forthcoming label will give his own productions room to breathe, and he says he’s looking forward to producing music entirely for himself. “When I’m DJing I don’t play so much of my own music in the clubs. When writing music, I’m usually releasing tracks for a certain label, or for a certain reason. Now, I want to make music for me to play.”

That isn’t to say, however, that he’s only facing inwards. A remix of Dense & Pika is forthcoming, as well as a release on Carl Cox’s Intec label and a new track out on Matador’s RUKUS imminently. As you’d expect from that particular list of protagonists, the tracks will be straight out of the box and straight into the club. Whatever direction he chooses for his own label, his dexterity behind the decks and creativity in the studio marks him out as one to watch.

 

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