Dropping Bombs: Andre Crom
Together, Andre Crom and his OFF imprint have been responsible for some of the most seismic records of the past few years. The German producer has always harbored a propensity for tracks of a dancefloor persuasion, and one look at OFF’s back catalogue reads like a who’s who of contemporary electronic music talent, with everyone from Robosonic to Chris Carrier to Round Table Knights to Darius Syrossian turning up on the label over the years. Indeed, both label and owner are showing no signs of slowing down recently either, with Crom only recently pairing up with fledgling producer Teenage Mutants for ”You Don’t Know”, the follow-up to their massive ”Hangin’ On”. We caught up with the multifaceted Crom recently ahead of a label showcase at Egg London, where he’ll be joined by Round Table Knights, Mat.Joe and Kruse & Nuernberg. Here’s what he had to say about his recent endeavours, the success of his label and the benefits of the digital age…
Hey Andre, tell us about your new release with Teenage Mutants, what’s the vibe behind the EP?
It’s a deep groover based on a massive bassline, catchy synths and a magical vocal, with a positive vibe…the kind of track that works as well on a beach bar as it does in a club at 3 a.m.
What was the process like in recording a track with other people?
Kris (Teenage Mutants) and I started the project, and then I finished with together with my engineer as we live in different cities. I like this way of working as it’s very efficient, often more than if you sit in the studio with 2 people at once, with one person on the computer and the other one just giving feedback and suggestions. I find that can become a bit boring and hinder the process.
OFF Recordings has really blown up over the past year. What do you think the key has been to the success of the label?
Simple: we deliver the BOMBS!
To be more precise, OFF is very much focused towards the DJs; you can almost buy our tracks blind and be sure that they will rock the dance floor. I just sign the music which I like to play myself on the dance floor, and luckily, a lot of people seem to share my taste. Another reason why the label has become so successful (especially since beginning of 2012) is because after you release a few strong EP’s in a row, as we did in early 2012, you get sent better demos sent by more well-known producers. So it becomes a lot easier to raise the standard of your music once you’re a bit more known.
Another important reason for the raised awareness in the past 18 months is that besides releasing music from well-known guest artists, we gathered some core acts, that now transport our image such as Robosonic, Teenage Mutants, Mat.Joe, Leftwing & Kody, myself, and a few more.
What can you tell us about the next releases on the label?
We have really excellent tracks coming; besides new stuff from our above mentioned core acts there will be guest releases by Betoko, Jay Lumen, Pleasurekraft, Darius Syrossian and more. Musically, we’re moving a bit away from the nu-disco/pop/sample-heavy style that we’ve featured in our releases of the first half of 2013 and we’ll be focusing more in either more toolish, very clubby sounds, or musically really interesting and outstanding tracks with original vocals.
You’re very popular on Beatport. A lot of people criticize the website for either favouring artists or charting popular artists and tracks because of who they are. What’s your take on the site?
Which record shop does not showcase some artists more than others? If you go to an underground vinyl store like Hardwax in Berlin, you will also find some releases placed prominently on display. The point is to not only feature the “safe bets” that will be big sellers for sure; but also to present some more underground/experimental bits. It’s a bit like running a label, of course you need some bombs that everybody will play and chart and buy, but you also need to work on your image by showcasing fresh and original things.
What I like about Beatport as well is, that – opposed to what many people believe – it’s not possible to buy a feature. You can tell your contact at Beatport “check this out, I think this track has a lot of potential” – but it’s their decision in the end what does get a feature, which mainly depends on the music.