Local Artist Profile | Decon
After completing his education, formally and musically, in the northern ivies, Mike Andrew has returned to Atlanta as the new kid on the block. His face won't be unknown for long, if he continues to produce and release banging tunes at the current rate. Let's see how he fares against the Lunar questionnaire.
DJ/Production Name - Decon
Real Name - Mike Andrew
Years DJing/Producing - 5 Years DJ, 2 years production/engineering seriously.
Affiliations - Baroque/Method, Progress Inn, Q Records, Prime, + more soon.
Residencies - None at the moment.
Styles - tribal tech space phunk... from bumping and grooving San Fran-style tribal tech action, to deep melodic space journeys of the soul…to the endless beats and electric energy of techno. Breakbeat, straightbeat, sideways beat... if it moves me I want to play it/make it.
Influences - All the music and rhythms I have experienced in life are influential in their own way, but if we are to list:
How You Got Into Dance Music/DJing/Producing - I gradually was falling into dance/electronic music through early exposure to Nine Inch Nails, Bush, and Portishead. But it all really clicked for me after hearing Sasha and Digweed's Northern Exposure and Sasha's Global Underground San Francisco. The mix from God Within "Raincry" to Rabbit in the Moon "Out of Body Experience" made me want to be a DJ; the subsequent years of going to Twilo with my roommate and DJ partner Wen-Kai Ying made me never want to stop being involved in this music and the magic it can inspire.
It's sort of a cheeky story, but the one moment that forever hooked me was the first proper DJ set I did at my college. I played for about 6-7 hours, from Fatboy Slim and chunky house to a proper Northern Exposure-type vibe by the end. During the middle of this party, a fire alarm was pulled and a few hundred people had to leave the packed old school fraternity house the event was being held at. But instead of just leaving and going to the rest of the parties all up and down the street, everyone waited about, spilling out onto the street until the fire trucks came and cleared everything. They all shouted for me to go downstairs and we continued until dawn. I have never seen people so transformed and happy at the end of a night, saying the music "changed their life." It was probably just the great drugs they were on, but it truly showed me the power music has and how magical and (transforming) dance music can be.
What Music Means To You - Everything. I can't imagine a life without it. It's a sublime form of expression that crosses all nationalities and something that has touched me deeply and profoundly changed my life. It's one refuge for the soul in the dehumanized world of globalization and predatory capitalism (that) we live in. Good music at least.
Upcoming Gigs - I had been focusing on production for a while, but going to start playing out again, feeling the itch. Info will be posted on my website shortly about upcoming gigs (I hope) If anyone wants a mix CD, I would be happy to get them a new one.
Online Sets - Will be posted soon.
Mixes Available - Hooj Choons' Mix of the Month from a while back, Tribal Tech Space Phunk Volume 1, plus a few others if anyone is interested.
Tracks Produced -
Jade - "The Assassin (Decon Remix)" on Method
Decon - "Deep Fried/Simmering Saute" on Q Records
Decon + Gene Carbonell - "R U Feeling/Hold the Gates on Prime"
Decon - "South Pointe"
Decon - "Repose in G"
Decon - "Groovy SF"
Thoughts on the Atlanta Scene - It's hard for me to comment, since while I did grow up in Atlanta, I didn't really experience any of Atlanta's dance music culture until I returned from college a year ago. Atlanta feels like it's going through a transition, it's hard to say what the future will hold. I just personally wished people would stop bitching at each other and try and make things happen for each other. Folks, its all "house music" in the end. Genre wars suck. Dance music is threatened as is, and if we can't get solid nights and venues for locals and work together and support each other creatively, it will die. (Do) you think the people pushing for the RAVE Act in Congress really care if it's "funky house" or "nu-step nu-school breakbeat phunk"?
What's Good/Bad About the Dance Music Industry Right Now - There has been a lot of negativity expressed recently, but I think the world as a whole is feeling the stress, and dance music is just one of the many aspects of life affected. I still think there is great music being made; people just have to look. That (having been) said, the economics of the industry are not the greatest. MP3 trading, a depressed economy, and less support for small/local DJs all means that less records are being bought, which puts a damper on the artists making the music, the labels providing the music, and the culture at large. The internet has brought artists and people together and exposed many people to this who would otherwise would never hear any of it, but if we don't find a better economic model things are going to continue to be difficult. I think there needs to be some sort of way for artists to get royalties from club play. They are supposed to already, but there really is no enforcement/collection, so it all goes to Whitney Houston. How is it right that a DJ like Oakenfold can make $50,000 from one gig of playing other peoples records, yet the artists making those records receive no income from this and are lucky to make hardly anything off the sales of that record? There is too much of a split between the high and low of dance music without a reasonable middle ground.
Favorite Gig Ever - They have all been special, but I think the last gig I played at my school after years of great nights was the best. There is nothing like seeing friends you had partied with for years and playing tracks just for them, and seeing all the new friends and people who never would have been into it when we first started coming out and partying until dawn. Rave on!
Strangest Request From Someone While Playing - Usually its just stupid music requests, like Britney Spears in the middle of a techno set. BTW, sorority girls, please stop requesting Madonna's "Like a Virgin" from DJs; we all know you're not and that song won't bring you back.
Place of Work Outside of DJing - It varies.
Something We May Not Know About You - I have a degree in Philosophy from a not-so-bad school, and the huge student loans to prove it. I also have big feet and it's a real pain to find shoes that fit right. Why, oh why Rockport, did you stop making the comfortable dress shoes that fit my feet without making me look like a clown?
Advice for Other DJs/Producers - As much as I admire proper studio gear, 95% of the work is in the arrangement and just picking the right sounds to begin with. No amount of EQ or compression can make up for a bad arrangement. And always trust your ears over your eyes and your soul over the market.
Current Top 5 Chart -
16b - "Virus"
Luke Chable - "Sealers Cove"
Josh Gabriel - "Wave 3(Charlie May Mixes + Original)"
Lastmanstanding - "Wake Up Call"
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