First off some obligatory questions about you.
Q: Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
A: I could indeed!...
My real world name is Andy Turner and I have been making electronic/dance music for about 20 years, originally on hardware equipment. I used to do a live PA in clubs and at raves. In 2005 I studied record production and got into producing more seriously. I had many releases on various independent labels. My most notable success from those days was a track called "This Heaven" which was supported by names such as The Flash Brothers who played it in their headlining set of the Renaissance festival. I have recently started my own label "Ghost Fat Productions" for releasing my own tracks. The style I am currently working on I would describe as "Trance/breaks". I have recently got into radio dj/presenting and do a weekly live show and a weekly recorded show called "The Hat-cast". I work closely with hard trance producer "AlexMo" who has recently remixed tracks of mine and vice versa. I have a release out on his label "Morality Records".
Now, onto the more interesting stuff, let’s talk about the music!
Q: Can you describe your favourite genre? What do you love about it so much?
A: I don't have a favourite genre as such. I'm all about the variety and I have a strong aversion to getting stuck into one genre and discriminating against any tune I come across because 'it's not the style I'm into', if it's a cool bit of dance music I'm into it. Having said all that though, rant over on that subject I promise.
I can run off a list of genres I am currently most interested in... deep/progressive house, future house, breaks, trance (especially progressive trance), some hard trance and psy trance and techno. Only some of these genres however. Take breaks and future house as an example, quite a lot of it I detest and have to sift through a lot of it to find tracks I like. It is worth it however for that occasional gem. The genre I am currently working on myself I call trance/breaks. It pretty much is how it sounds. I have always loved actual break beats,as a beat structure and I have also always loved trancey sounds/synths/riffs so am just combining these elements to my own liking.
Q: What are your favourite record labels from that era?
A: Well I suppose the more established labels that have made the most impact on me are Global Underground, Tinrib, Routemaster, Stay Up Forever, Dragonfly, Noom, R&S etc but more recently labels like Impact!, Morphosis, ibreaks, Anjuna beats, Bedrock, Who's afraid of 138?! Lots more I could name but those are some good ones.
Q: What about your favourite producers? And your favourite DJs? What makes them so great?
A: Weirdo (Tinrib/Morality) gets the most respect from me as a producer. I literally marvel over how he makes his tunes. He seems to just be in another league to anyone else out there. I can listen to his tracks over and over and rather than getting bored with them, they get better and better. I like the progressive house Quivver produces a lot too . There's an incredible depth to it which you can lose yourself in. SAMA for techno. Lovely dark, messed up stuff! As far as djs go there are mixes for me which are timeless and untouchable... Deep dish in Toronto, Nick Warren in Lima (both Global Underground) to name two. Other djs which have had an effect on me would be Matt Darey, Lee Burridge, Plump djs, John Digweed.
Q: How long have you been listening to those genres? Already back in the days, or did you discover it later on? If so, how come you discovered it after all these years?
A: The first dance music genre I really got into was trance in the 90s when I first started going to raves. Not anthemic, melodic trance... more psychedelic and underground sounding but not psytrance (not as fast). That stuff really got into me. So hypnotic! I remember being dragged to a small free party in a barn in Dorset for a party by a collective called “Hypnotic unity”. Before then I thought all dance music was pretty uninspiring. I was converted, literally overnight. I got to know some of the djs that were playing that stuff at the time. A noteable one was Mikey Mayhem who is still at it now in a big way. I played their mix tapes to death!
Q: Did you go to parties around that time? Or, do you still go to the classics parties or stages that are being held today?
A: Lots! Once I had discovered it there was no stopping me! I started dj-ing at them too. After a long time of not really going out to clubs and parties, I have recently got the bug for it again. I no longer drink or take any substances so for a while I felt too vulnerable. I went out last weekend and danced my socks off til 3 am and the strongest thing I had was Coca Cola so looks like I'm over that lol.
Q: What would be the perfect line-up for a single 10-hour stage?
A: Mikey Mayhem
HatStandy (naturally lol)
Now, on to your own DJing.
Q: Can you describe how you do your mixes? What is it you try to achieve? Do you like fast mixing, daring mixing, lots of teases or something else?
A: I do like to be quite daring sometimes. I love to see how much I can mix stuff together that shouldn't work. Put in a one off track from a completely different genre ie UK Hardcore into a D&B tune. I do this on my shows. I know some people are going to be like... “Eh?!?” This makes it all more exciting for me though and often it really pays off. I love to mix up the styles and BPMs. I don't want to play it safe. I kind of see my sets/ shows as a bit of a comment to the current status with dance music genres. They have have a tendency to be a bit serious, not a lot of diversity, fun or humour, bit exclusive and closed off. I'm here to challenge that (within reason of course... it has to work). Generally I mix one track into the other fairly quick. This suits my radio shows well. I'm not really going all out to showcase my dj skills, just play good tracks and hopefully mix them so they follow on from one to another smoothly without clashing.
Q: What do you use to mix at home? And, what do you prefer in general? Do you have a collection of vinyls?
A: No vinyl at all. I gave that all away years ago. I recently switched from CDJs to a Pioneer XDJ RX and I absolutely love it.
Q: Do you have many bookings where you can play your favourite genres?
A: At the moment I am getting no bookings for playing out anywhere but I'm hoping to change all that soon. As far as the radio show, yes. I play all these genres in my show along with my own original tracks.
Q: And how do you make your tracklists? On the fly, or before you start mixing?
A: I usually write down a list of tracks I would like to play before each show but I like to be spontaneous as much as possible so will usually play those tracks in whatever order takes my fancy or throw in one I hadn't planned on playing. I write the proper tracklist after.
Q: How big a part of your life is music? How much time do you spend actively being busy with your music?
A: A massive part of my life. When I'm not physically working on it, I am thinking about it. I work as a lifeguard so have a lot of time to sit and think. I even compose tunes in my head while sitting there watching people swim lol. I tend to write/produce/release tracks at about the rate of one a month.
Q: Did you ever produce music back in the days? Or did you make music later to recreate the old style?
A: I've been making dance music over 20 years now and although I like using sounds that are perhaps a bit retro/ old style, I like trying to make something new as much as possible.
Q: It’s probably really hard, but could you give us your Top 5?
A: You're right. That is hard!... but I'll try...
1) AlexMo – Psyman (Weirdo remix)
2) Holden and Thompson – Nothing
3) Liz Cass, Jimmy V - Lose my mind
4) Ohmna - Sun'll shine (sunrise mix)
5) Conjure one, Leigh Nash - Under the gun (Rank 1 remix)
Q: Could you name us a track which you think is hugely underrated and we should listen to right now?
A: AlexMo – Psyman (Weirdo remix)
Give it several listens. It'll keep getting better!
Q: How did you get involved with Safehouse Radio?
A: They discovered me through my promo agent.
Q: What are your thoughts behind your show? What is it you’re trying to achieve? And, how do you select guests?
A: I really want to bring more fun and character into dance music. I have a whole lot of fun with it and I hope that comes across and rubs off on the listener. That's not to say it's all a laugh to me. I love the intensity and the darkness in dance music too. For me these different moods are not mutually exclusive. Quite the contrary. They work better and have more effect when used in context with contrasting styles and moods. I don't have guests. Just me. I select the tracks I'm going to play through many hours per week searching the download stores for new tracks.
Q: Tell us one skeleton you have in your closet.
A: Oh ok then... I used to be known as “Lord Neck'em” on account of how many ecstacy pills I used to put down my neck. Also... my producer name was “The Phat Controller” for a while a few years ago. Bumped into some people at a club recently who remembered me for that name!
Some skeletons just won't stay in that damn closet lol.
Thank you for answering our questions!
Q: Do you have any closing remarks?
A: Thank YOU! Answering these questions has been a great experience for me. Tune into my show every Friday night from 6pm to hear what I've been on about!
Ghost fat discography so far...
Ghost fat productions was founded 10th May 2017 by Andy Neil Turner as an outlet for HatStandy productions.
Alanis Sibley-Ware – Just fine (HatStandy trance mix)
Release date 16th May 2017
A song written, sung and played (ukulele) by Alanis Sibley-Ware (who at the time was only 14!)
An original recording with just voice and ukulele was recorded to begin with.
Andy liked the vocal and the sound of the ukelele so much he decided to make a trance version.
This track is unlike anything else he has produced as it was based around Alanis' song, not an original track.
Wide world/Stringy things (double A side release)
Release date 12th June 2017
An old favourite from years ago (Stringy things) and a revamped old progressive tune (Wide world)
make up the second release as a double A side.
Release date 12th July 2017
The very first in HatStandys “Trance/breaks” style.
The vox sample “Time to step up or it's game over” came from the way Andy was feeling about his music and the lack of positive response he seemed to be getting at the time.
Supported by Krotos D Beatz (Mixset radio)
Release date 4th August 2017
The second “Trance/breaks” tune from HatStandy.
This track is many peoples favourite. It features a singing vocal line by HatStandy himself.
The idea behind the lyrics “Just keep on keeping on” was (in total contrast to Step up) making the statement that now things are musically going better than ever and all that needs to happen was for him to just keep on doing what he was doing.
A hard trance rework of this track was done by AlexMo and released on MorAlity records
Supported by Krotos D Beatz (Mixset radio)
Any which way from here
Release date 18th September 2017
Trance/breaks tune number 3 from HatStandy... This track is a bit of a showcase of his clever detail skills. Very intense, quite psychedelic with a bit of a sense of humour at the same time (check the bluesy piano break). The lyric... “This could go any which way from here” (more of a chant than a sung vocal, again by HatStandy himself) refers quite literally to the fact that this tune keeps you guessing. At one point it seems like it is going to a 4X4 beat... then slips back to a breakbeat to further emphasise this point.
Release date 9th October 2017
Definitely one of the most stand out HatStandy tracks... This track actually sounds a bit Ska-ish in it's feel, especially at the start. Full of tricks and intricate breaks, a very uplifting synth melody and a spoken vocal (again, by HatStandy himself) which says... “Whatever you do... don't try something new”, a sarcastic dig at closed minded genre snobbery.
Supported by Jon Doe on the Vertastyle trance show on Choice.FM
D-Vox (Afrodisiac live radio)
Release date 15th November
The first HatStandy track to NOT have a breakbeat in five tracks. It's also faster than usual (132bpm) and definitely the hardest/heaviest of the bunch.
This track has a standard 4X4 kick and could be described as progressive trance.
The vocal on this one (again, by HatStandy himself) is through a vocoder and repeats these four lines...
“Invent the sound,
invent your life,
invent your thoughts,
Basically about how we invent ourselves and our reality every moment of every day... the same is true of any musical artist... you are “inventing” your sound with everything you do... hence... “Inventra-sonica”
IT'S KICKING OFF NEXT DOOR!
Release date 23rd December 2017
The theme of this one is about Andy's neighbours who were kicking off and having a massive row where police were called while he was working on the track... just when he was stuck for ideas for a focal point. Perfect!
This track more than any other HatStandy tune has people stumped over what genre to call it.
A success in his genre challenging mission.
This release has already gained support from djs such as...
D-Vox (Afrodisiac live radio)
James Black (Trickstar radio)
Krotos D Beatz (Mixset radio)