Andrew Meller is a Serbian artist who has released quality music on the likes of Rukus, Sola, Frequenza, and Stereo Productions. He’s now starting his own imprint Rewler Records, and we spoke to him recently to talk about the ethos of the label he wants to create, and it’s first release “Dirty Minds” from himself…
Hey Andrew, how has the start of your 2022 been?
Absolutely amazing! I took the time off for 3 months and dedicated it to my time in the studio making music and preparing releases for 2022. So the first show I played after the break was with Hot Since 82, Yousef and IDQ on Central Dance Event in Belgrade. It was really amazing again experiencing the vibe, enjoying playing music, connecting to the crowd and seeing my friends. This set was recorded and will be online soon. After that I visited Albania for another great show in Tirana. I just love what I do.
How much did the pandemic affect the music you have made, the style and sound of it?
Well it did very much. I was confused since I didn’t have anywhere to test the tracks and I was left only with my imagination and an empty board. That was interesting because I got back to my beginnings sitting at the desk and fantasizing what the track would sound like on the floor, and my sense and vision that I had in the beginning was back. Every time I make music I can see the reaction that the track can cause. So I have been experimenting with old school style with grooves from 2000 and with synthesis from current styles and it gave me some results. While I was sick from Covid my inspiration was so high, because I was in isolation, so I have made an album that I should release this year. The album contains most of the genres that I grew up with, with fusion of some new flavours.
How do you evolve your own sound while staying true to your roots and own signature and not jumping on new hype bandwagons?
I never liked hype bandwagons because they don’t last long and they are not YOU. I found myself always searching for some adrenalin in sound. If the track gives me goosebumps, then that is the one. As I said before I’m trying and experimenting with sounds although I like an old school repetitive style with funky feelings. I never use patterns because I find every new track has new emotion, a new story to tell. My tracks, if you pay attention to titles, are my life. All those names didn’t come randomly, they mark some period of my time in my life, or they describe the society and some things that I have noticed happening. I’m always telling the stories, my roots are always present and my signature is recognisable.
Do you make music that suits certain labels or do you create first and worry about that later?
First I create, and that is one of the reasons why I am starting my own label. Since I’m making music from my heart and soul, I don’t pay attention to where to deliver it. I’m making a lot of music and just when the tracks are done I decide what tracks to send to a particular label. Also there are examples like I was playing with Matador at a Timecode show in Serbia and he heard me playing one of my tracks “Pulling Me Aparat”. When we finished the show he asked about that track. A few months later we released that track on his label RUKUS. Sometimes label A&R can’t see how some tracks work and they are dealing with “numbers” and they can’t experience the track. In this case Gavin experienced the track. What I wanted to say here is that following the label style might get you instant hype or whatever, but it is not you and your style, it is somebody else’s.
Your new release is the launch of your label “REWLER Records” – why did you decide now was the right time to start an imprint?
Well my team and I were thinking about the label for a long time. As I am in constant search for new hooks and thrills, my sound varies from house to techno and progressive, and it is hard for me to find a home in a saturated market. Time flies and tracks are waiting, over 100 of them, so I have decided to make my own label. I was supposed to do a first release in July 2021. but as I had a heavy touring summer I have postponed it and decided to start fresh from 2022. So here we are, finally, with the first release online and I am really happy.
What are some of the key bits of music making gear in your current set up?
It is just the computer, midi keyboard and imagination. I have added Moog Minitaur for my basslines and when I’m going more deep or progressive and Model D as some classic. So basically I will tell you which plugins I prefer but it’s nothing special. Arturia V collection, Roland, Spire, FabFilter and D16 are my main core plugins.
Where is your best environment as a dj? A small dark club or a huge outdoor festival stage? Late at night for the weirdos or early so you can play slow and eclectic etc etc?
Ohhh I really like everything haha. Every party is different, and to be honest it is always about the people that came to enjoy the music and have some fun. If the crew is good there is no bad place. I’m wide about genres and follow different music styles because I like music not genre and I can connect to any crowd.
How do you work, do you have an idea in your head you work towards or do you just experiment and jam and see what happens?
Depends on weather, mood, everything… Sometimes I hear some sounds and the instant idea is born, and sometimes I jam and find something, but most of the time it is an inspiration that comes from some other music like psychedelic, rock, funk or whatever I’m listening to. There were situations when I lay down in bed and I couldn’t sleep because there is a melody in my head so either I go straight to my computer and write the idea, or I sing on my phone (which sometimes, when I wake up, I can’t understand what I was singing ☺.
Tell us about your “Dirty Minds” EP – what inspired or influenced it, where and when and who was it written for?
The EP contains two tracks which are connected. Dirty Minds and Modern Love describe our current society situations. Dirty Minds track is about wanting something that you can’t have but at the same time you see that exact thing is perfect in someone else’s picture so you just get lost in it. Take for example IG as a social network, nobody posts when something bad is happening to them or real pictures, everything is through filters and other things, and to be honest I have catched myself in that loop too. Most of the people want to pretend that everything is perfect in their lives but in reality they are depressed, lots of people don’t have self love, and when you don’t have self love you can’t love anybody else. So back to the beginning of this interview YOU need to be YOU.
Modern Love describes, as the title says, love in the modern age like love over social media, chats etc. They don’t talk anymore, they send “empty” messages, nudes and digital things. Always asking for the confirmation if someone loves them, through stories, reactions, comments. I have listened to one guy’s podcast where he says “before, it took us for a month to approach the girl and get some contact and maybe to get her number, then schedule the date and if you are lucky to get a kiss. Now it goes with few messages and they are in the bed without appreciation, love, stomach tickling and other emotions.” I have made a video for this track that describes it in full. As I told you, there is a story behind every track, hope you like them ☺
What was the last record you bought and why?
It was Demuja – Bath In Lava. I really like this record. It is a combination of old and new just as I like it. And Maceo Plex and Liberty City “You Know What I Got”. I missed that track when it was released (I love Maceo’s production, his vibe suite’s perfect for me).