One of the most consistent figures in electronic music for over a decade, Andrew Meller continues to break new ground with his label project, REWLER Records. Taking a firm hold of 2023 – the imprint recently played host to the latest of Andrew’s creations with a spellbinding new single. You can buy/stream it here: https://orcd.co/RWLR005
‘Sinner’ combines many imperative factors of contemporary house, techno and their associated sub-genres. It encompasses tough and driving drum grooves, ardent percussive cadence, euphoric strings, a captivating lead melody, progressive chords, thickened arpeggiating bass notes, and much more.
Fresh off the back of his latest single, we caught up with Andrew for a exploratory chat as we look into his musical influences, some of his best-known work and much more:
Please tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in the music industry.
It was a long time ago, in 2005, when I started learning and playing music locally, and I was already into basic producing. I started with FL and Sony Acid by sorting out loops and playing basic melodies. Those first four years, until I decided to go a step further, were the foundation of what I am now. Learning from mistakes that I have made, learning from other DJs, how to entertain the crowd etc.… In 2009 my first collaboration project, “REWIRE DJs”, lasted until 2014 with over 80 releases. Besides that, I had two more projects, “Beat And Juice” and a collaboration project called “Depth Perception” with my dear friend Goran Starcevic. In 2014 I decided to start my own project, Andrew Meller, and here we are now, nine years later, still going, and I just started pulling out music.
Your latest release, ‘Sinner’, is available now on your REWLER Records imprint. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the track and the production process?
I will not go under the hood much, haha, but I made that track before lockdown, and firstly, it was something like disco but poor disco. It sounded catchy, but something was missing. A few years after, I was playing that track with my girlfriend while we were listening to music in the studio. Her feedback was crucial for me because she was right. It sounded like kids playing Tetris (you remember Tetris, haha). I hopped into the project, reworked the whole track and played it out on Central Dance Event with Hot Since 82. The crowd’s reaction was excellent, and after the party, god knows how many messages I got about that track. After a year and a half, I decided to release it on my label.
Your label is starting to gain some excellent traction. Can you tell us about your vision for REWLER and what sets it apart from others?
REWLER is my home, literary. The music I create, I send to my dad loves to listen to it. He paints oil on canvas on glass and makes sculptures, lamps etc. He paints canvas inspired by the track, so every cover is custom-made by my dad. It’s a very personal thing. In the future, I will have my music released mostly on my label and some other artists, but basically, it will be music that fits my sets. Every taste is different, and because of that, every brand has its own sound and stands out from others – so does mine.
How do you balance your role as a producer with running a record label?
Balancing is fine for me. I set it up like that from the start by releasing music you would play. It’s connected, like listening to the promo pool and choosing tracks for your sets. What can be inconvenient is your time to do all the stuff. I’m lucky to have my dear friend and manager Ross, who follows and jumps in, and Tony from Undrtone, who is doing amazing stuff and making our job much easier. Still, during the touring period, you must prepare everything in advance to go on tour without stress.
Your music is described as a blend of techno and house. Can you tell us about your musical influences and how they have shaped your sound?
Well, yes, it is house music in all forms with a spice of techno from the ’00s. I’ve been listening to and collecting music for a long time. In ’99, I started attending parties, and I’ve been into music my whole life. Therefore during that long period, genres changed a lot, especially in the last ten years; it’s faster but more saturated.
The main musical influence and sound that I still like the most is the period of 00′. Carl Cox and his sets from Detroit, Honolulu etc., Kanziani from that period, Ben Sims, Sven Vath, our dearest Marko Nastic, Dejan Milicevic, Boza Podunavac etc. That was the music I had listened to the most back in the day, so that is the base for the Groove (of course, much slower than at that time).
Of course, you can’t skip The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk and other icons. I have listened to lots of Psytrance, Void, Shakta and other artists in one period. After that comes Armand Van Helden and that period of house radio hits that I liked.
What still holds me is the tech house period from cc 2009-2014. I just love that sound. Long story short, all the music I have listened to has influenced me to build my own sound. The crucial thing is that the base is still the same. I have never followed the pattern of some trend or label; I’m always making and playing music how I feel at that moment.
You have played at various festivals and clubs around the world. Do you have a favourite performance or venue that stands out to you?
Huh, there were many of them because every party has their own moments. In terms of venue, my place is on the beach anytime, anywhere; in terms of festivals, Untold Romania was a blast for me, EXIT Dance arena in b2b set with Magdalena and after hours with my buddy Luca Donzelli in Zrce Croatia.
Regarding clubs, Revelin in Dubrovnik stands out, and I’m glad I will hold a residency there this year. But as I told you, I love every place as long as there is good energy.
Your remix of Underworld’s classic track “Born Slippy” was a massive hit. Can you tell us about remixing that iconic track and putting your spin on it?
This track and the movie are like I’m watching my previous life. It is a bond track for me and one period of my personal life. The original was too fast to fit my sets. That’s why I made a bootleg that I have shared with Nakadia. After that came, Nicole Moudaber played it, then Paco Osuna, and in a month, many DJs asked to send it to them. It was not possible to release it for two years. Then Kevin from Glasgow Underground approached with a proposal to do a cover, which was the best solution.
That track lasted over 50 days at #1 on Beatport’s overall chart, and people still play it.
What advice would you give to up-and-coming producers trying to break into the music industry?
Work a lot, listen, learn from others and respect artists (you don’t know their stories). And the crucial thing I have noticed in the last few years is why young people start playing music. Mine is to leave a LEGACY to this world with music that I produce and make people FORGET their PROBLEMS for the few hours I play. What’s yours?
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects or collaborations that you have in the works?
There are a few collaborations that I’m working on right now, one is with Raumakustik guys, with Catskinka, and I just finished three tracks with my friend Funkerman which sounds massive.
Soon I should start video shooting for my first album. More about that when the time comes.
Lastly, what can fans expect from you in the future, both in terms of music releases and live performances?
Releases-wise, I just signed one of my dream labels, DIYNAMIC, and I’m thrilled about that EP. Being a big fan of Solomun since 2010 and following and listening to his music and sets got me here. Also, three more releases will be on my label (some bangers from my kitchen are coming out). Gig-wise, firstly comes Barutana with Themba, then Ecuador; I will play Lost Beach Club in Monetnita and Quito. After that, I will be every second Wednesday with my residency at Culture Club Revelin in Dubrovnik, Italy, Slovakia, Serbia, Montenegro etc.
Andrew Meller’s ‘Sinner’ is available now via REWLER Records.