As an up and coming producer, Andre Crom began experimenting with Ableton software and pretty quickly garnered a name for himself in the industry as a stellar DJ and producer. Being picked up by labels like Liebe*Detail, Leftroom, Sender and BPitch didn’t hurt either.
And so the softly spoken and unassuming Crom can hardly contain his excitement as he chimes down the line from his hotel room in Amsterdam, where he is staying for the Amsterdam Dance Event festivities. “I’m pretty busy preparing for our label night; we’re really excited about that,” he says. On an even bigger scale, he adds that he’s busy preparing the 5 Years OFF Tour that will take place in the first quarter of 2014 – and of course, for his upcoming Australian dates.
Crom’s sound still bears, to some extent, the influence of the dance culture that first took hold of him in the ’90s. “This all started, really, when I was coming up; I was massively into ’90s house and still like it today. With time passing and my taste evolving, nowadays my inspirations are more diverse.” These days, he describes his sound as carrying more of a tool-based and modern tech-house vibe, akin to alternative electronic pop music like SBTRKT and the xx.
His studio work, too, is keeping him busy – as he proudly describes a recent collaboration with newbie Chi Thanh. “His name may be new, but he is a very experienced producer and songwriter who has finally started his solo project,” Crom explains. “Together we’ve just remixed the number one UK charting band, The 1975s, as well as having a few more projects in the works.” Indeed, he suggests the project is designed to showcase a more melodic and musical approach to club music than people might recognise him for presently.
Importantly, it affords him the luxury of steering clear of the commercial mediocrity oft associated with electronic music. His words of wisdom to this end are profound. “Commercial music; those songs are designed to catch the biggest possible audience within the first second – and they do this pretty well for many people – but the price is that the music is superficial and mostly cheesy. Underground dance music works differently; you need to take time to get into it and let yourself fall into it, but the reward is that it can touch you on a deeper level and arouse more refined emotions. That’s what I love about it.”
And that opinion is commonly shared by many of Crom’s colleagues based in his native Berlin. “The scene there is exciting and we are all working hard to do good things. The extremely liberal laws and general attitude in the city allow for things that are impossible in other places – like parties that last the whole weekend, for example. And the low living costs and great number of artists, labels and clubs in Berlin make it very attractive for DJs and producers.
“It helps to create diversity and balance,” Crom continues. “I really do consider myself a diverse DJ. Sometimes I ask myself if I am too diverse, but I can’t help it – I just get bored if I listen to the same music all night long. I love playing a mix of deep, tech, and more ‘wasted’ house music, depending on the time, location and crowd. If I play a three-hour set, I usually mix in a lot of influences and styles to tell a real story. That’s what I want to do Down Under. It is my first time in Australia so I’m really excited about it. I have heard nothing but good things about the crowds there, and all the Aussies I’ve ever met were really great people.”