Traditionally the name 'Annie Hall' has been associated with the movies! But not this Annie Hall! The Spanish-born dj/producer who now bases herself just over the Canadian border in Windsor, has been building a name for herself creating interesting sounds and taking listeners down groovy musical paths. Her latest October mix (below) is indicative of the wide range of tastes she submerses herself in. Check out this interview with Annie and listen to her mix below.
CGNY: Electronic music now reaches more people globally than ever before. Of course the bulk of this is commercially driven, but not all. How do you feel you fit into this in 2014 and going forward?
AH: I think the fact that music reaches more people is a positive thing because the way your work is heard is almost immediate and for the masses but on the other hand we receive a lot of information every day. By that I mean so many artists and lots of art in so many forms. This means it’s important to make sure you make something special or people won’t remember you since there is so much content being sent to everyone.
CGNY: Your releases seem to be more for the dance floor. Are you still making more experimental releases? Do you want to talk us through the progression and where you are right now?
AH: Yes, it’s true that as a producer I am more open now to different styles. I guess now I'm more experienced as a producer after so many years. It has become easier to get all kind of sounds or ideas and having more fun creating them.
As a dj I always played all kinds of stuff during my entire life. I started as a dj because my brother is a reggae, dub, roots dj in Spain. That was my first contact playing vinyls when I was a kid. I mean I have huge tolerance for all kinds of music and a wide musical culture which means I LIKE MUSIC, all kinds of music! So for me as a producer it's quite hard just to choose one. I still make experimental music and I will always do so because it’s the most fun to work with. But I guess that sort of electronica doesn’t have so much impact because it’s just for a few people. That makes it more special too.
I’m currently getting readying my next EP made just with a modular system focused just on noise elements and pure sound. I'm really fascinated by the NOISE movement at this moment, even on the purest form. I’m listening for example to so many old JAPANOISE bands from 80’s and 70’s which is not even a musical concept but is fascinating to me. And on the other side, there’s not a day goes by that I don’t listen to ‘A kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis for example. I’m also working on a new EP way which is more dance floor style… I mean, I’ll be so bored just creating one style of music. I enjoy diversity.
CGNY: You relocated from Spain to live in Canada. What sort of change has this had on your music consumption and how you make music? Do you miss being in Europe or what’s equally good about Windsor?
AH: Well, definitely there is always a culture shock when you move to a different country, especially overseas. But since currently everything is so global because of the internet etc., I don’t think it affected to me so much in the way I consume music. But of course always affects it somehow. It inevitably closes the eyes to everything around you and this is always a good thing because that inspiration brings forth new stuff I will evolve as an artist. That makes everything more interesting.
And of course I miss Europe a lot. But by moving here I had new experiences and new opportunities which living in Europe won’t provide.
Windsor is a great place to be due to its close border with USA. Actually, just a river separates my house from the Motor City. Takes me 5 minutes to get to Detroit downtown! So I also enjoy both cultures in different forms really close, American and Canadian by living on the border. It’s really interesting. There are lot of creative people over here, in both sides. That brings me lot of inspiration.
"This means it’s important to make sure you make something
special or people won’t remember you since
there is so much content being sent to everyone"
CGNY: Which producers seem to make it into your dj sets more often than not?
AH: I like a lot of artists. I also get promos from different sites. So I play anything that sounds good to me. But to name some of them; I like Byetone, Answer Code Request, Robert Hood, Kangding Ray, Developer.
CGNY: What gear are you using in the studio at the moment? Do you look to playing live someday?
AH: I’m working a lot with modular systems Euro Rack. I love creating music from raw synthesis and get unique sounds, sometimes really interesting ones. The way of making music is totally different than before and more complex. But it’s worth the work because of the amazing sounds you can create. I also enjoy all Elektron machines and even still on some occasions working with some software such as Reaktor.
I did a live set during 2008 but I don’t know why I’ve not prepared other live set again. Sometimes I think it’s time for it. Maybe next year?
CGNY: What are you listening to at the moment or is there a particular album you would like to tell us about?
AH: That is a very difficult question to me because as I mentioned in one of the questions above I am very versatile when it comes to music and I listen so many different styles, not just electronic music. But speaking of electronic music I could say right now I totally love the last release from Raster-Noton label. Ueno Masaaki Ununseptium/ Vortices EP for example.
I also listen to lots of bands, specially shoegaze, dream pop, new wave like Tropic of Cancer, Beach House, Washed Out and still classics such as Slowdive, The Cure. I’m a nostalgic person.
CGNY: You work with the Blank Code guys in Detroit and play a lot of shows with them; you have also played at Movement. What does Detroit mean to you now? Is it a second home? Living in Windsor do you keep a running total of how many times you have crossed the border?
AH: Yes. I live so close to Detroit, it feels like I’m basically living there!
I always loved Detroit music in general, from the Motown to the all techno legends over here. So I feel really lucky living now so close to all that and especially playing at Movement Festival, which I always saw as a huge event and one of my favorites. I played there 2011 and 2013 and I can say it is one of my favorite experiences so far.
CGNY: What’s coming up for you to the end of the year and leading into 2015?
AH: I have a few releases coming up in the next months that I'm excited about, with labels like Flash Recordings and Blank Code. Also I keep working in the studio and getting ready more stuff for next year. Maybe another EP with Detroit Underground in my experimental key.
CGNY: You’re a part of Detroit Underground. Do you want to tell everyone that doesn’t know what it’s about?
AH: We are multidisciplinary arts collective. Functioning primarily as a record label dedicated to bridging the gap of Modern Experimental music and Classic Detroit techno. We like to release special music and take great detail in visuals and design concepts.
CGNY: Your project RVSD is your record cutting company operated by yourself and partner Kero. Do you have plans to use this for your own releases and what do you think about the versatility and ease of music to physical product compared to standard vinyl cutting which is a long process. A lot of people view it similarly to when digital became a reality for releases, as in it speeds up the whole process from artistic vision to manufacture in every DIY sense. It seems to be something that fits with the underground ethos. What’s your view on this?
AH: I’m a vinyl lover. Love collecting records since I was child. Same with Kero my partner, so we had the idea of buying the machines and started making records.
We went to Germany for the training and also to buy the machine. They won’t sell it online. Then we did it for our own pleasure to make all kind of records and also for Detroit Underground limited editions. We also work helping local people with no resources to make their thing real by cutting their music without having to spend so much money or make long runs that perhaps won’t be able to sell all the copies made. We work with all kind of clients, not just labels or artists, also just regular people who want to make unique records for presents or their own collections.
Annie Hall plays The Works for Blank Code November 15
Annie Hall October Mix by Hive Management on Mixcloud