Fans of the harder edge of dance music will be excited to hear about a new night coming to Birmingham soon - Carnage. Promising to ignite a new era of hard house/ dance. A range of DJs are getting behind the night, offring full support to an event that is going to take it back to full sets and hard beats for the clubbers, by the clubbers. We spoke to the legendary Andy Farley about the new night, and his take on all things music.
Andy Farley has had a career of wordlwide success. His name has come to be synonymous with hard dance he is known for taking hard dance DJing to the next level. Through ties with clubbing institutions such as Trade, Tidy, Godskitchen, Creamfields, and more, he has taken his place amongst the very top of the DJ fraternity.
But he's not afraid to turn his hand to new things. He is headlining the first of the new Carnage nights, and we spoke to him about the upcoming night, and much, much more.
Andy, take us back a few years, and let people who might know not know a little more about how you got into music and DJing.
I was always into music from a young age. Think I bought my first 7inch single at the age of 10, though I’m sure I had a Wombles Christmas Album before that! During my late teens I was involved in the Mod scene and became a fanatical collector of rare R&B, Jazz & Soul 7inch singles. In early 1987 I visited a club in Birmingham called The Nightingale, where I heard music mixed together for the first time. The Dj was Tony de Vit, and I went out buying all the tunes I’d heard that night, a mixture of Hi-Nrg and House. I then borrowed a friend’s set of mobile dj decks and attempted to mix off them, with not much success as there was no pitch control, so sometime in 1988 I sold off my collection of singles for £500 (one of them alone is worth that now!), and bought some decks and a mixer. I spent a year teaching myself to mix, and then had an opportunity to play out early in 1989 when some friends stated a night in Goldwyns in Birmingham, and played there for about three weeks for the run of the night. I then entered a Dj competition at The Nightingale in 1990 which I was lucky enough to win and became a resident there right up until 1995. I started playing more house and garage music from 1992 onwards and eventually switched totally to this style in early 1994. I was then approached by the manager of Tin Tins to do a set there with the view of becoming a resident. I played there right up until 1997 when the club closed its doors for the last time. Sundissential followed in 1996 and then I started to bookings at other venues around the country and then abroad for the first time in 1998 with a booking in Malta. The rest they say is history!
How would you describe your sound and your style?
Hard house across the board, but it has to have a funky edge to it and something hooky, either a great riff, vocal or percussive sound.
We’re talking about the new Carnage night – what can partygoers expect in Birmingham on the 17th November?
It’s always exciting to see new nights starting up, especially locally to me. A real bonus for me is playing a two hour set as well. I’d love to see more of this again in clubs. Ten or so years ago hour long sets were pretty much unheard of, and I always played a minimum of an hour and a half. I do think the hard house scene needs to head back down the longer sets route to shake things up a little!
Why did you decide to do the gig and get behind the night in the first place?
As I mentioned above I’m always keen to see nights locally, especially Birmingham as I have a long history here! I also like the approach that the guys have by giving us longer sets and looking to recreate the Tin Tins vibe.
What’s your approach when it comes to DJing?
Always have an open mind and don’t be afraid to be individual and take a few risks. I can remember dropping Guy McAffer Raw 9 which sampled an old Mel & Kim track. The first few times I played it people looked at me gone out but it eventually went on to be a massive tune. Set wise I never plan what I am going to play, I always keep an eye as to what is happening on the dance floor; remember they are the ones who have paid money to come in to see you so you need to play to them, not yourself! I also like to be flexible. Depending on the night I’m booked to play at, if I’m on at 10pm then I’ll play a lighter, funkier set and build it up, and if I’m on last set I’ll play hard and full on. I also love playing longer sets, and have an eight hour vinyl set coming up in London the following week after my set at Carnage.
You are known for destroying festivals all over the globe – how has 2012 been for you? Which of the festivals have you enjoyed the most?
I’ve done the X-Static festival this year, and it was rather special as it was the first one the guys had done, and was a real success for them. An added bonus was I live fifteen minutes away! Out of all the festivals I’ve done probably Global Gathering and Dance Valley would be my favourites.
What are some of the things you like to do in down time?
I go to the gym, spend time with my partner, cinema, theatre and food. I also like to listen to music, and have very broad tastes!
What’s AF going to be up to in 2013?
I need to get back in the studio as been a bit lazy on the production front this year! Gigs starting to come in and already looking at Ibiza dates so lots to come for sure!