Exclusive Mix & Interview
July 6th, 2019
Label: Multiculti / Pingipung / Shika Shika
Welcome. Introduce yourself to our audience. Anything special you would like them to know?
Hi, I’m Andi. I’m currently sitting in a really old wooden house in the middle of the black forest in the South of Germany. There’s an old pipe organ here which I’m trying to record.
We notice you are a very diverse artist. Can you tell us a little about your history and how you got to where you are today?
I used to be one of the countless bedroom producers who messed around with Fruity Loops etc. after the year 2000. I had a background as a drummer and cellist and I had my early stuff released on my own label Pingipung (as „Springintgut“). When Ableton Live arrived, I was intrigued by the idea of a "sequencing instrument“ - to play those things live on stage which usually only happened in the studio. But I was terribly bored with those screen gazing laptop shows.
I ended up at STEIM in Amsterdam to create my own instrument. They supported me with artistic residencies to make my "Fello“, it’s a sensor-extended cello bow which I played for over a decade now, and its data still goes into Ableton. In general, the whole topic of a musician’s body playing an electronic / digital sound is super inspiring to me. Which interfaces do we use? How do they shape our creative results? I even wrote my PhD thesis about the history of experimental sensor-interfaces. I guess that the idea that it’s the touch of a musician’s hand which makes a sound interesting is transparent in all of my music, especially when I play live.
"...the touch of a musician’s hand which makes a sound interesting is transparent in all of my music, especially when I play live."
Talk to us about your current style and sound. What genre do you feel best describes you as an artist?
I don’t work in one or two genres. I really approach making music through my instrument. I write experimental music for choreographers as well as dance tracks. I often hear that my combination of string instruments, digital processing and sequencing has a certain hypnotic, psychedelic energy. I feel most comfortable as a producer and performer at around 100 BPM.
Can you tell us about some of your influences? Local, International and other.
I have collaborated closely with MD Pallavi from South India. She is a fantastic artist who sings this track "Bangalore Whispers" for example. Her way of approaching scales and rhythm was and is super inspiring to me.
In dance music I currently enjoy a lot the output of Manfredas and Tornado Wallace. My first contact with electronic music were the German bands Mouse on Mars and Kreidler, both playing with a human drummer and sequencers, which blew my mind 20 years ago.
"I often hear that my combination of string instruments, digital processing and sequencing has a certain hypnotic, psychedelic energy."
Any current or upcoming projects you wish to talk about?
Yes! I have just finished my new album "Rwandance“. It’s a collaboration with Evariste Karinganire, an artist from Rwanda who is almost my dad’s age. We met in a contemporary dance performance called "Planet Kigali“ for which I composed the music and ended up in the studio together. The idea is to play traditional music from Rwanda through a futuristic sound design. It’s a strong, optimistic, playful record and I’m super happy that the Shika Shika collective from Argentina/France have decided to release it as an LP in September.
Other than music, how do you express yourself as an artist and as a person?
One of my dreams was to become a chef when I was younger. Making very good food for myself and others is a passion of mine, and I have developed a special focus on risotto, one of the most underrated dishes in Italian cuisine. The act of choosing food in the market, chopping it up, mixing it with other things and arranging it on a plate can be quite similar to the creative process as a composer. In both worlds, food and sound, transparence and simplicity is what maybe makes great results.
Andi Otto, in a few sentences. Tell us about this mix you made for us. Where did you get your inspiration? Is there anything special you want the audience to know?
I rarely record mixes but I was intrigued by your invitation to only use music from my own catalogue of releases. First time, I didn’t include my first releases but I start off with some cello-only music I made for a theatre play, then introducing some more beat driven tracks and remixes which artists such as Golden Bug or Nicola Cruz made for me. Hope you enjoy it, it was a one take and I had fun recording it.