Andy Stott - Biography
British producer Andy Stott’s brand of taut techno reductionism folds several strains of electronic dance music into a unique sound all his own. Referencing classic Detroit techno, house, German minimalism a la Basic Channel, and recent developments in post-dubstep, Stott’s elegant, bass heavy, dub techno is stark and clean as well as hypnotic and emotive. Closely aligned with the excellent Modern Love label since its inception, Stott’s music is on the vanguard of progressive dance music.
Debuting in 2005 with the Replace EP, Stott’s style emerged pretty well fully formed. Comprised of four tracks, the EP blends electro, deep house, and classic Detroit techno with a heavily experimental sense of rhythm and negative space on tracks like “8ight” and “Replace.” Stott followed quickly with two more EPs that same year. Ceramics and Demon In The Attic expand on the sound of Stott’s debut. The two tracks on Ceramics take Basic Channel’s icy, textured minimalism as a jump off point and graft on classic techno-soul melodies and super deep dubwise production. “Demon” and “Come Together” manage to be even more powerful. Less overtly minimal, these two tracks bring classic warehouse techno good. The first is a raging monster designed for maximum dancefloor power while the flipside is no less funky but far more wistful and late night oriented.
While 2005 was undoubtedly a landmark year for Stott, with his heavy productions and unique style gaining much deserved attention from DJs and electronic music fans all over the world, 206 managed to be even more impressive. The year’s first release came in the form of the Choke / For The Love 10”. “Choke” explores an in-between territory, drawing from squashed dubstep and Berlin minimal techno and boasting a massive bass sound. “For The Love” explores post-UK garage rhythms with wobbling bass and glowing synth chords. The Nervous EP followed in August and features two tracks of queasy, slow motion house defined by huge bass and hypnotic Sahko style reduced electronics.
Stott’s prodigious output is defined by the ability to funnel a breadth of stylistic concerns into his unique sound. This is made obvious on his debut full-length. Released in September 2006, Merciless features only one previously released track, “Choke,” with the other nine being completely new productions. Over the course of the album, Stott moves through lush, padded 4/4 minimalism, stark, powerful rhythmic workouts, uneasy dubstep bass pressure, and pulsing, neon ambience. Merciless channels the best elements of timeless electronic dance music through Stott’s tight sieve, reducing everything to a mesmerizing, commanding sound stunning in its economy of means.
2007 brought four new EPs: Handle With Care / See In Me 10”, The Massacre EP, Fear Of Heights EP, and Hostile. “Handle With Care” and “See In Me” perfectly meld digital dub pulse with dubstep’s massive bass wobble and an urgent 4/4 beat. The sound is warm, gently fuzzed out, and super deep. The Massacre features two of Stott’s finest tracks. “Unknown Exception” sets a slinky, dark tone with post-garage beats and echo-laden synth chords while “Massacre” stays steady with a 4/4 beat and disarmingly huge bassline. “Fear Of Heights” and “Made Your Point” rank almost as high, boasting a further reduced, bass centric sonic palette augmented with washed out chords, shifting ambience, and off-kilter, layered beats. Ending the year with “Hostile,” Stott charts a path straight to the heart of the dancefloor with rough and ready minimal techno.
Stott maintained a steady performance schedule during this time, playing at Europe’s major electronic music festivals as 2007 turned to 2008. While the new year saw fewer new releases, Stott did manage to drop a new EP, Bad Landing, as well as his second full-length, Unknown Exception. The full-length collects the two years worth of 12”s released since Merciless and serves as the perfect introduction into Stott’s singular sound, as well as situating the producer at the forefront of the minimal techno / dubstep hybrid style. The standout tracks include the massive, melancholy bass and organ of “Bad Landing” and the distorted, sparse darkness of “Fine Metallic Dollar.” Stott also debut his project with producer Miles Whittaker in 2008. The two have since released three 12”s of post-jungle minimalism under the Millie & Andrea moniker.
Stott has slowed only slightly in recent times, releasing two stunning EPs in 2009. The two tracks of Brief Encounter / Drippin and the single sided 12” Night Jewel explore slowed down house and queasy post-garage variations with excellent results. In 2010 he released Tell Me Anything / Love Nothing, again focusing on deep house variations.