Andre Crom’s musical evolution has been amazing to behold. Relocating from Berlin to Barcelona, he methodically gravitated from house to techno and hasn’t looked back. His readiness to immerse himself in a new genre has allowed Crom’s DJ sets, music and OFF Recordings to blossom, as evidenced on his rousing Estiu EP released this week on his aforementioned imprint. We talked to Crom about ten legendary artists who’ve inspired his musical point of view.
1. Daft Punk
Surely not the most original choice, but I guess that’s not what this series is about anyways. Having grown up in a small village in the pre-Internet era, my access to underground electronic music was sparse, so when I was 18 and heard Homework it really opened my eyes. The fusion of raw underground attitude and sound design with accessibility and “pop” in its best sense was something completely new to me back then and cemented my love for electronic music.
2. Len Faki
A bit similar to Daft Punk in that he is an artist who is well respected by die-hard lovers of his musical genre, but also invites a lot of new listeners into this world. His music combines uncompromising functionality with highly emotional and memorable themes, which I find extremely intriguing. Funny, I interviewed Len when I was just 22 and was working for a German dance music magazine. Back then I had no clue about techno, as I was still more into house and disco — which he noticed!
3. James Holden
I and all my fellow DJs in Düsseldorf, where I lived at the time, played his original singles and remixes to death when they came out, and I still find myself taking them back into my sets for “special moments” now and then.
For sure these men belong to the 10 or 20 most consistent techno producers in the world. Since the early ’90s they have been delivering countless incredible records S.me of them became massive global hits, some of them were more for the “heads”—but all of it uncompromising quality. It’s amazing how they even nowadays, after being in the business for more than 25 years, still manage to be on the rise, with literally a new stunning—and often chart-topping—original or remix out every four weeks, and hosting showcases on the biggest festivals with their great Soma label.Highly inspiring!
5. Maxime Dangles
A rare example of a techno producer with a strong love for melodies and the talent to make these work in techno context without of ever drifting off into cheesiness. Some of his compositions are so rich they almost feel like a fusion of techno and classical music.
6. Ry X
I really love his songwriting and vocal performance. His lyrics are poetic, smart and sensual, and the was how he delivers them is sublime. Touches my heart every time.
7. Carl Craig
If I combine all of the countless incredible originals and remixes that this man did during my earlier years of DJing, then he might well be my most played artist ever. His way of writing minimalistic music that is so full of emotion makes him surely one of electronic music’s most prolific creators of timeless classics.
Apart from many other amazing compositions he is the man behind the Blade Runner soundtrack. Do I need to say more?
9. Angelo Badalamenti
Most people (including me until I just looked him up on Spotify!) just connect his name to the Twin Peaks theme, possibly the most iconic title melody of a TV show ever. If you ask me, it belongs to the best pieces of music ever written—so simple, but so full of emotion. One of the most listened pieces of my youth, even today I never tire of listening it. Pure genius. But also his countless other compositions are amazing. I encourage anyone who reads this to check him out properly. Watch the video—it’s just beautiful how Angelo explains the writing of the Twin Peaks theme.
10. Manuel Göttsching
“E2-E4.” Before house or techno or ambient existed, this man wrote the definitive masterpiece of loop-based music. I can’t count how many times I have listened to this. I would have loved to have been there when he performed it live at Panorama Bar 10 years ago.