Contributor Backgrounds: Andrei Sandu

In this series we introduce our pool of writers to our audience. Finding out in depth what each of our contributors is digging at the moment as well as where their musical interests usually take them.

A Romanian native, now living and studying in Durham, Andrei Sandu has certainly got a deep love for a complete galaxy of musical genres. Working as the music editor for Bizarre Culture; an online magazine based around the arts, environmental issues and travel writings, Andrei brings a wealth of musical awareness with him to the Melodic Distraction team. Check out what he has to say below and listen to his hour long disco mix…

“I’ve been DJing for a good few years now, and I’d say my introduction to it all was really commercial radio stations mixing really commercial stuff (surely a more common story than purists on certain Facebook groups might like to admit.)

I broadened my horizons mainly through radio and mixes by DJs and record labels; Radio 1’s Essential Mix, Defected in The House, Fabriclive, the RA series to name but a few. Skream’s Radio 1 show led me to Artwork, and Artwork led me to Rinse. Artwork was my introduction to truly underground music and that’s stuck with me, as has a longstanding love affair with Rinse FM. Artwork is something of a hero of mine, and his eclecticism has been a major influence on the breadth music I’m now into. Interviewing him was a surreal experience. The first I heard of the arrangement was at sunrise on the day of the interview, still up from the night before. His Art’s House party at Bugged Out festival last year is probably my favourite clubbing memory, about a hundred of us crammed into this tiny bar.

I was born in Bucharest, Romania but moved to the UK before starting school and am currently studying at Durham. Rooting through a few second hand record stores while back in Romania over the summer really opened my eyes to the heaps of great music you miss out on if you restrict yourself to the English language. The patriot in me wishes I was talking about Romanian stuff, but I’m mainly thinking of French, German and Japanese 70s and 80s releases here. I listen to all sorts now, but I’d say DJs like Krystal Klear, Hunee, Horsemeat Disco, Jackmaster and DJ Haus have the greatest sway on my own mixes, a blend of house, disco, funk, soul and other bits. I massively nerd out on sample chains and discovering the influences behind an idea: I think that’s how I got from commercial dance to funk and soul, via house and disco. Soon enough, that also translated into a financially-crippling weakness to crate digging.

YouTube and more recently Facebook pages like the ITT group have become a huge part of the way I find music, certainly more so than BeatPort or anything similar. That said, I don’t want to understate the role of DJ mixes, and I’m really hoping Fabric’s mix series and label continue following recent events. The place became such an institution not just because of the nights held there, but because of its pivotal role in shaping dance music culture. I think the loss of Fabric’s ability to spread the influence of the tastemakers it hosted is the biggest shame about the closure.

There’s obviously something to be said for discovering music on a night out too (hold tight IDoM crew.) For this mix, being able to associate most of the tracks with a memory, whether that is hearing them played in a club or catching them on the GTA V soundtrack (big up Space FM) was part of the selection.