This year, Andrew Macari celebrates twenty-five years in House Music. From free party sound systems to touring internationally; from multiple producing collaborations to solo remixer-producer; from founder of two vinyl labels to owner of several digital ones… His musical journey has taken him from Nottingham to Los Angeles to Scotland and finally back to England. Andrew has come home and twenty-five years on, House is still where his heart is.
English DJ-Producer Andrew Macari continues to define his career with a growing discography, superb turntable skills and his well-established record labels Greenhouse Recordings and more recent labels, Tastie Music, Greenhouse Soul, Greenhouse Ltd and Soultone Recordings. His producing efforts span a wide variety of House styles including Deep, Latin and Chicago. His DJ sets are as varied and characterized by intense energy and long, well-executed mixes. This multi-talented artist has been sowing the seeds of his musical success for twenty-five years, in this year we see his highly anticipated Greenhouse Recordings 16 track album due out in September 2010…
THE EARLY YEARS: UK
Andrew from Nottingham – the source of some of the best Deep House in the UK. That is where young “Andy Mac” (his handle until 1997) began his DJ career at early-80s reggae sound system parties. By 86-87 he was performing at the now-legendary Garage Club. During the Acid House free party phenomenon in the early-90’s, Andrew was a familiar face behind the turntables with various Midlands sound systems such as Babble and the infamous DIY. He also had regular nights at The Hub Club in Bath and Lakota in Bristol.
Andrew began producing in 1995. His first commercial credits were as one-half of the pioneering Tech House duo Flow, who released tracks like “Blind Rithm”, and “Fake” on LOW PRESSINGS, and gave impressive 4-turntable performances (most notably at the Atomic Jam ‘97 in Birmingham). When he toured North America as Flow for the first time in 1997, what was meant as a two-month trip stretched into four – any odyssey journey that criss-crossed and double-backed North America to gigs in Philadelphia, New York, Florida, Cleveland, Dallas, Vancouver and New Year’s Eve ’98 in San Francisco on Treasure Island where he played four decks. While in Philly, he remixed John Wicks’ Ibizia dancefloor hit “Gypsy”. At the conclusion of the trip, he returned to England inspired and founded Filter Flow Recordings.
In 1998, Toka Project asked Andrew to be the fourth member of their Nottingham-based producing collective. In addition to his producing contribution, Andrew’s valuable US press/label/promoter/booking contacts – which he maintained through repeat visits back to the States – proved invaluable. During this time Toka Project released four projects on FILTER FLOW, as well as contributed a track to Miguel Migs’ label, TRANSPORT.
In the summer of 1999 after several months in the studio, Andrew Macari, Jay Cowley and Andy Riley embarked on a three month/32–city Toka Project “When House Goes Deep” Tour of North America (organized by Hula Groove). Soon after, Toka Project was named one of URB Magazine’s “Next 100” artists to watch. Despite their outward success the group’s political balance grew tenuous and Andrew moved to Los Angeles. Months later his last Toka Project collaboration “Don’t Cry” on VIVA! was released, and remains one of the most popular Toka tracks to date. Also licensed to DJ Heather’s “Tangerine” mixed CD on AFTERHOURS.
In the US, Andrew faced the challenge of emerging from the anonymity of partnerships like Flow and Toka Project, and establishing “Andrew Macari” as a US-based DJ and producer. He produced a stunningly deep remix of “Smog Sunset” for west coast label INFINITE JAZZ, and collaborated with Jask in Tampa for LARGE MUSIC (unreleased projects). During return visits to the UK, he and Mark Bell (AKA Blakkat) co-produced two storming Blakkat vs. Filter Flow projects for SHABOOM RECORDS (popular with DJs like Sneak)
In 2000-01 “Macari & Jay-J” melded their talents at Moulton Studios San Francisco, the former production headquarters of Jay-J, Chris Lum, Miguel Migs and Julius Papp. Andrew and Jay-J churned out an impressive variety of House tracks like “El Vagabundo”, “Jack’s Breakdown”, “Oh Baby” and “The Power Dub” for LARGE MUSIC, AFTERHOURS and MOULTON STUDIOS RECORDINGS, and licensed to labels like DISTANCE and NRK.
Andrew’s “Time + Space” EP on NORDIC TRAX was highly anticipated due to the underground buzz about “Seven of Nine” thanks to Mark Farina who championed the track and also included it on his “Connect” CD on OM. The “Lowdown” is signed to GRAB RECORDINGS, charted in Ben Watt’s Lazy Dog Top 10 as “warm and chunky as a winter jazz jumper [sweater].”
Andrew continued to build a fan base in the highly competitive North American DJ scene, whether playing a deep set in an intimate underground House setting, or a jackin-funky-Chicago-style set at peak time. In 2000, he was a bi-weekly resident at the LA superclub Giant, and had the unique experience of being the first DJs ever to play the official Grammy Awards Party along with LA’s Marques Wyatt.
In 2000, Andrew was part of the exclusive line up at the legendary Deep/Naked Music/Hula Groove Party at the Winter Music Conference (with Attaboy, Swag, Joshua/Iz, Rasoul, Miguel Migs, Marques Wyatt & Mark Farina). One year later, battling the flu, he delivered a flawless, jaw-dropping peak-time set at the Hula Groove Come Get Lei’d Party (with Diz, Joshua/Iz, Marques Wyatt, Deep C & Chris Udoh). Later that year, Andrew was featured as the July/August URB Magazine Guest House Reviewer, and a Lotus Magazine feature on LA producers.
At the Winter Music Conference 2002 he performed at the Hula Groove House DJs Do It Deeper Party alongside Marques Wyatt, Diz, DJ Heather & Mr. Mulatto, and at the Moulton Studios/Transport SF Saturday Funktion Party with Miguel Migs, Julius Papp, Jay-J, Chris Lum and Mauricio Aviles.
Whilst based in the States, Andrew DJ’d at clubs such as Centro-Fly (New York), Smart Bar (Chicago), Ruby Sky and The DNA Lounge (San Francisco), Stereo (Montreal), Deep (Los Angeles), Lava Lounge (Cincinnati) and many others in Vancouver, Seattle, Arizona, New Mexico, Ft Lauderdale, Tampa. He also traveled internationally to DJ in London (Ben Watt’s Lazy Dog), Paris, Frankfurt, Beruit, Reykjavík, Amsterdam and Hawaii. Andrew celebrated his 30th birthday back home in LA at a small, underground epic gig featuring himself, DJ Heather and Diz.
In 2003, Andrew began to produce music under two new production names: the Deep South Playaz with Hip-Hop producer and jazz keyboardist Alex Marlowe, and Guided Methods with Bobby Valentine and Ric Viera. The first Guided Methods release came way of AFTERSCHOOL RECORDINGS with a three track ep called the “Nice Dreams” ep, featuring a remix by Natural Rhythm and was followed up by the release of “Cool Like X on Chicago label PEACHES MUSIC. Also in 2003 we saw the release of the Andrew Macari “Underground Emotions” ep on GRAB RECORDINGS, featuring the track “Lowdown” and his NORDIC TRAX remix of Gavin Froome’s 1980 on the “Post & Beam Revisited” record.
BACK TO THE UK
In 2004, Andrew moved to Scotland. There, he focused on his new record label GREENHOUSE, whose early releases included the Guided Methods “Collective Expressions” ep (featuring a remix by Jason Hodges) and the “Hangin Out In The Park” ep (featuring a remix by DJ Alena). The Deep South Playaz released the excellent four track outing, “Stayin In The Shade” (“Orange Tango” was also licensed by DJ MFR for his “Roma Departure” mix CD on TRANSPORT RECORDINGS), and Macari & Jay-J’s “Last Call At Moulton Studios pt1”, which was licensed to Yukihiro Fukutomi’s “The Crossing” mix CD on Flower Records, the CAFÉ DEL MAR “Chillhouse 3” mix CD and Jay-J’s “reflections” mixed CD on DISTANCE. In 2005 GREENHOUSE RECORDINGS released the Guided Methods’ “Digital Therapy” ep, featuring the break-out WMC 2005 track “Ooh La La” (favoured by Mark Farina & DJ Heather).
In 2006, through GREENHOUSE, in addition to releasing more co-produced projects with The Sound Diggers and Deep South Playaz, Andrew was able to indulge his passion to discover unknown, up-and-coming producers and give them a chance to release what was for many, their first ever releases – artists such as Slum Science, The Sound Diggers and Groove Federation. So overwhelming was the success of this “experiment” that Andrew went on to found the offshoot labels TASTIE MUSIC, GREENHOUSE SOUL and GREENHOUSE LTD/DIGITAL.
TASTIE kicked off with releases from The Sound Diggers (featuring a DJ Freestyle remix) and a Groove Federation project (featuring a remix by Craig Hamilton). While GREENHOUSE had releases from artist such as Craig Hamilton, Groove Federation, Hustle & Flow, GREENHOUSE LTD saw release from up and coming artist from around the globe such as Hoodfellas, Glen Coates, Short Bus Kids, Quirk Burglars. GREENHOUSE SOUL saw it’s first release, a sampler featuring Deep South Playaz & DJ Rasoul and its second release by Groove Federation meets Smart Kid.
Andrew also had another stella GREENHOUSE release, the Macari & Jay-J “A Little Bit Of Jazz Dub” plus the “Blackmusic” remix, and a few Deep South Playaz releases such as Tango Dub, Together Again & Deeper Vision which went down a storm with the global Deep House crowd.
Late 2008/early-09 (sadly) saw the last vinyl release on GREENHOUSE – Andrew Macari & The Sound Diggers, “Two Steps Forward”. Andrew decided to take all the labels into a digital only market place due to the vinyl market decrease and rise of the digital age, on such web sites as STOMPY and JUNO DOWNLOAD.
So with changing times, Andrew found him self with a lot more time to do more productions and remix work, kicking of with Late Night Society “Voices In My Head” “Andrew Macari’s Do My Thing” remix on VOLUPTUOUS RECORDINGS & Jeff Haze “On The Rhodes Again” “Andrew Macari’s Jazz Style” remix on GREENHOUSE. On the production side Andrew release a great Deep House collaboration, Andrew Macari & Chris Lum “It Takes Two” EP, GREENHOUSE SOUL – one for the old school.
In 2010, Andrew has been very busy. He is celebrating 25 years in House Music and it’s really started with a BANG! He’s started his firth label, SOULTONE RECORDINGS, that will focus on only Andrew Macari solo projects. The first three releases are entitled “Soul Fusion” and “Makin’ Ya Bounce” – all of which are getting big plays by Mark Farina, DJ Heather, DJ Sneak, Diz, Jason Hodges, Ken ECB and so on. Also we will see the release of Andrew Macari “Hangin Out In Deep South Compton” LP featuring the Greenbay Jackers.
Andrew has also begun producing under a new alias, Greenbay Jackers, with its first production on the “Summer Excursions” sampler. Greenbay Jackers has been very busy with no less than sixteen remixes for GREENHOUSE, TASTIE MUSIC and a new 2010 series GREENHOUSE REVISITED – yet another label off-shoot… Andrew has also completed ten classic remixes for GREENHOUSE and GREENHOUSE SOUL for the deeper heads.