Huntleys + Palmers’ founder Andrew oozes passion for music, especially when we’re talking about forward-thinking or slightly out of the ordinary stuff. Give this guest mix a listen and get ready to discover exotic music you never knew existed.
Words by Milan Van Eeden
Meet Andrew, the founder and driving force behind the musical outlet Huntleys + Palmers. As well as being a moniker for club nights in London and Glasgow, Huntleys + Palmers is a music label that focuses on releasing avant-garde electronic music.
This year it’s celebrating 10 years of great parties, a century throughout which an impressive track record has been built: Awesome Tapes From Africa, Todd Terje, John Talabot, Axel Boman, Nicolas Jaar, Four Tet and Levon Vincent are just a few of the impressive names which have been featured on their London and Glasgow Lineups. We did a Q&A with Andrew and talked about the upcoming anniversary of his label.
Please describe yourself in 3 words
Big and daft
What was the last song you listened to?
I’ve been repeatedly listening to an old friend, a song which has made itself familiar again recently – Cheval Fou – La fin de la vie, le début de la survivance. I was first introduced to this by the Dirty Sound System from Paris, way back in the early days of H+P, and like all great music, it has this special quality that brings the listener back again and again.
The 10th anniversary of your label is this year, what have you planned to celebrate this milestone?
It’s actually been 10 years since I started booking parties under the H+P name, the label started about 4 years later. But 10 years is a long time doing anything, so looking forward to celebrating it all. There will be a series of parties happening across the UK and Europe, with artists from the label joining previous guests, and using the platform to showcase some new names that I’m excited about. I’m also releasing great music by new artists who have entered my radar, alongside some personal heroes. The first two parties in Glasgow and London have been announced here and feature some very familiar faces, alongside some new ones.
Your Huntleys + Palmers nights in London have featured many new and upcoming artists in its line-ups. How do you make the selection and what strikes you most about these talents?
To begin with, I was booking artists who hadn’t played in Glasgow before. At the time, there was a lot of terrible music coming from that whole nu-rave / Ed Banger scene which didn’t interest me at all, and minimal techno was at saturation point. I guess I was seeking more sophistication and that has prevailed over the years. I also gravitate towards the idiosyncratic and those who are doing something different from whatever hype is going on at the time. The internet has helped in opening up audiences for artists who would have been considered too weird or obscure a few years ago, but thanks to platforms like Boiler Room, Red Light Radio, Resident Advisor, NTS and festivals like Dekmantel, weird music is being celebrated more than ever.
Could you describe your mindset when you recorded this mix for us?
When I first started doing parties, I put together these compilation CD’s which I used as flyers around Glasgow, and I posted a Myspace address where the track listing and party info was available. These CD’s had a certain template which started with home listening type stuff before getting more upbeat. They got plenty of love at the time and I still keep them in mind when recording mixes today. This particular one is perhaps a reimagining of how one of those CD’s would sound if I made one today. There’s a sort of relaxed morning vibe going on for the sophisticated home listener. The bespectacled are a classy bunch, right?