Leftfield London techno.
Alexis Andrews has lived all over the world, from Texas to Dubai, but it's in London where her musical tastes really formed. Peckham specifically. Starting on Balamii Radio, where she both worked and played as a resident DJ, Alexis quickly developed a sound based on the dance music she heard around her in London, absorbing broken beats, breakbeat choppage and a taste for strange, but earwormy sampling.
Her first release, Refractions, came out on hotly-tipped UK club label All Centre last year, a bold opening statement that showed experimental club characteristics within a framework inspired by labels like Timedance and Hessle Audio. That was followed by "Who's There" on Manchester label Left, Right & Centre, an out-there dub track with odd rhythmic twists and turns.
She doesn't play any of her own tracks on her RA Podcast, but her global outlook and taste for the unpredictable is clear, with tracks from Laughing Ears, TSVI, LCY, Amazondotcom & Siete Catorce, BFTT and more. She's got one foot in the UK underground and the other dipping in a wider pool, but the most impressive thing about the mix is how it all sounds like her. Almost every track here shares a similar sonic palette and feel, allowing Andrews to traverse genres and rhythmic patterns without going too far off-piste. It's a marvel of careful, patient mixing, tricks of techno and the boundless creativity of modern club music.
What have you been up to recently?
I've been working on some new music alongside taking guitar and music theory lessons at the moment. As well as trying to make the most of being able to see friends and family again!
How and where was the mix recorded?
I recorded this mix at the London Sound Academy on a pair of CDJ 2000s and a Pioneer DJM 900 :) I recorded this quite a few times in different spots as I couldn't get it right and also wanted to have options, other tried-and-tested locations were my booking agent's office and at home on my knackered controller lol.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I mostly just wanted to have fun with this mix, to help myself and hopefully others feel a bit more optimistic about life starting to return to normal. I also wanted to include some emerging producers that I've been keeping an eye on for a while :)
It feels like your career has really taken off—including with your productions—during the pandemic. How has it been navigating that, making a name for yourself and your dance music without dance floors?
It's been tricky, but at the same time, a lot of fun! I feel really lucky that this time has given me the opportunity to take a step back and think about what I'm doing in terms of my career, in particular the music I want to make. But it has been really surprising getting these opportunities and growing as an artist without clubs. It's really motivated me to focus on my artistry and develop myself to be the best I can be with the return of shows.
You've lived in many places around the world (and were primarily raised in Texas, right?) but your taste in dance music has a very UK flavour to it. How did you get into dance music, and do you think moving to London played a part in the kind of music you like and play?
Correct :) I lived in Houston for about nine years and a bit all over the place before then! I got into dance music through my mum, it was a given that we had house, disco or even a bit of trance playing on the car radio or at home. My mum, Nicola, has an insane CD collection (which I still raid for selections now). So I owe my introduction to dance music to her! Moving to London six or seven years ago influenced what I play massively. A lot of the music I play now I'd never heard before, so it was this whole introduction to these new sounds and it got me so so excited. I guess my only experience with UK dance music prior to moving here was again through my mum playing some garage or when me and my friend at school would share horrific dubstep tunes on each other's Facebook walls.
What are you up to next?
Getting back to playing shows, got some exciting ones coming up with Daniel Avery and Djrum, I can't wait!! We've also got a US and Canada tour in the works for early next year, but of course taking things slowly to be as safe as possible. As well as that, continuing to work on new music and working on my next EP <3