TF Archives

Andy Farley- Deep, Intelligent, Quality Hard House

Author: Jonty Adderely
Monday, November 19, 2001
Over the last 2 years, courtesy of a "turning point" signing up with Nukleuz DJ Agency, Birmingham DJ Andy Farley has become one of the biggest names in hard house. Since quitting his day job working for British Airways last year, he's gone on to sell over four hundred thousand copies of mix CDs Hardhouse Nation Volume 1 and 2, simultaneously touring the world spinning hard house. That he began his DJ career 11 years ago, mixing euro-disco at a tiny Birmingham has a certain dance history symmetry: The club was called Nightingales and the man who offered him his slot was local resident jock Tony De Vit.

Speaking from his sickbed the day after the latest New York plane crash, Andy Farley could have been forgiven for sounding nervous about setting off for Australia for a month of high profile DJ gigs. However, far from sounding faint-hearted, he told Skrufff's Jonty Adderley that he has no intention of pulling out: "If people have booked you, you have to go because you don't want to let people down."

Skrufff: It's certainly a tense time for air travel, did you think about cancelling the Australia trip-

Andy Farley: "No. I played in Japan in October and actually flew back on the day they bombed Afghanistan, but it didn't really bother me. Though I was supposed to go out and play in America on the Saturday after the World Trade Center attacks. On the day of the attacks, I did think about cancelling the trip but decided that since I'd been booked I should go anyway. But as it turned out all the flights to America were cancelled anyway so the trip didn't happen.."

Skrufff: How were the security checks when you flew back from Japan-

Andy Farley: "The only extra security I noticed was the people on the check-in asking if you had any sharp objects in your hand luggage. I used to work for British Airways so I know the questions they ask. I used to do check in when I started working for them, then I moved to writing rosters for the crew rosters until I left which was August last year. I worked at Birmingham Airport."

Skrufff: Your DJ profile skyrocketed last year, how did that happen-

Andy Farley: "It's been a gradual walk up the ladder, I started working for Sundissential in 1996 and that was my first exposure in a bigger club, one with a 2,000 person capacity. The real turning point though was when the Nukleuz DJ agency took over my bookings. Before that, I'd been doing them all myself and I didn't really have the contacts or know who to approach. The bookings escalated really quickly after that though I suppose that was tied in with last year's boom in hard house. Then I did the Hard House Nation CDs and Hard House Anthems CDs and people started booking me off the back of them."

Skrufff: You're one of the relatively few DJs who doesn't seem to mind using the term hard house, what does it mean to you-

Andy Farley: "Hard house to me used to mean house that was hard, which covered a multitude of sins. I can see why people don't like the term now because it's been interpreted as a kind of bouncy, cheesy, cartoony music which it's never been about to me. The stuff that I've played has always had a deep, intelligent quality to it. There is a lot of music out there that's not intelligent and sounds cheap and nasty to be honest, but then there's a market for that anyway, so fair enough. I wouldn't describe my style as all hard house anyway, it also covers trance, hard trance and techno."

Skrufff: You started DJing Birmingham 11 years ago, what was your link with Tony De Vit-

Andy Farley: "Tony got me my first DJing job in 1990 and I knew him for years from before I started DJing. He booked me for the Nightingale where he was resident at the time. Tony was a big influence for me at the time because that was one of the first places I ever heard records actually being mixed together. That would have been in 1987. The music at the time being played in there was euro-dance and I'd never heard it before. I went out a