onsdag den 14. marts 2012

Amir Alexander on the decks - NWS Cast #022 this is!


It is not very often that we at NWS meet people who are totally on the same wavelength as us when it comes to music, vision and passion. Amir Alexander is such a person. in 2006 he started Vanguard Sound as a base for his music but over a decade before that he was spinning records. Passion for vinyl, production and DJ'ing runs in his veins. His parents bought him his first turntable at the age of three. When we first heard this mix we were astounded by the vibe that floated through the mix. The blend of techno, house and acid as it is mixed here takes balls but it is most of all a product of vision and feeling. It seems so straight forward, so playful and yet it is done with the thorough insight and longtime experience that only time behind the decks can give.

We asked Amir a few questions, so please enjoy 5 minuts of Q&A with this man! And keep an eye out for him in the future!!

NWS: You run the label Vanguard Sound which is currently on its third release. Tell us about the ethos behind this project?

Amir: Yes, I co-own it with my good Friend Mr. Chris Mitchell, but we are currently preparing our second release actually.
I am aware that starting your label with a record called volume 3 is bound to be confusing. LOL.
The ethos of the label is no nonsense street level high art at it's core. We stand in opposition to hype and excess by putting an emphasis on originality and quality with a rough, blue collar edge.

NWS: The name Amir Alexander has really come to the attention of DJ's and producers during the last couple of months especially because of your recent Sound of Thought Podcast. What has this attention brought with it?

Amir: It has..... oh really? Well, I guess that's a good thing. Let's see the main thing the so called attention has brought me is a few new friends on facebook and soundcloud. Some really cool everyday heads who enjoy the music we all love. People who now know that I exist. That is a good thing, and I am very grateful.
The "attention" has also brought a lot more hurry up and wait to my life. Which in essence means that not much has changed. What I mean is this.... You can't build a house with one brick. Therefore, I have to keep grinding. Some people might be checkin' for me a little bit, but I'm still hungry. Money is still tight, and I still don't have bookings, so I keep it moving like it never happened. I like to give thanks, but not get caught up in the hype.

NWS: It seems like you and other DIY people from the east US stand together and promote each other like crazy. I'm talking about the connection to Plan B, Machining Dreams, Novel Sound, Black Catalogue etc.. Tell us what it means to you to connect with other people about music.

Amir: It means everything. That's what it's really all about right? People coming together. Here in the states our music is a rare oddity, we just try to support each other I guess. There are so few of us doing it that at some point it's pretty hard not to go from fan to acquaintance. As we get to know each other, the bonds of mutual respect increase.

NWS: You've been producing since 98 and DJ'ing since 93. What is the most important to you in your musical career?

Amir: Great, yet nebulous question. The thing that is the most important is that I have anything that could even resemble a music career. It has been a dream for most of my life, so having a career at all is a great thing, but I would have to say that the people, places and things that have created so many lovely memories are most important...... yes, the people I have met along the way.

NWS: I must say that your mix for NWS probably is the most spectacular and original mix we've had so far. You told me after recording it that you really pushed yourself with this mix. How so?

Amir: Man.... Thank-You! That's a huge honor because NWS cast has hosted some amazing musicians thus far.
I always try to do more than just present tracks. I like to take two records and make something new. A third track if you will. I really wanted to take records that were old, and make them new by actually making the mixes be the feature instead of the tracks themselves. I wanted to fuck shit up so to speak. To get reckless and go balls out.
I push myself by exploring the limits of my technical ability by really allowing the records to be mixed for longer than most other DJ's. Coupled with a desire to harmoniously merge disparate sounds to create something completely new. After the actual technical hurdle, one must make it all make musical sense. I like to create entire sonic alternate universes. Little twilight zones of musical craziness.

NWS: Why do you play vinyl?

Amir: Because I am a DJ. What else would I play?
When I was three years old I received my first record player for Christmas. My parents were tired of me always fooling around with their records so they bought me my own. I grew up with records.
Records are what I love, and nothing has or ever will be able to come close to replacing them.
I play vinyl because technics 1200 mk2's are my instrument. On them, I'm working to be a great like Jimi Hendrix was on guitar. For me to play CD's is like asking Jimi to play a trombone.
I do it so that it will survive atleast one more generation, and I play vinyl because it's hard. I am attracted to things that the general masses find too difficult to attempt.
I could go on for days........

NWS: Last but not least we are proud to present this mix of yours as part of the North West Soul. I feel that we share the same ideals and purpose for this culture and I sincerely wish all the best to you and hope that you know that you too are shaping NWS into what it is.

Amir: Thank-You very much for the opportunity. I has been a pleasure. Hopefully people will enjoy my sonic experimentation.
Peace out to all of the underground heads, and Special Request to the Vanguard Crew!!!


CiM - Nissan
Robert Hood - Realm One
Amir Alexander - Transcend
Chris Mitchell - Lonely Nights
Basement Jaxx - Paradise
Amir Alexander - Necessary Sanctuary (3 AM Mix)
Glenn Underground - Disco, House, Etc.
Ian Pooley - Chord Memory
Octave One - Phatima
Armando - Pleasuredome
The Original Creators - Flash Back 86
Gene Farris - Wall to Wall
Captian Star Gazer V/S Commander Mind Fuck - Allied Against Nivar the Floor Killer
Nina Cherry - Buddy X (Masters at Work 12" House Remix)
Barada - Death of a Robot pt. 1
Night On Earth - Crux
Rekleiner - The State of Things
Pepe Braddock - Deep Burnt
L.A. Williams - Lights Down Low
Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You 

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