Het label AVA van Andy Moor bestaat dit jaar tien jaar. Wij vroegen hem naar zijn ervaringen tot nu toe, de plannen voor de toekomst en natuurlijk belichten we de uitgekomen compilatie die ter ere van het tienjarig bestaan van AVA is uitgebracht.
Hi Andy, how are you and where are you today?
Hey, I'm fine thank you. Currently back in the studio after Dreamstate LA last week.
AVA has hit some fairly significant landmarks recently, not least its 150th single and most recently the AVA 10 Years - Past, Present & Future album. So congrats on those! Has the fan response been all you hoped for?
Thank you. The response has been fantastic and we are always so happy when something we have spent time working on is met with a positive reaction. We can't wish for more than that.
Let's start off by talking a bit about AVA's early history first. What was your original intention, motivation and aims when setting up the label?
At the time there was a noticeable hole in the market when the gap between trance and progressive expanded, therefore I setup an outlet for this music to continue on its path that I believe it was on.
Does it feel like a decade to you since you started AVA up!?
Not at all...so much has happened that it is hard to put a timescale on various aspects of its history. If you said it was five years old or fifteen years I would believe you.
Where does the AVA name stem from?
It is from my daughter, the label was setup not long after she was born, I like the symmetry and design attributes of the three letters.
AVA was one of (if not the first) label to effectively unite progressive and trance. Was that a conscious thing, a byproduct of what you were doing musically or something else entirely?
This style of music was something I believed in, being a trance fan from the beginning and falling into progressive production early in my career. I was always trying to push this genre and therefore wanted a solid stable for artists who also had their talents and desires in this style.
When you first started producing, progressive and trance had a very uneasy relationship. Your first tracks all came on very progressive labels (Baroque, Sunkissed, etc). At what stage/year did you first recognize that trance was starting to play a significant part in what you did?
I was always mostly interested in trance before I started to produce on a more professional level. That level came when meeting progressive artists, and honing my skills in this area. I realized that naturally I was always trying to bring out the trance element, and when producing on my own or with Leama I was able to explore this more. It must have been around 2003 / 2004 when I pursued this more...although my memory is a little hazey. Today I think it would be cool to combine some of the powerful progressive elements (slower builds / more subtle tension building, groovey elements / drums and the beauty of trance with today's production qualities).
What was the toughest aspect to change up or adjust to when things moved from vinyl to digital?
I hung onto vinyl for a prolonged period whilst Djing, and there was a time when I was using both. But I don't recall there being a tough aspect from this point of view. From a production and label perspective there were many, such as lots of companies going bump and owing the label lots of money (of which the label owed to artists) so this wasn't an easy time and we are lucky to have survived this. Also, having to adjust to the new processes (many of which we had to create for ourselves, as this was a new market) was Complex, but every industry has to reinvent itself from time to time so we took it in our stride and got on with it. The rewards we little for the work load, but it's a labour of love!
Digital aside, what's the biggest single change that occurred with running the label over the last ten years?
As an independent label the biggest challenge is competing with the bigger labels for quality artists / revenue streams. Bigger labels are usually managed by a bigger company, and basically create their own revenue stream (with their own compilations, Spotify playlists etc). This makes it difficult for a small, independent label to compete in terms of revenue and what we can offer our artists in terms of exposure and financially. But we believe that artists come to us, as we go to them, for a belief in forging a path for quality music that doesn't need to follow the masses.
From a Past Present & Future perspective, listening to AVA 10 Years, how do you feel that the sound of the label has changed over that time?
The sound of the label has changed not because we chose it to, but because of the natural changes within the genre (and our artists desires). We have to conform, whilst keeping a big toe in the pool of sounds that we prefer. Sometimes we are in limbo between various styles, but that's exactly how we started so it's all good. What I would like to convey to artists out there is that we are open to fresh ideas and encourage experimentation!
In your career to date, what AVA release has done more than any other to propel your career?
I don't analyze my career nor the label in that context. I believe that a career / label of substance and longevity is built upon the results of your work compounded as one.
What was the most nostalgic moment/track you experienced when mixing the Past disc?
It will be the David West – Make U Mine intro. This brings back so many memories (maybe because it is one of the label's first releases) and is a great way to introduce the disc.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how easy did you find mixing the discs and was it easier or tougher than you expected?
It was a 5. Maybe higher if Somna wasn't around. It is never easy having to choose from a small pool of music and create a long player, and as a DJ I'm committed to keeping the flow in such circumstance. So that was a challenge, and getting tunes to work in key, but nothing that was not expected.
It's co-mixed by Benjamin 'Somna' Leung, who now also plays a major part in the running of AVA. How did you guys meet and what's his role/roles within the label these days?
Ben is the main man behind the label these days, without which there would be no label. He is absolutely amazing as a person, artist and label manager. We met in Canada for the first time whilst I was at a gig, and realized we both had a similar passion. The rest is history, and with the amount of tasks involved in the label it is so important to be able to work with such an individual to achieve success.
The future is of course hard to foresee, but where would you like to see AVA in 5 years time?
Hopefully celebrating it's 15th birthday! I would like to see it with a roster of solid, boundary pushing artists that are innovating in a genre that will be at its best!