TOTD // 02/10 // Andrew Reynolds

Published: October 2, 2017, words by Marcos Loveday

Part of the Secretsundaze Studios takeover


Andrew Reynolds is a London based producer, composer, DJ and multi-instrumentalist. He joined the Secretsundaze Studios team in September 2016 and has since been engineering, producing and tutoring a host of clients in both one-to-one and group sessions. This September, Andrew launched the Electronic Music Theory & Composition Course at the studio – a course for producers who are at a beginner-intermediate level with their technological knowledge of production but who feel they need help with the more abstract technical understanding of music theory and electronic music composition.

Andrew was classically trained as a composer at the Royal College of Music and the Royal Northern College of music and his multifaceted productions have gained him wide-ranging recognition; from his recent ‘Offie’ nomination at the prestigious Off West End Awards for his sound design, to nominations at various film festivals, a win at the Berlin Music Video Awards and an exciting feature running through the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival 2016.

We’ve long been fans of Andrew, featuring him in our old Introductions segment in January of last year. ‘Heart Be Light’ is a testament to his talent – a wonderfully choreographed sonic journey. It’s no surprise to us that he’s gone on to solidify his place in the industry, and it’s with great pleasure that we welcome him back to our site. Here, Andrew Reynolds has picked some favourites from the Secretsundaze Studios community and has given us some expert analysis into what makes the tunes so great.

via soundcloud

Chaos In The CBD

Distorted Fields

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“This smooth and classy Deep House groover from the Chaos brothers was released in February on their recently formed label, In Dust We Trust. From this brilliant new release, Accidental Meetings EP, it was this track in particular that caught my attention. This track opens with the immediate presentation of a chromatically ascending and descending piano line that is reminiscent of George Sherring’s block chord style of piano playing. The chords themselves make use of the extending harmonies typical of the jazz idiom which are in and out in the classic deep-jazz-house way – a sound which Chaos In The CBD have so clearly come to understand and epitomise. The inherent chromaticism of this material serves to obscure any strong sense of key – although if you listen careful enough you can hear which key is being suggested.  ”
via soundcloud

Head High

Hex Factor

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“A beautiful, hard hitting track from Head High (aka Shed) which was released on Power House in 2014. A great example of a producer displaying interests in music outside of the usual thumping 4×4 beat that so rules the electronic world. The harmonic content implies the use of an E Aeolian mode and focuses on two chords – E minor 9 and A minor (i9 and iv) – which form the basis of a plagal cadence throughout. The use of this scale and the chords serve to provide a dark and ominous underscore for the immaculately woven breaks-inspired beat. One of the interesting things about this track is that it doesn’t appear to be as highly compressed in the mid- and high- ranges as you might expect for such a large and pounding track. As a result, Pawlowitz has managed to maintain a lot of the dynamic integrity of the wonderfully brash percussion samples that he’s chosen for this piece. There are some interesting points to be made on the structure. The first and last minute contain a regular 4×4 beat which sandwich the less regular breaks through the mid-section. Presumably this is a matter of pragmatism in hanging scenarios where a DJ might want to mix this track into the rest of his or her set – which is likely to be dominated by a regular 4×4 beat.”
via soundcloud

Marquis Hawkes

Six Sixty Groove

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“A brilliant fun house knocker with a hint of funk from Marquis Hawkes’ record, Social Housing, released on Houndstooth in 2016. The track is in D minor although interesting a D minor chord is not stated once throughout this whole track. The only two chords stated are Gm (iv) and A (V) which imply a use of the harmonic minor scale. The way in which the chords Gm and A are used gives rise to what is formally known as an Imperfect Cadence. When looped, this imperfect cadence gives the track a sense of never-ending, hypnotic, swirling tension as if you are always waiting for that tension to land and resolve. It makes me think of an Escher painting or the auditory equivalent known as the Shepard Tone. Sweeping filters help to break up the potential monotony of the concept behind this track and syncopated woodblock and snare rhythms serve as extremely refreshing additions to the texture. The track has a simple structure. Material is introduced and removed in a block-like, additive and subtractive manner. It’s split into two halves, with a sort of ‘rewind’ in the middle that was hopefully inspired by MC Grindah and the Kurupt FM crew’s recent escapades.”
via soundcloud

AL-90

Tvoya Pesnya feat. Spurv Code

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“AL-90’s release on Fuselab in 2015 is a very deep and powerful record. I came across it a year or so ago and have not yet stopped listening to it. Very evocative, emotional, dark and moody ambient house music. This track uses the C Aeolian mode and the basis of the repeating chord progression – Cm, Gm, Ab – is a progression which always makes me think of 90s trance music, a nostalgia-inducing guilty pleasure of mine. The syncopated rhythm of the old-skool-house reminiscent synth is spread across a couple of octaves so as to provide melodic interest in the mid-bass range and to add additional support for the track in acting as a sub-bass. The looping male vocal sample and the distant synthesiser heard throughout cleverly serve to extend the harmony in this track and with their addition result in a looping progression that is best described as – Cm, Gm7, Abmaj7. All of this accompanied by a simple, rusty house 4×4 and odd tear jerking female vocal sample – bliss!”

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