Andy Stott: Hauntingly Beautiful Electronic Production

Photo Credit: Nina Corcoran

Producing out of Manchester, UK, Andy Stott is crafting music that adds atmosphere to the world. Andy Stott blends electronic, dub, and bass music together with other genres to create diverse music. Most of the songs lack vocals, but when present, they sound more like samples of chants. Andy Stott’s music has undergone a few transitional phases that can be heard on each release of his projects. During his first batch of musical releases, the artist pulled from gritty techno and dub. The first couple of years of his music career were spent releasing singles and short EPs that began to attract attention.

Andy made his debut in music with Merciless. Released in September 2006, the album pulls from deep beats and horns that have been synced with a smooth melody. The sounds throughout the album go from a deep, house techno genre to a piano and synth-laden beat. Certain songs like “Florence” take on a bass-heavy approach, while others like “Blocked” bring out Stott’s love of dub. Merciless is a 10-track journey through the depth of dreams. In 2011, the EP Passed Me By / We Stay Together was released. Fans recognized the change in the form of music that Stott’s was known for. Instead of focusing on techno/dub, Andy transitioned into music with greater dubstep and juke influences. The tempo and beat of the tracks pull listeners to move in languid ways that can be used in the festival scene. “Passed Me By” is one track that has such a rich level of darkness to it that causes listeners to swoon. Some of the sounds throughout the tracks sound half-way captured as if the music was in-between rooms like “North to South.”  

On November 6, 2012, Andy Stott released his second studio album Luxury Problems. Many of the tracks are slow and build into the bass. The album also became the first to feature a clear vocalist. The feature came from his piano teacher Alison Skidmore. The addition of vocals to Andy’s music helped him connect with listeners outside of the techno scene. Songs like “Hatch the Plan” and “Leaving” create an angelic harmony in his music. Stott’s production of this album gave his music a richer palette of lightness while still building in the darkness of his overall musical aesthetic. Faith in Strangers is a serene album from Stott that was released on November 18, 2014. This album still features the vocals of Alison Skidmore. Only this time the rhythms of tracks feel as they belong to some of Stott’s earlier works. Songs like “Time Away” and “Missing” take on drone-like tones with highlights breaking through to create a beautiful mixture.

Andy Stott followed up with the release of Too Many Voices in April 2016. Featuring nine tracks, the album has many of the sound qualities that people know Andy Stott for. Too Many Voices has a much cleaner, simpler approach, and there’s not as much atmosphere created from the layering of sounds. Everything presented sounds like it was meant to be in that specific spot such as songs like “Forgotten.” “Butterflies” plays very clean but still has darkness to it, like the cool air of a dark cavern. However, Too Many Voices brings an overall lighter, softer side of Andy Stott to music.

Andy combined his most successful musical qualities into his recent release titled It Should Be Us. The album takes listeners back to the gritty basement of club parties. Combining the grit with slowed rhythms and layered electronic elements, which adds a dynamic sense of floating. Vocals are present but more distressed. In fact, it would seem a lot of the sounds from the drums to hi-hats have this distressed feel to them. Songs like “It Should Be Us” and “Ballroom” exemplify this sound quality. Other tracks like “Promises” and “Versi” connect listeners to the highlights of sound Stott established years back. It Should Be Us is Andy Stott’s answer to the next wave of electronic music. 

While there is a goal in every song, not every song is explicit in its messaging. Andy Stott creates music that fills dark voids with a sense of otherworldly wonder. Whether you’re at a party or listening in your bedroom, Andy Stott’s music adds atmosphere to any environment. Energy is everything to Andy Stott and when something creative fits for the artist, fans hear it. Be prepared to fasten in for a journey while listening to this artist.

Written by: Carlton Rolle

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