Now Hear This: Five Questions for Andre Obin
Cambridge native Andre Obin makes thoughtful, smartly produced electronic music for damn near any occasion: dance party? Sure. Snoozing? Absolutely. Soundtrack for the workday? Yes, please.
In addition to his solo work, Obin makes up one-third of shoegaze band Endless Wave as the singer and bassist. His solo efforts were also voted best electronic/dance act of the year in the Boston Music Poll, and since then he’s had an influx of requests to play shows and loft parties. He claims to enjoy reading, hiking, and traveling in his spare time, though we’re not exactly sure if he really has any, since the guy works full time and has to limit his solo shows to about two per month — one of which usually involves driving to New York City and back in one night. Obin admits to not even having time for a relationship — his music is more important. “It’s a huge sacrifice, but there’s nothing I’d rather be doing with my time,” he says. “If something happens and there’s a trigger where I can make music a full-time thing, either producing or playing, I’d jump at that opportunity. But it’s not something I’m actively seeking out; that’s not my style.”
Who are your top five musical inspirations?
Kompakt Records, Underworld, Boards of Canada, M83, and Thom Yorke. I also keep a long list of vocalists, both male and female, whom I admire.
Create a six-word sentence that describes your sound.
I produce hypnotic electronic pop music.
Is playing electronic music more challenging in a city like Boston?
Well, I play New York just as much as if not more than Boston. Boston is much more welcoming to electronic music than people might generally assume, and I’d like to think that I contributed to that open-mindedness a little bit. What I have noticed about Boston is that a lot of people who claim to love electronic music actually just love to party and want to be seen. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I like to get crazy from time to time as well, but music for me means so much more than simply partying. It’s completely intertwined with everything I experience in life. And I’ve been around long enough to know that will never change.
What musicians or records do you find yourself listening to over and over again?
Depeche Mode, Violator; David Bowie, Low; Aphex Twin, Selected Ambient Works, Volume 2; and a slew of techno singles from the Kompakt catalog, too.
What piece of music equipment or instrument are you pining for?
I have a gigantic wish list that includes numerous vintage synthesizers, modules, and audio production units. But if I could add one piece (and had the space for it), I would love to own a nice piano. I love the sound of organic piano treated with reverb and delay. Nothing sounds better. Well, flute maybe. Have you ever heard a skilled flautist play through delay? Otherworldly. But yeah, a nice piano.
Catch Andre Obin this weekend at Space Candy, a fashion show by Casey Desmond at the Middle East this Sunday, August 21.
$10, 8 p.m., Middle East Upstairs, 472 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-864-3278, mideastclub.com.
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