Friendly and Papachubba
It's been a long haul for the guy who used to hang out in the suburbs of Perth, and along the way he's skimmed the surface of a multitude of musical styles, theories and nuances - all of which surface to influence the diverse and entertaining album he's just created.
"To begin with I was classically trained," reports Andrew in his disarmingly friendly manner. "I did up to fifth grade piano and studied up to my final year at high school, and after that I start playing around with jazz and stuff. But then I had to unlearn everything because I felt it was all so structured. I mean I was quite confused as to why jazz, which is supposed to be such an improvised form of music, remained so structured. In the end I gave it all away and from there did a spot of DJing. In those early days I focused on ambient DJing but then turned a bit towards trance and acid; in the end it was the politics of DJing that cut short the career and I returned to the whole notion of composing. It was also around that time that I decided to move to Sydney, and the move meant that I was going to concentrate purely upon my music. When I got there I handed a demo to Andy Rantzen [of Itch-E & Scratch-E] and basically went from there."
It seems that Andrew's music has developed in new directions in the time since moving to Sydney, but when questioned he sees his art in a different light. "Yes and no," he ponders. "While I think on the outside there's been a shift in genre focus, the guts of it remains the same. I mean if you listen to the album it's quite varied - and that's just the Friendly stuff; I do a whole lot of other projects with other people as well. It's all coming from different angles and different genres, but I think at the core of it there's just me. I love so many different styles of music but it's always got to be a bit humorous and a bit whimsical. It should never take itself too serious and it has to be funky." He shrugs. "Serious musicians shit me. It's like an oxymoron - how can you be a serious musician- It's fucking music for god's sake!"
Last year saw the release of Andrew's first Friendly EP called 'Jam On This' which showed some healthy signs and a great deal of potential - none of which have been let down on his new long player. Amusingly titled 'Hello Bellybutton', the album is far from self-reverential and rarely involves much belly gazing or the discovery of lint in a particular body cavity; instead it's a world-wise kooky mix of funk grooves and phunked-up samples laid across a whimsical production ethic and a penchance for ulterior electronica. On a critical level it's been a well-received debut, scoring 9/10 and a rave review in these very pages to the Form Guide's declaration that it's the best local dance release for quite some time. Initially released on user-friendly CD two weeks ago, it's presently being cut on DJ-friendly vinyl.
Aside from his Friendly activities, Andrew also works with Anthony Maher (aka Sheriff Lindo) as Nutcase & Papachubba and the sounds the duo create are markedly different from what Friendly generates. While personal tastes are an important factor the big difference boils down to time involvement. "The headspace of the other person comes into it a lot just because they're involved," assesses Andrew. "I guess if you're doing stuff by yourself you have a lot more scope to experiment or not - for instance you can be quite happy to make a track in half an hour and call it finished, whereas if you're working with someone else theyTags