We spoke with Andrew Rayel on the eve of the new track’s release.
I saw not only you play “Tambores” on the ASOT stage at Ultra Music Festival in Miami last month, but also Armin van Buuren played it during his mainstage peaktime set at Ultra Miami that same weekend! I thought people’s heads were going to effin explode when this track came on. How did you come-up with it?
ANDREW RAYEL: Yeah, it was a crazy weekend! It’s actually a very interesting story how this track came together. Some time ago, I asked Graham Bell to do a remix for one of my tracks, “Tacadum,” when I was working on the Moments Remixes E.P. He sent me a demo with those drums you hear in “Tambores,” and I fell in love completely with them! I said, “Ok, let’s take these drums and make a track with them, ‘cause the remix album can wait.” Putting all the elements carefully together, we came up with “Tambores,” which is a killer track!
What’s the history of you and Graham Bell? Did you know each other before, or was he one of many aspiring producers who are bombarding you with music, now that you’re an actual “label chief” of your own imprint, inHarmony Music?
ANDREW RAYEL: I’d heard of him ‘cause of his productions but we didn’t’ know each other personally. I wanted him to remix one of my tracks specifically after I heard the remix he and Yoel Lewis did for the classic, ”Explode.” I played that track in every set so it was about time to connect with him.
Do you think there’s something special about two (or three) people sitting together – physically – in the recording studio and hashing-out a new tune? Do you think there’s something lost when it’s just digital files being sent over Dropbox, for example?
ANDREW RAYEL: It depends how comfortable those specific producers are, being together in the studio, or working while someone is watching. You have to understand that most producers start in their bedrooms being alone for long time, carefully crafting their sounds, and sometimes you get used to that atmosphere and when someone gets in your space, it can be a little hard to focus and do your thing. I used to be like that because I always did everything on my own, from producing to mixing and mastering. It was hard at the beginning when I started to do music with other people in the studio. For sure, two or three minds are better than one, but for me it’s a matter of comfort.
Did “Tambores” go through any sort of “rough edit” versions where you played it out live and tweaked it later in the studio based on crowd reaction? If so, what were some specific changes you made to the earlier, unreleased versions?
ANDREW RAYEL: If you go back and listen to my sets from last summer, you can hear different versions of “Tambores” being played by me at festivals. It was the time when I was making different versions and testing to see which one will work better on the dancefloor. It took us a while to figure out the second part of the song and make it interesting and non repetitive but I think we nailed it!
Did you anticipate “Tambores” would be played by Armin [van Buuren] during the climax of his own mainstage set at Ultra Miami this 2018? What was your reaction to Armin’s crowd-reaction? Were you surprised at all?
ANDREW RAYEL: I knew that Armin loved the track because he told me when I sent it to him, but he never mentioned that he was going to play it at UMF mainstage! I was kinda expecting it because I think it’s a perfect mainstage track and everyone from the label [Armada Music] was saying that, for sure, Armin is going to play it. [laughs] I was very happy when I heard it live from the VIP deck and seeing thousands of people jumping up-and-down with the pyro that was going off at that moment! Epic moment.