Andrew Thomson

Structure 046 comes courtesy of Huntleys + Palmers’ bossman Andrew Thomson.

Stream Structure 46 and peep our Q&A, where Andrew speaks about his dream b2b set, film scores and his love of Scott Walker below:

Firstly, thank you so much for recording Structure 046, really appreciate it! For the uninitiated out there, could you introduce yourself?

My pleasure! I’m Andrew Thomson, I run the Huntleys + Palmers label and it’s offshoots – Highlife, Belters, etc

Structure 046 - Andrew Thomson (Huntleys + Palmers)

Tell us a little about the mix?

This is a segment from a live recording at my dearest Salon des Amateurs back in November 2017 and captures my favourite part of any all-nighter when the listeners emerge from the shadows and start to dance. Many favourites included by Scott Walker, Alessandro Cortini, Shackleton, etc.

You mention Scott Walker who recently passed, tell me a little bit about why you love his music?

Scott has been one of my all-time favourite artists since I was first introduced to his music about 12 years ago. I’d never really been able to put it into words what his music meant to me until his recent passing and I became aware of how much his music meant to others too. While it was a sad day, it was also nice to revisit his music and read about the impact he’d had on others. There were a couple of things other people wrote that I really identified with – that his music felt like finally discovering that thing you’d always been looking for musically. Someone else talked about how they would avoid listening for periods of time just to preserve it. I can really relate to both of these sentiments. The music is complete and exactly what I’d been after. I didn’t love all his later experimental music as much, but I do love that he kept pushing boundaries and not looking backwards. 
I attended a few concerts dedicated to his music over the years, the first was at the Barbican around 2008 and featured folk like Jarvis Cocker and Damon Albarn covering tracks from Tilt and The Drift albums, it was a pretty challenging one, but enjoyable all the same. A couple of years back there was a prom dedicated to his older music and to hear it in the splendour of the Royal Albert Hall, was a pretty joyous occasion. I went on my own, mainly because I couldn’t find anyone to come last minute, but it felt pretty fitting as his music does feel so personal.

Structure 046 - Andrew Thomson (Huntleys + Palmers)

What was the last record you bought? And where is your favourite spot to go buy records?

I haven’t bought anything for a few months, but I did go on a bit of a digging tip when I was in the US last summer and spent an afternoon at Gramaphone in Chicago picking through the entire Dance Mania section. I then went to A1 in New York and picked up a ton cheapo US house records and ended up buying an extra bag to bring them all back. I’m still playing a fair whack of them at the moment. 
There’s loads of shops I like for various reasons and know I’ll pick up something interesting, but I go through phases of digging and don’t have any fixed routine when it comes to finding records. I just let it happen when I’m in the mood or after something in particular.

Structure 046 - Andrew Thomson (Huntleys + Palmers)

What was the last book you read? And does literature influence the music you listen to / mix at all?

I’ve just finished reading Rave On by Matthew Collin. Which became a very strange experience.. the book is about disparate rave scenes around the world, where the journalist has went out of his way to find some interesting places to document. But it started to become weird as I knew some of the people he encounters on his travels. DJ Spoko from South Africa spent a lengthy stint in the hospital in Glasgow when I’d booked him, so I got to know him better during that period, I’ve played for the Bassiani guys in Tbilisi a couple of times now and there were a few smaller references to people I’d booked over the years like Nozinja, Spoek Mathambo, etc.. 
I started reading the final chapter on the train from San Francisco to LA and it featured a section by Jacob from Honey Soundsystem – who I’d just been hanging out with in SF! Kinda spooky.. I ended up writing to Matthew who agreed and told me that his interaction with Spoko came from a random encounter. So that was a bit of an odd one.
Before that, the last couple of books were Trans: A Memoir by Juliet Jacques and a couple of hilarious Jonathan Ames diaries.
I feel like I’m listening to more podcasts and audiobooks now than reading these days. My attention span is all over the shop when I’m travelling and any books I take with me end up becoming aspirational.

Structure 046 - Andrew Thomson (Huntleys + Palmers)

Whats your earliest memory of the club?

I think the first night I ever went to was to see Judge Jules at the Arches, maybe around 2002ish. I’d grown up listening to his show throughout my school years and I was ganting to get into clubs like The Arches, so there was a huge build up and now I was finally in the same room as him. It didn’t disappoint! I’ve been thinking about those formative years quite a bit recently. I felt like a bit of an outsider at school and discovering similar minded people all in one place, was a bit of a revelation.

Who would your dream b2b set be with?

James Holden has been a long time presence in shaping my musical outlook, so I’d be interested in seeing how we’d match up in the years since he’s stopped DJ’ing.

Structure 046 - Andrew Thomson (Huntleys + Palmers)

I’ve become pretty obsessed with film scores. Does film influence your selections/taste in music? And what soundtrack/score has caught your attention recently?

Fuck. I’ve got a good answer for this, but it’s escaping me right now. One of my all time favourites is Werner Herzog, you can tell his use of music isn’t an afterthought and something he takes seriously.

And finally, what’s your plans for the rest of 2019?

I’m setting up a radio station..! In Glasgow! It’s been cooking for a while, but will start to take shape over the coming months and I’m happy to talk about it a bit more openly now. I’ve just got back from a 4-month tour around North and South America and one of the things that struck me most while visiting these various cities, is how much of a great thing we have in Glasgow. I was visiting cities with 10m + people living there and they didn’t even have one club – let alone opening up another! I think we take what we have for granted. I regularly get asked when I’m away, how the scene is and it becomes a source of frustration that our rich scene is not better known beyond the city itself. The Clyde Built compilations have been useful to push this agenda further, but they have their limitations too, so radio seems like the next step. Keep an eye out.
Beyond that, more of the same in terms of releases. Some new faces, some of the old guard. There’s a new Wraetlic album by Alex Smoke out this week and it’s one I’m really excited about. It reminds me of the Thom Yorke Eraser album a little bit. Alex has been around for a long time now and someone who’s music I’ve admired a great deal, so really happy to be doing this with him. There will be a series of remixes from various friends and others I’ve admired from afar too, so that’s been exciting to realise.

Structure 046 - Andrew Thomson (Huntleys + Palmers)