Ahead of City Loop, DJ & radio host Andy Garvey speaks on finding time for success & alien conspiracies

To the non-acquainted, the mention of “techno” might elicit an objectionable reaction brought on by thoughts of discursive beats or contemptible rave culture. Not long ago, those were my impressions of the genre; I could find solace in house, but the techno I had explored was a no go… until ANDY GARVEY showed me a new light.

What first got me digging into Garvey’s mixes was her program on FBi Radio, Pure Space, where she hosts a slew of jockeys spinning the interstellar techno that I’ve been obsessing over for what seems like ages now. It’s true that time slows down under hypnotising drones and pulsations bound ethereally by an array of kicks; each mix is something of a ritual experience, and Garvey’s work is no different. Personal favourites include her two hour mix for Rinse FM and one hour set with Melbourne Deep Cast.

As multidimensional as she is talented, Andy Garvey holds focus on far out techno and progressive beats while also producing Triple J’s Mix Up and Friday Mix, shedding light on some of the most prominent cuts, producers and DJ’s in and outside of the techno-cosm from which she extrapolates her own sets. With such superlative taste, prowess on the decks, and two upcoming EP’s, it’s no stretch to insist that Andy Garvey is one of the most luminous Aussie stars in the techno scene. This became all the more apparent in corresponding with her; without a shadow of a doubt, the future is bright for Garvey.

You’ve been getting a lot of love from Resident Advisor lately; that’s huge! How warm does that spotlight feel?

Seeing my mix featured as their Mix of the Day was a truly special surprise. The mix was a recording of my set at Soft Centre festival which was the last stop in a pretty intense few months of shows. I felt a massive high after the gig and it was pretty special to have that moment recognised in such a way by RA. I’ve been a big fan of the website for a long time as most DJs are. I regularly listen to their podcasts and mix features so to be featured on site was surreal and a nice way to feel supported.

These next few weeks look crazy for you. Among the many festivals at which you’ll be playing, which are you most excited for?

The rest of the year is crazy! I’ve got 16 shows in the next 7 weeks so it’s not slowing down until the new year. I don’t really think I can play favourites for what I have coming up but I am excited to be playing in Melbourne so much – City Loop this weekend, plus Melbourne Music Week and I’m also headlining XE54 just before Christmas. I’ll be spending New Years Eve in Perth for Freedom Time too which will be pretty magical!

All the while you’re gigging on weekends, producing Triple J’s Mix Up and Friday Mix as well as your own show, Pure Space on FBi Radio, and mixing for other radio shows. Any time management tips for those of us feeling overcommitted and overwhelmed?

Well, essentially I live by my calendar both for work and scheduling time for myself, my friends and family. Now that I am traveling so much I really value the time I get to spend with the people I love. Recently I’ve really started to understand my personal need for exercise to clear my mind (especially after a full day at work) to then be able to power into whatever else I have to do in the evening.

It’s important to realise that nothing ever needs to be rushed. If your mental state isn’t coping or you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back, ask for an extension/break so you can come at your work or creative practise with your best mind. If you mentally can’t give your all you won’t ever create your best work, and if you want to be your best self you need to look after yourself always.

You are truly a tastemaker when it comes to curating some of the best electronic music in the scene; how do you go about finding and selecting the tracks for your own sets?

I’m flattered you would say that. It has taken me many years to find my sound and it’s still constantly evolving. I spend hours each week looking for and listening to new music, I see myself as a collector with endless buckets to fill.

It seems that success stories are often crafted through tireless effort and saying ‘yes’ to all the opportunities presented. How does this description fit your progression from an 18 year old bedroom DJ to the professional you are today?

I had that exact motto for so many years, to say yes to all opportunities no matter what. You can always find a way to make it work, even when it seems impossible at first. There was a point when I started to not need to or not have time for all the opportunities I was given, so instead of turning them down I’d always suggest the up-and-coming DJs who I could see really wanted to do the same. Now I see them paying it forward in the same way, it’s a bit cute. 

I feel like in many ways you only ever get out what you put in so it’s always important to give time to others, share your knowledge and experience and in turn you will continue to grow. I’m lucky that everything has felt really organic and I’m still surrounded by people who inspire me so I can keep growing as both an artist and within the industry.

Your mix for i-D, “music to… travel through space to”, is out of this world in more ways than one, and this seems to be a running theme throughout your work. What inspires your fascination with ancient alien theories, Graham Hancock, and outer space?

HAHA. It totally is. I was dating a guy years ago and we got maybe too far deep into conspiracies… I’m back on the surface now but really love keeping my head up and remembering that we are so small but part of something so big. I love how little we know about the world, it allows you to challenge ideas and question a lot of things. I definitely don’t take myself that seriously with all of this, it’s just a bit of fun.

I heard you’ve been sitting on a few originals. When, if ever, can we expect some fully incubated Andy Garvey tracks? Asking for a friend.

Haha! I’ll have two EP’s out next year 😉 so very soon. 

What is your favourite conspiracy theory?

That aliens built the pyramids…

… The speed of light is 299,792,458 metres per second and the geographic co-ordinates for the Great Pyramid are 29.9792458°N – but humans did not know how to measure the speed of light with that kind of precision until the 1950s…

Huzzah, aliens!


Catch Andy Garvey as she spins around the country.

Saturday, November 10
City Loop at RMIT: CBD Campus, Melbourne

Friday, November 16
Strawberry Fields 2018 at The Wildlands, Melbourne

Friday, November 23
MMW at Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne

Friday, November 23
A Weekend With 2018 at Mount Ophir Estate, Melbourne

Tuesday, November 27
Cassia: Bali at The Mansion, Ubud., Indonesia

Saturday, December 22
XE54, Melbourne

Sunday, December 23
Finer Things Open Air at Finer Things Courtyard, Sydney

Monday, December 31
Freedom Time – NYE at Roe Street Carpark, Perth

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