Andre Solaris  
Homegrown :: September 2002 :: UR Chicago Magazine


Solaris established the FUEL promotions group 5 years ago and serves as weekly resident, DJ/producer and host of Clubland Underground (the deep prog, tech, and tribal house show that airs Saturday nights on Energy 92.7&5FM). Solaris' busy schedule also includes opening up for high-profile DJs like Danny Howells and Sander Kleinenberg, DJing at various clubs and venues in Chicago and beyond, and putting in time at the studio.

Name: Andre Solaris

Where are you from? Poland. Chicago's my home for the last 20 years.

First record: Kraftwerk's “Man Machine” from a second-hand record store.

What kind of music did you listen to when you were growing up? As a child living in Poland, I was drawn to the radio when they played disco or more melodic rock. In the ‘80s in the States, I was interested in beat-driven music: New Wave, New Beat, Industrial and House. I was also still collecting and listening to electronic, the New Age sounds of Jean-Michel Jarre, Klaus Shultze, Kitaro, Vangelis, Koto and others.

What kind of music do you listen to now, when you're not on the job? Lounge-y chill-out stuff like Royksopp or Zero 7. To keep current with my heritage I'll drop jazzy, lyrical stuff from well known Polish artists like Soyka and Turnau or Nosowska, Smolik and Fisz.

What instruments do you play? As a kid I played the violin. I can hit some keys on a piano today.

Favorite album: Kraftwerk's Computer World and Jam & Spoon's Tripomatic Fairytales

Favorite musicians/musical groups/DJs: The Orb, Swayzak, Underworld, Orbital, Uberzone, Der Dritte Raum, Leftfield, Blissom & Aishen. Some of my DJ influences are Danny Howells, Sasha and Digweed and Peace Division.

Guilty musical pleasure: If it's musical there is no guilt.

5 essential records: Narkotik, Blue; the Roots, Lo Step ft. Lior Attar; Leftfield, Cut For Life; New Order, Subculture; Danny Tenaglia, Elements

Where do you get your musical inspiration? The beauty of electronic dance music is that it's constantly evolving. I'm inspired to apply many musical ideas to the way I play and what I play without fear of being rejected.

Favorite place to play/DJ and why: Untapped markets like some eastern European or Asian countries.

The moment you knew your music was much more than just a hobby: When I started ignoring my teenage friends at the club we used to go to and spent the whole evening staring at the DJ [instead]

Best part of your job: Being able to share the excitement of a good track with the audience, to transfer the energy and the vibe onto the dancefloor and get instant feedback.

Worst part of your job: The physical make-up of vinyl records, making an 80-record box weigh 50lbs.

What makes you continue with music? It's part of me. I don't ever see myself without the need to share music with people.