Slow-motion trance, dancehall and more from one of the UK's most promising artists.
Joshua Leary's career so far has played out like a young producer's dream. The English artist was discovered through a series of tracks he uploaded to YouTube, which spread like wildfire over the internet in a single day. Tri Angle quickly snapped him up and released his first record, Kings And Them, and a year later Kanye West tapped him for production work on Yeezus. This led to a publishing deal with West's G.O.O.D. Music, also home to Pusha T and Hudson Mohawke. Leary's next record, the Waterfall EP, is easily one of the most anticipated of the year.
Where Evian Christ's early material was dark and haunting, his recent work has tapped into a melancholic trance vibe, likely influenced by his father's stint as a trance DJ. He's always had a way with slamming hip-hop percussion, but last year's conceptual Duga-3 showed he could do ambient music just as well. That's the mode we find him in for his RA podcast. A carefully-constructed journey through new age, trance and dance hall (with a junglist edit of Actress thrown in for good measure), you'll want to turn the lights off for this one.
How and where was the mix recorded?
It was made at my girlfriend's flat in snowy New York. I ate a lot of toast and drank a lot of tea during the process.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I'm not really sure. I'd just got back from Jamaica, so I generally threw a bunch of weird ambient/trancey songs at some dancehall stuff I'd been listening to out there... alongside some edits and unreleased bits from various people.
Tell us about the idea behind the Trance Party series?
I'm really picky about the shows I play so the curatorial aspect of it gives me a level of control over who I'm playing with, the venue I'm playing in, poster/stage design etc. I find most promoters do a pretty bad job of almost every aspect of putting on nights on so I figured I'd have a go and see if I could do any better.
Was it ever explained to you how you ended up on Kanye West's radar?
He listens to a lot of music and so do his in-house production team. Kanye had a vision for a weird electronic record with a rap sensibility, which is kind of what I was doing anyway. So it was a pretty good fit for both of us.
Photo credit: Andrew Ellis