Floor-fillers full of "big, melodic, emotional synths."
India Jordan says 2019 was her "busiest" yet, and she can just about pinpoint the moment it took off. "I remember playing 'DN4' at Finn's Soup Kitchen New Year's Eve party last year and thinking, Fuckkkkk," she told us. Many of us thought the same thing when we first heard her thrilling, RA-recommended debut EP, DNT STP MY LV. Her follow-up single, WARPER / Bulbasaur Shuffle, delivered belters that don't take themselves too seriously, a vibe similar to her Boiler Room debut and session as a Keep Hush curator.
Before this whirlwind of a year, Doncaster-born, London-based Jordan was a drum & bass DJ. She cofounded Rye Wax ambient social, and later a label, New Atlantis, with Deadboy. (She even appeared on an early 2019 edition of RA's The Hour to discuss the resurgence of chillout rooms.) Ahead of her evening set at the RA twenty four/seven London party at FOLD, Jordan presents 80 minutes of "slow faves that I wouldn't usually play in a club," a batch of new music she finished the day before recording, and, of course, plenty of "big, melodic, emotional synths."
What have you been up to recently?
This last year has been one of the most fun and it's the busiest I've had with music. It's felt really amazing to get some music out, and the response from it has been better than I ever could have imagined, so I've spent the last six months pinching myself. The last couple of months have been nonstop—my last single came out at the end of September, and I've just finished my next release. In between making lots of stuff, I've been playing some really fun gigs and doing radio. I think a highlight of the last couple of months was the Keep Hush party I curated with all the gang (Finn, Sharda, Ifeoluwa, Al Wootton, Elkka and Swing Ting). It felt like a proper family affair. I also just made a really good curry.
How and where was the mix recorded?
In my bedroom on a Pioneer XDJ. I'd had turntables in my room before, but I was barely using them and I needed to downsize, so buying these decks have breathed so much life into my mixing again.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I had originally planned to go up to 170 BPM, but I had so much stuff I wanted to play at a slower tempo that I think I ended on about 145 BPM, but it gave me an opportunity to play my slow faves that I wouldn't usually play in a club. I'd been preparing and collecting tunes for it for a couple of months, mostly listening on trains. I think the first half definitely reflects that. I've included a lot of forthcoming and unreleased stuff by me that I'm really excited about—some I finished a day before I recorded the mix, and I haven't played them out yet.
Your roots in ambient really shine through in your tracks and mixes, even in the most heavy, peak-time moments. Is that intentional or is it more second nature?
I'd definitely say it was second nature. A few people have picked up on this, and I think it's made me realise how I have quite a common theme through any genre I'm into, which is cool! My roots are in trance and hardcore, and getting into ambient only properly happened around five years ago, so I think it may have been the other way around and then twisted back on itself. I realised I loved all the big melodic and emotional synths in any genre, that's my main pull in most sounds.
This year you released your first two records, appeared on a femme culture compilation and played sets on Boiler Room and Keep Hush. What inspired you to fully dive in to the dance floor this year?
It's the place I feel most at home! I've always been a club DJ (I started off DJ'ing drum & bass) and the ambient stuff felt like more of a side-project. I started making ambient initially as I was learning how to produce—"See Four" (from the New Atlantis Volume 1 compilation) was the first track I ever made. The more time I spent producing, the more it was natural for me to make tracks for the club. Plus, you really can't beat the feeling of people being into your tracks on the dance floor. I remember playing "DN4" at Finn's Soup Kitchen New Year's Eve party last year and thinking, Fuckkkkk, like it's something I'd always wanted to be able to do, but never felt like I had the time (or confidence) to properly lay down a club track. It's a pretty ace feeling when people respond well to it.
What are you up to next?
Announcing my next single—a collab with a very good friend of mine (guesses in the TL!)—and then finishing up my next EP. I'm playing at the RA twenty four/seven London party, which is gonna be really fun, and a few other gigs in London before the FINNDIAJORDANZ B3B (Finn b2b Anz b2b India) at Soup Kitchen NYE.