RA Exchange

Resident Advisor


The weekly RA Exchange is a series of conversations with artists, labels and promoters shaping the electronic music landscape.

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1121 episodes

EX.622 - Patrick Topping In Conversation

Patrick Topping's love of dance music stretches back to his early teenage years when he discovered mákina, a subgenre of hard Spanish techno that's popular in North East England. "I still love that music now," he says on this week's episode. Since those early days as a young raver in Newcastle, Topping has become an in-demand artist known for a wide range of styles that includes happy hardcore, classic pop and gospel-inflected house. Currently holding down a summer residency at DC-10 in Ibiza, which he describes as "the pinnacle of my career," the UK artist explains how he reached this stage after starting out in the industry as promoter, following in his father's footsteps. After being mentored by Jamie Jones, Topping says he's now in a position to pass on insights to younger artists as well as support emerging talents through his residency and label, Trick. Topping then goes onto his discuss why he prefers to play sober these days—"it changed my relationship with DJing"—and why he controls his own social media presence—"you're pulling together bits of media to tell your story, it's kind of like DJing." Listen to the full conversation for more details.

Aug 11
EX.621 - Lafawndah (Archive)

A repeat episode from 2020. Lafawndah's second album, The Fifth Season, on French label Latency, is a journey through science fiction, friendship and cinematic storytelling. It saw the Paris-born artist expand the myths of NK Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy and cover the likes of Beverly Glenn Copeland and Lili Boulanger. The record continues a four-year run of avant pop jewels, kicked off by her a debut EP for Warp and a collaboration with minimalist composer Midori Takada in 2018, before her first full-length statement, 2019's Ancestor Boy. Here, she speaks with Martha Pazienti Caidan about the making of The Fifth Season, an LP that's elemental, emotional and uncannily fitting for the present moment.

Aug 04
EX.620 Reflections: Inside Nightlife’s Spiking Epidemic

Berlin has witnessed an alarming number of drug and needle spiking incidents in recent months, raising worries about nightlife safety in one of the world's top clubbing destinations. In this edition of Reflections, a new series on the RA Exchange that breaks down important journalism on our site, staff writer Anu Shukla and managing editor Chloe Lula examine the context surrounding recent spiking claims. Shukla, discussing her article on the topic, describes how she spoke to two women who said they were spiked with needles at Berghain and Sisyphos. Their stories have pushed others to share their own experiences with spiking, Shukla says. Lula, who has been looking into the socio-economic and political climate behind spiking, notes how some clubbers may now feel unsafe going out alone. The pandemic has brought about a rise in anti-social behaviour and regressive attitudes towards sex, which could be a factor behind spiking, she describes. Listen to the full conversation to understand how spiking poses serious implications for women and minorities in nightlife. For resources on community care, harm reduction and mental health, revisit our list from earlier this year: https://ra.co/features/3961

Jul 28
EX.619 - D Double E & Tash LC In Conversation

Darren Dixon, AKA D Double E, wants the world to know that he's not just a MC. In a short but deep chat with London DJ and presenter Tash LC on the sidelines of Outlook Festival's debut UK edition, the grime veteran discusses his recent productions for for the likes of Novelist and others. Despite producing for years, Dixon has largely hidden that side of his artistry from the public. But that's now changing following the release of his latest EP, Bluku! Bluku! 2. "It's a separate life but I'm now pushing it into the world," Dixon tells Tash LC ahead of his live performance at the festival. His production and vocals on the new EP touch on classic grime but there's also elements of '80s synth music and R&B. The record is a reflection of his personal tastes, he explains. Putting out new music is a chance for fans to see his personality, he continues, noting how that's not always possible during live grime shows. "When I'm doing grime sets, they're playing mad beats and I have no choice but to spit on the beat," he says. Listen to the full conversation for more details on Dixon's creative process as well as his collaborations with Swindle and Chip.

Jul 21
EX.618 - Critics' Roundtable [July 2022]

New music, community-driven parties, tech talk and more from RA staffers. Every month, members of Resident Advisor's global team highlight their favourite artists, exciting labels and industry trends on the Critics' Roundtable podcast. This edition, featuring senior designer Lucy Ross, senior US partnerships lead Lottie Moore and senior staff writer Nyshka Chandran, jumps across genres and regions in a reflection of the trio's myriad tastes. Selections feature records with an introspective touch, setting the tone for a mindful summer. From the furious breaks of NIGELTHREETIMES to V.C.R's gospel-inspired soul to Joy Orbison collaborator KEYAH/BLU, the group describes how each artist incorporates a cinematic gloss into their respective compositions. Elsewhere, Honolulu-based label Aloha Got Soul gets a mention for its commitment to showcasing Hawaiian funk and jazz, as does young amapiano star Uncle Waffles, whose global footprint keeps expanding. Recent developments impacting the electronic music ecosystem are also discussed. Moore looks at community-building initiatives of promoters, highlighting Los Angeles' Mapamota and noting the potential of chat platforms such as Discord to strengthen ties with punters. Ross, meanwhile, summarises how AI is influencing brand identity from a designer's viewpoint. Listen to the full podcast for more.

Jul 14
EX.617 - Badsista

As a DJ, Rafaela Andrade AKA Badsista channels her childhood, culture and history into no-holds-barred sets that blur the lines between Chicago house, techno, hip-hop, pop and baile funk. At this year's edition of Nuits Sonores, the São Paulo creative jumped from Rihanna to acid, incorporating a medley of styles she grew up with. "I'm a result of my time," she tells Resident Advisor at the Lyon festival. Growing up, Andrade says she was constantly exposed to music from family members, street parties and friends. Those influences, reflected in her mixes and performances, add a degree of intentionality and meaning to her craft, she explains. Baile funk is a recurring sound in her sets and productions. Speaking to Lula about the genre, Andrade discusses similarities with punk rock and how the genre varies around Brazil. In Rio de Janeiro, for instance, it's percussive and faster while in Belo Horizonte, it's slower and more vocal-heavy, she describes. Baile funk is also deeply intertwined with local politics, she points out. Federal programs under former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva provided computers to working-class neighborhoods, enabling more people to access music-making software. Under the current government, however, equipment has become expensive, which is weighing on the creative economy, she warns. When Andrade isn't DJing, she focuses on education and club nights. As co-founder of collective BANDIDA, she helps to throw parties in São Paulo that showcase women artists in addition to teaching women of marginalised backgrounds how to DJ and produce using affordable hardware. For more details on her community-oriented approach to nightlife, listen to the full conversation.

Jul 07
EX.616 Reflections: Web3 in Nightlife

Reflections, a new addition on the RA Exchange, takes a magnifying glass to long-form journalism on our website. On each episode, writers break down their latest feature in an effort to shed more light on underlying issues surrounding the story. As part of Resident Advisor's technology month, senior staff writer Nyshka Chandran investigated how blockchain networks known as Decentralized Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) are looking to disrupt the global nightlife industry. Here, she outlines how she came across the niche world of Web3 nightlife and explains the cautious sentiment behind this fast-growing sector. While several DAOs throw parties featuring electronic music artists, only a few seek to operate their own venues and transform the process of event curation, she notes. But their lofty ambitions are tied to the fate of the cryptocurrency market, which could ultimately make or break a DAO, she warns. Listen to the full conversation for more details.

Jun 30
EX.615 - HE.SHE.THEY [Archive episode]

A repeat episode from last year in celebration of Pride month. Steven Braines and Sophia Kearney founded the party brand He.She.They. in 2018 with a mission to make their events "a utopia where people feel they belong whilst expressing their utmost individuality." Their first event was at London's Ministry Of Sound and has since visited Pacha, Watergate, Rex Club and other big-name venues in Europe, Asia and the United States. They also run the artist management agency Weird & Wonderful, representing acts like Jossy Mitsu, LOUISAHHH and Maya Jane Coles, who's also a regular DJ for He.She.They. In conversation with journalist and author Marcus Barnes, Kearney and Braines expand on the history and ethos behind the brand, having to trade DC10 for London lockdown and their Pride parties in Brighton.

1h 34m
Jun 23
EX.614 - Portrait XO In Conversation

As an artist focused on experimental electronics, visuals, AI and augmented reality, Portrait XO is used to thinking in a multidisciplinary approach. Whether developing sound installations, musical dining experiences or audiovisual albums, the Berlin-based creator consistently intertwines music, art and immersive technologies. This integrative way of working stems from the artist's synesthesia, a neurological condition in which people experience one sense through another. "It's like a cross wiring of senses," Portrait XO explains on this episode of the Exchange. Exploring synaesthetic reactions between sound, taste and sight is now a major element of her work. One project involved her performing music based on sounds that she experienced from flavours. Most of her productions are centred around human-machine collaboration. Her 2020 album, WIRE, used machine learning to generate ten hours of new audio from just hour of her recorded vocals. Working with AI "feels like a 50/50 collaboration, at least when it comes to melodies," she describes. While AI isn't smart enough to create full lyrics and melodies, it's "a really great idea sparker and something I’ll hear will then inspire me to write the rest of the melodic phrase or the best lyrical idea that I get out of it," she continues. For more details on how synesthesia and machine learning influence her creative process, listen to the full conversation.

Jun 16
EX.613 - Critics' Roundtable [June 2022]

Two new faces join Head Of Podcasts Martha Pazienti-Caidan on the June edition of Critics' Roundtable, Resident Advisor's monthly podcast that showcases the varied tastes of our contributors. Over the course of 40 minutes, Glasgow City Manager Rose Manson, Staff Writer Zoey Shopmaker and Pazienti-Caidan herself present their favourite music and new stories from the past three months. Their selections include New York producer K Wata, whose recent 12-inch connects the dots between loopy drum patterns and experimental ambient, as well as the 10 year anniversary compilation of UK label Local Action. Kiernan Laveaux's March mix for Noods Radio is also highlighted, as is the new Air Max '97 EP and Glasgow community radio station Buena Vida. Towards the end of the chat, the trio discuss a directory of women, trans and non-binary producers, the slow pace of festival ticket sales and efforts to end sexual violence at large gatherings. Listen to the conversation in full.

Jun 09
EX.612 - Source Material: Collaboration & Mental Health

Collaboration is intrinsic to creative jobs. Whether you're a lone wolf or a team player, it's impossible to avoid partnerships and group coordination. But working with other people can get messy, especially when ego is involved. As part of Resident Advisor's ongoing collaboration with Black Minds Matter, this episode of the Exchange explores how alliances affect an artist's craft and wellbeing. In separate conversations with UK singer-songwriter Aluna and Hamburg-based DJ crew SLIC Unit, host Vanessa Maria asks them about the challenges of building collectively versus individually. For SLIC Unit, being part of a network is all about mutual trust. Each person brings different talents to the table so it's important to reinforce each another while streamlining the decision-making process, founding members Nissa and SENU describe. "Being together or being in a collective always means more work," they say, referring to the need for clear communication, empathy and making time for everyone's projects. SLIC Unit practices what they call "radical solidarity," a support system that reduces chaos and stress while enabling them to have fun while working. Aluna, on the other hand, has a solo career in addition to being one-half of the duo AlunaGeorge. For her, going solo meant confronting her relationship with fear. Being in a band provided her with a sense of safety but that ultimately became a warning bell, she explains. "I knew that I was using it as a safety net from a place of either displacement or fear," she continues, alluding to her issues with racism and sexism. At the end of the day, it's important for artists to establish stability and security within themselves before they can join a group, she notes. For more insights on how creatives can preserve authenticity and self-worth in a team environment or on their own, listen to the hour-long podcast.

1h 3m
Jun 02
EX.611 - Heny G in Conversation

Pirate radio, dubstep and documentary filmmaking—the many faces of Heny G. Malcolm Christopher Gustave, AKA Heny G, is a name synonymous with pirate radio and dubstep. Through his own shows and station, he championed a melodic style of the syncopated, sub-bass sound that's since influenced several of the genre's stalwarts. Speaking with Resident Advisor contributor Marcus Barnes, Gustave explains how his love for radio pushed him to champion diverse artists in dance music. Tracing the trajectory of his time in the industry, Gustave describes how he started in pirate radio at the age of 13. Developing an obsession with jungle, garage and house music, he went onto work at Rinse FM during the 2000s when it was still an unlicensed platform. Around that tinme, he also launching his own station, React FM. While DJing and presenting, Gustave fine-tuned his signature style of emotive dubstep. Nine years since the release of his debut album Child Hood, his soulful productions continue to resonate with old and new heads alike, as Barnes points out. Over the past year, Gustave has been working on a documentary called The Last Weekend. Chatting to Barnes about the creative process, he outlines his entry into filmmaking and how the art form has added another layer to his ever-evolving career. Listen to the discussion for the full details.

1h 27m
May 27
EX.610 Reflections: Volatility In New York Nightlife

On the debut episode of our new Reflections series, New York staff writer Kiana Mickles analyses recent developments in local nightlife following the closure of a treasured Brooklyn venue. Resident Advisor publishes several pieces of long-form journalism per week but due to word count limitations, there's only so much information our reporters can pack in. To ensure important stories get the full coverage they deserve, we've started a new series on the RA Exchange. Reflections takes a deeper dive into the editorial content on our website by inviting writers to dissect one of their recent features. A behind-the-scenes look into the conceptualisation and research behind these articles, Reflections aims to provide updates on the highlighted topic as well as shed light on the journalistic process. For the inaugural episode, New York staff writer Kiana Mickles discusses her feature on Bossa Nova Civic Club from February this year. Ever since a fire forced the iconic venue to close indefinitely, Brooklyn nightlife hasn't been the same, she explained in a conversation with Martha Pazienti Caidan. The club was celebrated for its weekday programming but now that it's shut, Brooklynites have fewer party options on school nights, Mickles described. Bossa's fire is one of many disturbing incidents in New York nightlife this year, she continued. Recent episodes of violence and crime in various clubs have shaken artists and punters, particularly those from minority backgrounds. Mace-like fumes were reported at Nowadays, Rash was the victim of an arson attack and allegations of drink spiking at popular venues remain rampant. Listen to the full conversation below for more details on these issues. https://ra.co/exchange/610 Tracklist: quest?onmarq - Tropical Goth https://questionmarcdj.bandcamp.com/album/tropical-goth-rave-water Ben Bondy - Everything I Can't Be [Quiet Time] https://benbondy.bandcamp.com/album/ben-bondy

May 19
EX.609 - Jana Rush & Caroline Claus in Conversation

Live from Rewire Festival, Planet Mu affiliate Jana Rush and sound researcher Caroline Claus discuss gender politics, audio equipment and urban landscapes. At this year's instalment of Rewire Festival, which took place in The Hague from April 8th to 10th, artists were paired with sociologists and anthropologists for a series of stimulating conversations. One discussion between Chicago producer Jana Rush and Caroline Claus, a Brussels-based sound researcher, stood out for its interconnections between dance music and urban environments as well as gender and technology so for this week's Exchange, we're presenting their chat. Rush, known for her experimental forays into footwork and juke, incorporates a range of textures in her albums. From industrial to funky, her tracks frequently enter the realm of sound art but no matter how avant-garde she gets, her city remains a constant source of inspiration. Whether evoking the groove of house vocalists or the Windy City's politically-charged jazz movement, she's been a pillar of Chicago's club community for years. Claus, meanwhile, focuses on a topic known as "sonic urbanism," or how noise and vibrations impact city spaces such as railways and parks. Whether using field recordings for urban planning or engaging with the concept of sonic warfare, her studies explore interactions between individuals and spaces through sound. It can be said that both Rush and Claus are rooted in a sense of place—albeit in different ways. Rush, for instance, explained how she draws inspiration from music played in passing cars. The two also tackle the role of gender on their respective equipment. Claus mentions how her identity shapes the intentions of her recordings while Rush describes how she felt compelled to master technical equipment because "if you don't know what you don't know, people are gonna capitalise off that and they're not gonna let it go because you're a female." During their 25-minute long talk, Rush also explains how she uses binary code and how people often perceive her as aggressive. Listen on for the full details. Tracklist: Jana Rush - Clown [Planet Mu]

May 12
EX.608 - Critics' Roundtable [May 2022]

Every day at Resident Advisor, we discuss the latest interesting music but there's only so much information we can pack into features, reviews and news. The Critics' Roundtable podcast, part of our Exchange series, is a chance for the team to go deeper into striking artists, records and industry trends in the global club underground. This instalment, featuring senior staff writer Nyshka Chandran, music editor Andrew Ryce and chief creative and brand officer Kazim Rashid, touches on recent releases in London, Ecuador, Atlanta and beyond. First, each highlight their favourite albums from the past four months, with selections ranging from Terrence Dixon's supremely abstract techno to Marcela Dias Sindaco's sexy electro. Next, contributors discuss an artist or platform of note. Washington DC label PPU gets a mention, as do the hard-hitting bass mutations of Nikki Nair and Colombian label Insurgentes. Finally, Nyshka, Andrew and Kazim reflect on significant developments in the electronic music world, commenting on the ongoing attempts to get artists paid for online mixes, the intersection of club music and theatre and the recent passing of hip-hop icon DJ Kay Slay. Tracklist: Alabaster DePlume - Visitors XT8B – Oak [International Anthem] Terrence Dixon - Aurora - Other Dimensions [30D Records] Marcela Dias Sindaco - À Flor Da Pele - Rio de Janeiro 3025 EP [Fixed Rhythms] Nikki Nair & Nala - The World Is Always Ending - The World Is Always Ending [Dirtybird] Dwight Sykes - You’re Exactly - On The Rocks [PPU] PVSSY & Entrañas - Manía (Menzi remix - Fervor [TraTraTrax] Terrence Dixon - Aurora - Other Dimensions [30D Records]

May 05
EX.607 - Zepherin Saint

Zepherin Saint's first release, 1988's Give Me Back Your Love as Boyz in Shock featuring Carol Leeming, was one of the first soulful house records to hit the UK. Saint played a key role in the UK's dance music scene, but as journalist Marcus Barnes highlights in this week's Resident Advisor Exchange, the influence and value of his work over the years has often been overlooked. Saint grew up in Harrow, North West London. His earliest experiments with music happened at school, playing the drums in a band making music that he describes as "Spandau Ballet funk, soul and pop tracks." The tunes were so good that their teacher organised studio time so they could make a demo. Handed down one of Harrow's key soundsystems from his older brother, Saint would go on to build rigs, and recording studios, of his own, supplying the sound for many acid house nights as the scene exploded. He worked at legendary London shop Black Market Records and spent time in the US managing R&B artists like Terri Walker, before returning to the UK to launch Tribe Records, bringing dance music from South Africa and establishing the blueprint for what is now the Afro house scene. Today, Saint is based in Melbourne, where he's started a new label, Inner Sauce, to celebrate the live house sound bubbling there. In an enlightening conversation with Barnes, Saint discusses Melbourne's return to partying post lockdown, building soundsystems, finding his identity in London as a young West Indian man, working at Black Market Records and how he's now turning his focus back onto his own productions.

1h 15m
Apr 28
EX.606 - Nik Colk Void

Nik Colk Void's new LP, Bucked Up Space, is her ninth studio album, but her first as a solo artist. Based in Norfolk, Void is an electronic musician and analogue synthesiser virtuoso who forms part of both Factory Floor and Carter Tutti Void (with Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti of pioneering industrial group Throbbing Gristle). Her work has been released on iconic labels like DFA, Mute and Throbbing Gristle's Industrial Records, and in late 2017 she released 33 33, a collaborative record as NPVR with the late Peter Rehberg of Editions Mego. In this week's Resident Advisor Exchange, Void talks about her relationship with Rehberg and how her confidence grew significantly through their working together. Without him, she explains, she may not have found the voice and the language she was looking for to put out her own full-length record. It is fitting and meaningful, therefore, that on April 8th, Bucked Up Space came out on Editions Mego. In conversation with RA writer Katie Thomas, Nik Colk Void discusses her album, the process of mastering analogue synths, the art and value of collaboration and affirming performances—plus details about a new Factory Floor record that's on the horizon. Tracklist: Nik Colk Void - Big Breather (Editions Mego) Nik Colk Void - FlatTime (Editions Mego)

Apr 21
EX.605 - Fabio & Grooverider

This week's Resident Advisor Exchange was recorded in January, live from Southbank Centre in London. Shortly before their Royal Festival Hall performance with The Outlook Orchestra, drum & bass and jungle originators Fabio & Grooverider sat down with Heléna Star to talk about the show. As you can hear from the applause and roars of laughter throughout the recording, the audience was besotted. The UK dance music scene would look very different without Fabio & Grooverider's contributions over the last few decades. Coming from pirate radio, where they first teamed up in 1987 on Phase One, the duo would go on to carve out the path for drum & bass and jungle, as well as to influence the trajectories of house, techno and breakbeat. Grooverider captures their legacy best when he says: "We are this music." Launched in 2017, The Outlook Orchestra has collaborated with other pioneering artists like David Rodigan and Mala. The show with Fabio & Grooverider, which they will perform again at Outlook Festival in June, saw 30 years of drum & bass history packed into 31 tracks. In conversation with Heléna Star, Fabio & Grooverider discussed how the show came together, as well as their staying power in the scene, the legacy of their seminal club night Rage, how drum & bass is still growing and how humour is a vital part of their relationship. Fittingly, they also cracked a lot of jokes.

Apr 14

This week's Exchange was recorded in November 2021 as part of our Full Circle series, which celebrates women in electronic music. DJ, producer and community organiser JADALAREIGN sat down with two of Resident Advisor's staff writers, Kiana Mickles and Nyshka Chandran, at our New York office. JADALAREIGN was raised about an hour north of New York City, in a musical household soundtracked by funk, soul, hip-hop and R&B. Growing up in a predominantly white neighbourhood impacted how she operates today—her work prioritises cultivating community, as community wasn't always something she felt she had. After playing instruments, studying fashion and ending up in a corporate job, JADALAREIGN became increasingly engaged in music through her side hustle as the music director for an entertainment blog. In 2015, she took her first DJ lesson and felt instantly drawn to the craft. Gradually, she grew more and more immersed in the New York scene. Today, JADALAREIGN is a booker for leading New York club Nowadays, using her role heading up the Friday night programming to create more space and opportunity for people of colour in dance music. She also runs a workshop series called SKILLSHARE, which supports other women of colour, as well as queer folks, non-binary people and trans people, wanting to learn about the ins and outs of the music industry. In 2020, she launched In Sessions with Sam Law and FIVEBOI, a digital production camp that, when it first launched, reached around 300 people daily from 30 different countries. In this Exchange, JADALAREIGN discusses her work and community projects, how New York's dance music culture has changed in recent years and the importance of the scene's players engaging in honest reflection to increase diversity. She also touches on the value of mentorship for marginalised creatives and what can be done to prevent artists of colour feeling tokenised. Tracklist: JADALAREIGN - 2B2S (HAUS of ALTR)

1h 0m
Apr 07
EX. 603 - Elijah

This week's Resident Advisor Exchange, recorded live at AVA London with journalist Kieran Yates, forms part of Elijah's guest-edited month. Throughout March, we've run curated content published with the intention of demystifying the music industry. Elijah & Skilliam began DJing together in 2007. In 2010, they launched a label, Butterz, putting out music from the likes of Terror Danjah, Royal-T, Flava D and Murlo. Over the course of the next decade, they played a vital role in the way grime developed and exploded in the UK. Elijah is also an artist manager, looking after the careers of Flava D, DJ Q and Swindle. He uses his platform and deep understanding of the inner workings of the music industry to share tips and probing questions to help shape the future of electronic music. As we wrap up Elijah's guest-edited month, he spoke to Yates about how the industry has changed since his early years as a DJ, the difference between creating art and creating content, the limitations of not engaging with electronic music outside of Europe, and how the measure of your legacy as an artist won't just be about your art, but about how you interacted with others and shared your knowledge. Tracklist: Phil Keiran - No Life (Roman Flügel Remix) (Hot Creations) KiNK - Disco Spectrum (Sofia)

Mar 31
EX. 602 - Laila McKenzie

Laila McKenzie began a life in dance music when she was 16 years old, collecting glasses in a club in Sheffield. She has since acquired an intricate knowledge of the music industry and of house in particular, having spent her life promoting, managing events, dancing and most recently co-authoring Lady Of The House with Ian "Snowy" Snowball, a book that tells the stories of more than 150 pioneering women in dance music. From March 8th through 12th, to coincide with International Women's Day, the inaugural Lady Of The House exhibition took place at Lost Horizon in Bristol, where McKenzie is based. In this week's Exchange, which was recorded before the exhibition, she discusses how Lady Of The House came to be and how the three pillars—celebrating, championing and honouring women—tied into the multi-day cultural exhibit. According to McKenzie, Lady Of The House is about preserving the legacy of dance music. "We've started levelling the playing field for gender," she said. "Now we need to do it for people from low socio-economic backgrounds, Black, brown, LGBTQI+, disabled women. We need to give them that elevation." In conversation with Vanessa Maria, McKenzie discussed what it means to be a woman in dance music, how she's experienced the industry change over the years, the importance of community and how dance music has been both her demon and her saviour. Tracklist: Just Her - Follow You Down (GU Music)

Mar 24
EX.601 - K-HAND (Archive)

An archive episode for International Women's Month with the late, great Detroit producer. For International Women's Month, we revisit K-HAND's Resident Advisor Exchange, originally published in November 2019. The "First Lady Of Detroit," as Detroit City Council deemed her in 2017, died in August 2021. The following text is from the original post. Kelli Hand used to be described as an unsung hero of Detroit house and techno but recently she's finally been getting her due. With a production career beginning in 1990, she has a sprawling discography packed with timeless releases for key labels like Warp, Tresor and her own Acacia Records. Over the years she's produced several hundred tracks, each bearing her distinctive knack for jack and a style marked by a timeless flavour of minimalism. In conversation with Matt Unicomb, we hear about how her perspective on releasing music and DJing has changed over the last three decades and her experiences of the ebb and flow of a life spent in dance music. Launching from formative experiences at Paradise Garage and the Music Box, Hand's story covers several vital eras of American dance music history, a lineage that feeds directly into the rare staying power of her productions. Tracklist: K-HAND - Untitled B1 [Acacia Records] K-HAND - Untitled A1 [Acacia Records]

Mar 17
EX.600 - Source Material: Kyiv’s Club Community, Fractured By War

The 600th episode of the Exchange marks a pivot in Resident Advisor’s audio coverage. Source Material, one of our new series, moves towards in-depth, documentary-style reports on the electronic music community and beyond. For the inaugural edition of Source Material, we invite perspectives from Ukraine following the country’s invasion by Russia, which has sparked a humanitarian crisis with over 1.5 million displaced refugees. Starting in 2014, Kyiv became a global dance music destination, due to its world-class venues and festivals, plus the government’s relatively hands-off approach towards enforcing social gathering regulations during Covid. Many flocked to its dance floors during a time when other countries operated under stringent lockdowns, and interest in the city only continued to grow. But the promise of Kyiv’s fertile club scene has been completely decimated by the war. Those who made the community so vibrant are now faced with the unimaginable decision to either flee or fight. The voices within this episode include Timur, known as the producer John Object, an affiliate of CXEMA, who is defending his country as part of the Territorial Defense Force, and Margareeta, RA’s City Manager for Kyiv, who discusses the emotional toll of fleeing from the war. Woven throughout are also interviews with anti-war protestors in the streets of Berlin and the volunteers helping refugees at the city’s main train stations. Guests: John Object, Margarita Evi Interviewer: Whitney Wei Tracklist: John Object - Draft (2010) John Object - Xanax & Silk (Live) (2016) John Object - Kiss (2018)

Mar 10
EX.599 - Ray Keith

EX.599 - Ray Keith by Resident Advisor

1h 6m
Mar 03
EX.598 - A Moment In Between

Kadallah Burrowes explores the term "Afrofuturism" with the help of Suzi Analogue, Neema Githere, Mia Imani Harrison and Jackie Queens. This past Juneteenth, Burrowes held a digital event called A Moment In Between (after which this podcast is named) at COMMON, a digital club that forms part of Currents.FM. It was, in their words, "a digital pan-African celebration of Black liberation." The interviewees in this week's Exchange all helped make A Moment In Between possible: artists Jackie Queens and Suzi Analogue, plus cultural critics Neema Githere and Mia Imani Harrison. In this documentary-style podcast, which forms part of our celebration of Black Futures Month in the US, Burrowes et al. discuss the term "Afrofuturism. They discuss its imperfect, controversial nature (it was coined by a white academic), how it intersects with electronic music and its relationship to the legacy of the writer Octavia Butler. Last week's Exchange saw Burrowes in conversation with Analogue, the producer, singer, songwriter and founder of Never Normal Records. This week, Analogue delves deeper into her connection to the concept of Afrofuturism. "Afrofuturism to me is just being Black," she said. "It's a bunch of things. Self-determination, self-preservation and self-expression." Born in Nairobi and now based in Brooklyn, Neema Githere is a guerrilla theorist who works within the digital diaspora. In 2017, Githere coined the term "Afropresentism," which presents the idea that the Afrofuturism being theorised in the '90s and early '00s exists here and now. "Afrofuturism is concerned with space," Githere said. "Afropresentism is concerned with earth." Mia Imani Harrison is an interdisciplinary artist and conceptual creator working within dream technology. Her part in A Moment In Between saw COMMON, which had primarily been a space for music, become a place for Black people to come and talk about their dreams. Harrison's understanding of Afrofuturism began with "intergalactic Black folks" in music—Sun Ra, Grace Jones, Parliament-Funkadelic—and has grown into an interest in artists that build worlds and galaxies in their work. "I've always been interested in expanding our concept of the realities we exist within," she said. "Especially as Black people, because we're already told what we can and cannot do, and the perimeters of the spaces that we exist in." The final speaker is Jackie Queens, singer, songwriter, label and agency founder, and community member of Currents.FM and electronic music network female:pressure. Queens' thoughts about Afrofuturism tie in with Githere's Afropresentism. "People say Africa is the future," Queens said. "But I don't like to look at it that way. I always feel like we're the present." https://ra.co/exchange/598

1h 2m
Feb 17
EX.597 - Suzi Analogue

Suzi Analogue spoke with Kadallah Burrowes about using her label Never Normal to champion innovative Black creators. Suzi Analogue is a loudspeaker for innovative Black creators. In this week's RA Exchange, the producer, singer, songwriter and founder of Never Normal Records speaks with trans-disciplinary artist, musician, creative technologist Kadallah Burrowes about championing art from across the African diaspora. This is the first of two Exchanges hosted by Burrowes, who, next week, will be exploring the term "Afrofuturism" in an audio documentary that forms part of our celebration of Black History Month in the US. Suzi Analogue first experienced club and electronic music in her hometown of Baltimore. Starting out in her teens as a songwriter and producer, her engagement with creative platforms online led to her involvement in events and community radio while studying in Philadelphia. It was when she moved to The Bronx in New York that Analogue first started to feel there wasn't space for young and innovative Black electronic artists to showcase their work. As she played shows abroad and across Europe, she felt encouraged to start a platform of her own, a space to build her own archive and celebrate fellow artists. In 2014, she launched her label Never Normal, a commitment to bolstering Black femme-identifying people to advocate for music, whether through running labels, parties or just shouting about the new music you love. Since its launch, the label has featured work from artists in Atlanta, Oakland, Chicago, Brooklyn, Miami and more. "They're originators in their cities," she explained. "Never Normal is a journey that's building over time." In conversation with Burrowes, Analogue discussed the politics of Black futurism, travelling to Uganda as a US state department cultural diplomat and the importance of capturing and echoing ancestral messages through art and sound. Tracklist: Suzi Analogue - Slow [Never Normal] @uziklip @sunjiru

Feb 10
EX.596 - William Orbit

"My real gift is arrangement." William Orbit opens up on his 40-year career. Share Born in Hackney, London, in 1956, Orbit has been writing, producing and arranging music for four decades. With almost 1,200 credits to his name on Discogs, his vast and varied body of work spans classical, pop and electronic. He produced for some of pop music's most seminal artists—Madonna, All Saints, Blur, Robbie Williams, Pink—as well as being, as his interviewer Matt McDermott explains, "one of the most prolific electronic music remixers of the '90s." He released 11 solo albums and seven collaborative albums—as part of Torch Song, Strange Cargo and Bassomatic—and founded Guerilla Studios in the '80s, working with artists like Cabaret Voltaire and Gary Numan. In 1995, Orbit released the Pieces In A Modern Style LP, which paved the way for musicians like Nils Frahm and Jon Hopkins, who bring together classical arrangements with electronic production in revelatory ways. The journalist Kate Hutchinson described Orbit as "the Mark Ronson or Jack Antonoff of his day." But as this conversation with RA highlights, Orbit is once again enjoying his day. Having, in his own words, "spent 20 years becoming disengaged," he has just put out his first solo release in seven years—the Sunbeam EP on Anjunadeep—and things are feeling good. "I know how to have fun," he said. In conversation with McDermott, Orbit shares stories about his fascinating career, how to make a great record, working with Madonna and how to stay relevant in a fickle industry. Tracklist: William Orbit - Diso [Anjunadeep] William Orbit - Wordsworth [Anjunadeep] @williamorbit

Feb 03
EX595 - Performance Anxiety

FAUZIA, DamnShaq and counsellor Darlington Zvionere discuss performance anxiety and how to overcome it with Vanessa Maria. As part of Resident Advisor's wellness month, and in collaboration with Black Minds Matter, host Vanessa Maria discusses performance anxiety—what it is, how it manifests, how to overcome it—with FAUZIA, DamnShaq and Psychotherapeutic counsellor Darlington Zvionere. Support Black Minds Matter here: http://bit.ly/BMMRA In simple terms, performance anxiety is stage fright. As Zvionere explains, artists may experience everything from clammy hands to stiffness and blurred vision, which then impacts their performance. It's a vicious cycle, he says, as a falter in your performance will likely lead to increased nerves next time. "Be the best you can be in that moment," advises Zvionere. "Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow." In her own experience as a DJ, Maria has suffered from performance anxiety to the point of cancelling shows and relying on the influence of alcohol to calm her nerves. She speaks to DJ, promoter and presenter DamnShaq, known for his "madman" energy in the booth, about the pressure he used to put on himself. He reflects on how the pandemic has allowed him some time to reset and make peace with the fact that his boisterous stage character is not a sustainable way to function day-to-day. For FAUZIA, whose transition from DJing to having a live show has come with a huge increase in pre-performance anxiety, steadying her nerves is a work in progress. She speaks to Vanessa about fine-tuning her set, stepping away from social media and the confidence boost of working with Kelela. Black Minds Matter is a charity on a mission to connect Black families with free mental health services from qualified Black therapists. They are currently looking for 21,000 long-term donors who are able to donate £5 per month. With your support, they will be able to take steps forward to achieve their goal of lasting impact on Black mental health. Contributions can be made on the website if you are in a position to do so. Tracklist: Space Afrika - yyyyyy2222 [Dais Records] Fauzia - Lap, Sir Fauzia - When It's All Over [with Kelela] Fauzia - Lap, Sir Kundai - Decisions House of Pharaohs - Okay (Instrumental) andarctica - waiting on the tides @djfauzia @damnshaq

1h 9m
Jan 27
EX.594 - Andrew Grant

A rare, revealing interview with the long-time Circoloco resident. For many years, Andrew Grant was one of Circoloco’s most ubiquitous DJs. He landed on the White Isle in the summer of 2001, having spent a few months in Sheffield, England, DJing whenever and wherever he could. Yet, in spite of his widespread public appearances, Grant’s personal accounts of his past are little known given his reclusive character—until now. For this week’s exchange, host Marcus Barnes engaged in a candid conversation with Andrew Grant about his experiences grinding in the clubbing Mecca, teaching lacrosse in the northern UK and even working briefly as DC10's light technician. Raised in Baltimore, Grant’s first musical memories involved listening to Baltimore club radio stations late at night. Back then, he wasn’t allowed to listen to radio, so he’d have to do so quietly and away from prying ears. He recalls catching the Basement Boys remix of the Crystal Waters club classic, “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless),” on MTV, feeling inspired by the fact these artists on the TV were from his hometown. When Grant first began DJing in 1988, he was spinning hip-hop records at house parties and in basements across the city. “I had a box of records and a decent pair of headphones,” he tells Barnes. “I felt like I was doing the right thing.” It wasn’t until a visit to NYC club Twilo in the mid-’90s that he really began to engage with dance music. A few years down the line, in Ibiza, Grant caught his first big break—he was invited to play a Thursday morning after party at DC10. Not long after, he was playing primetime slots on a Monday at Circoloco, before becoming the first American resident of the iconic Ibiza brand when he was just 24-years-old.

1h 38m
Jan 20
EX.593 - Pan Daijing

The PAN affiliate talks opera, cooking and solitude. Read more: https://ra.co/exchange/593 @pan-daijing

Jan 13