500 episodes

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

RA Exchange Resident Advisor

    • Music
    • 4.4 • 87 Ratings

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

    EX.721 Charli XCX

    EX.721 Charli XCX

    "I started in the clubs, and that's where my heart is." The British singer-songwriter and RA's newest cover star talks about her new album, BRAT, live from AVA London.

    This week's Exchange is with Resident Advisor's latest cover star: Charli xcx. The British singer-songwriter has garnered a reputation as one of the most unpredictable and boundary-pushing pop artists of her generation, collaborating with contemporaries like A. G. Cook, Yaeji and the late SOPHIE. And she's now on the heels of her most recent album, BRAT, which came out in June and has already been lauded as one of the best albums of the year.

    In this conversation recorded live at AVA London with journalist Chal Ravens, Charli xcx dives into the making of the album. She calls it a club record—that, she says, is "where her heart is." After posting songs on MySpace around 2008, she was asked to DJ at warehouse parties when she was still in her teens. She felt alive in that space, she remembers, doing crazy, embarrassing things.

    Now in a different chapter of her life and career, she contemplates her desire to make challenging music that still appeals to a broad audience. It's a pendulum that swings radically in both ways, and she finds herself reinventing herself within the pop space and navigating that tension again and again. Listen to the episode in full.

    • 47 min
    EX.720 FJAAK

    EX.720 FJAAK

    "It's a dream to share a passion with your best friend." The German duo talk about life on the road and writing their first album in six years.

    Together, Felix Wagner and Aaron Röbig make up the dynamic duo FJAAK. As one of Germany's best-known nightlife exports, they've earned a reputation for being techno's "boy band," gracing the stages of festivals and clubs all over the world for the last ten-plus years.

    Wagner and Röbig met in Spandau, an area just outside of Berlin, when they were both still in school. Equally interested in music (especially hip-hop), they started working on beats together alongside two other friends. The four-person group turned into FJAAK, and when they all moved to the city centre together after finishing their studies, they started living collectively and touring the project, achieving traction quickly.

    FJAAK is now just a duo—the group dwindled from four people to three, and then, in 2019, to just Röbig and Wagner. They claim they're closer to soulmates than friends; they know everything about each other and seem so in tune as to be almost telepathic. "The super power we've evolved over the years is to live a harmonic life together," Wagner said.

    In this RA Exchange, Röbig and Wagner talk about navigating through life with someone by their side, their thoughts on equality and meritocracy in the music industry, how they work together in the studio, their record label and their new album, FJAAK THE SYSTEM, which came out in May. Listen to the episode in full.

    This episode was recorded and filmed at Pirate Studios.

    • 55 min
    EX.719 Kittin

    EX.719 Kittin

    "I'm finally enjoying what I built." The DJ and producer talks about 30 years in the music industry and what it means to live a creative life.

    Caroline Hervé, AKA Kittin (FKA Miss Kittin), is a household name, primarily known for her contributions to the world of electroclash. As part of the duo Miss Kittin & The Hacker, Hervé wrote music that inspired a generation of artists drawn to electroclash's punky aesthetics, no-nonsense synth production and humorous, ironic lyrics and vocal delivery. In this Exchange, she unpacks how the electroclash scene became a home for artists seeking to push back against the rigidity of techno, ushering in a vanguard of performers like Peaches who created a safe space for queerness and unconventional femininity in the early 00s.

    Now 50 years old, Hervé is still very much active on the touring circuit. Behind the decks she's as likely to play synth wave and electro as she is to play peak-time techno, and in the studio, her creativity knows no bounds. Much of her latest chapter has been defined by learning to age gracefully in the music industry, especially given the undue expectations and double standards placed on women. "I've made a decision never to touch my face," she says. "My boobs are getting bigger. I'm gaining weight. I'm reaching menopause soon. But these are things we need to talk about." Listen to the episode in full.

    • 55 min
    EX.718 BASHKKA

    EX.718 BASHKKA

    "My place of rebirth was New York." The DJ and producer discusses Brooklyn's queer ballroom scene and advocating for Munich's queer community at BLITZ Club.

    BASHKKA is a name you might recognise from festival lineups. In fact, it seems to be everywhere these days. The Munich-based artist has seemingly blown up in the past 24 months, but her ascent is well-deserved. The Munich-based DJ has been a resident at BLITZ Club for two years since returning from a decade-long stint in New York, where she quickly found family with Brooklyn's trans community. While she's now living back in Germany, the experience ignited a lifelong commitment to her advocacy for the cultural, political and de-colonial advancement of electronic music. She is an activist for Southwest Asian and North African artists across the scene, especially those from queer femme backgrounds or who have been otherwise marginalised from the mainstream dance music narrative.

    In this interview with the Exchange's senior producer Chloe Lula, BASHKKA talks about her roots and how the dichotomy of growing up to a Turkish family in Bavaria—and then living within the trans community in New York—has shaped her creativity and her outlook on family and life. She also talks about her debut EP, Maktub, on Nene H's label Umay, where she explores a mixture of ballroom, ghetto tech, house and the legacy of her years in New York. According to the artist, it's a "hot stew of seduction"—and it's only a prelude of what's to come. Listen to the episode in full.

    • 44 min
    EX.717 DJ Pierre

    EX.717 DJ Pierre

    "We were searching for our own voice." The Chicago artist talks about pioneering the sound of acid house and the spirit of experimentation in early dance music.

    The Chicago-based Nathaniel Pierre Jones—AKA DJ Pierre—may be best known for forming the "squelch" we now call acid. When he and his friends Spanky and Herb J picked up a TB-303 in a pawn shop, they captured the sound of the knobs being turned as a pattern started to run. While this wasn't how the instrument was intended to be used, they were enthralled by the result, reproducing it and releasing it as an EP called Acid Tracks under the name Phuture in 1987. The result was the birth of the acid house era and a new, international musical craze.

    In this RA Exchange recorded live at International Music Summit in Ibiza, Jones retraces the acid craze and the nature of experimentation and risk-taking more generally. In his view, there's a marked absence of this mindset in contemporary dance music as many producers have become accustomed to using sample packs, presets and generally operating within workflows that stymie originality. At the end of the interview, he raises important questions around if and how the music being released today enhances our lives, as well as what a truly transcendent and mutually supportive industry could look like. Listen to the episode in full.

    • 46 min
    EX.716 Wolfgang Tillmans

    EX.716 Wolfgang Tillmans

    The photographer and musician discusses his love of nightlife, the origins of his music practice and his new album.

    This week's Exchange—falling on the first week of Pride Month—features the acclaimed artist Wolfgang Tillmans, a figure who has become known for documenting Berlin's queer nightlife culture. But Tillmans isn't just active behind the camera. He's also an outspoken activist for the international LGBTQIA+ community and the wave of conservatism rearing its head against gender and reproductive rights around the world. His evocative photos invite viewers to look at society straight in the face, question the status quo and harness the power of collective resistance to normative, capitalist ways of living. An ardent fan of electronic music, he also captures artists and DJs at the heart of underground club culture. When he started taking photos in the '90s, it was at the acid house parties blossoming around Germany and the UK.

    Now entering the height of his career at 55, Tillmans has been profiled multiple times in major magazines like the New Yorker and given career-spanning solo retrospectives at the MoMa in New York, Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, The Centre Pompidou in Paris and countless galleries across the world, including David Zwirner, which represents him.

    While it's widely acknowledged that Tillmans enjoys participating in club culture, what might be less well known is that he actually makes music himself. In recent years, he's begun putting out albums on his own label, fragile, creating new wave-tinged electronica that nods to early synth pop. Tillmans released his debut album, Moon in Earthlight, in 2021 and he's now celebrating the release of his second album, Build From Here, where he explicitly sings about human rights and violations against the LGBTQIA+ community. Overall, its message is one of hope and excited apprehension about the future and the arts' place within it. Listen to the episode in full.

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
87 Ratings

87 Ratings

dogital.rain ,

Love the Idea but still space to grow.

I really love the Idea. Think the execution could improve. Like some said before sound quality. Also maybe a more interesting Storytelling style for the Podcast could also be interesting and maybe make it easier to listen even when the sound quality is not as good.

DJBFS ,

Playing Favorites

First time listener, CC Disco was the guest and I was engaged from the start. Very relatable content and format! Can’t wait to listen to last and new episodes.

reality.winrar ,

Quality declined

Used to be awesome! Now it isn’t so good. I see that they’re trying to diversify their guests and experiment with new formats but the quality is super uneven. Part of RA’s broader shift away from good editorial content in favor of being a ticketing platform with advertorial content on the side.

Top Podcasts In Music

The Joe Budden Podcast
The Joe Budden Network
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
Andrew Hickey
My Divo
Apple TV+ / Futuro Studios
All About Stray Kids Radio
Stray Kids
Dissect
The Ringer
The Story of Classical
Apple Music

You Might Also Like

hanging out with audiophiles
hanging out with audiophiles
Tape Notes
In The Woods
Not A Diving Podcast with Scuba
Scuba
The LRB Podcast
The London Review of Books
Novara Media
Novara Media
Tronic Radio
Christian Smith

More by Resident Advisor