The weekly RA Exchange is a series of conversations with artists, labels and promoters shaping the electronic music landscape.
"All I want to do is express what I love." The beloved Berghain resident talks about learning from failure, putting in the time and how good sound systems have changed his life.
Born and bred in Minneapolis, Zak Khutoretsky, AKA DVS1, has been throwing and playing raves for decades. Now 47, he's at the top of his game. As one of Berghain's most popular residents and a producer known for his deep and versatile sound, he's amassed thousands of followers around the world, releasing on Klockworks, Transmat and Ostgut Ton, in addition to his own label, HUSH.
Not just an artist, Khutoretsky has garnered a reputation for speaking critically about the challenges facing the electronic music community, notably through his essay about the battle between art and entertainment, and more recently through the inauguration of his revenue sharing platform ASlice. The organisation was designed in 2020 as an antidote to the pay disparity between DJ earnings and producer earnings, and its basic conceit is that DJs submit playlists of their tracks and share small percentages of their gig fees to be redistributed among the artists whose tracks they've played.
In this RA Exchange live from ADE, Khutoretsky talks with journalist Christine Kakaire about the platform and the impetus behind it, as well as his underlying tendency to be a "fixer," from the problems in his house to the issues he sees plaguing his community. Listen to the episode in full.
EX.688 Juliana Huxtable
"There's a joy I'm trying to depict in my artwork." The American DJ and producer discusses her latest painting exhibition, the power of poetry and exploring queer fantasy in visual art.
Today, Berlin-via-New York multidisciplinary artist Juliana Huxtable might be best known for her DJing and dance floor productions. She's the co-founder of the party Shock Value and a regular at Berghain, Herrensauna, Basement and more clubs and festivals around the world. But she's equally prolific in the worlds of poetry and visual art, and in her first appearance on the RA Exchange, she talks to senior producer Chloe Lula about her multimedia painting exhibition, -USSYPHILIA, which is on display through the beginning of January. A champion of queer and trans theory, Huxtable uses collage, painting and poetry to explore themes around identity anarchy and sexuality throughout the exhibition. While the collection is serious and somewhat academic, it's also playful, diving deep into fantasy, psychedelia and allusions to soft porn.
These days, Huxtable enjoys dabbling in other kinds of art as well. In her interview, she talks about her longtime love of performance art, which she says is ghettoized in the art world context, usually relegated to awkward programming add-ons in gallery exhibitions. Her band Tongue In The Mind is shaking off the performance art stigma and bringing it into the club with their forthcoming EP on PAN, Pretty Canary, out in late 2023.
To hear about how she keeps on top of parallel creative practices, her thoughts on writing, experiences with psychedelics and more, listen to the episode in full.
EX.687 Seth Troxler
"DJs don't hit their stride until their 40s." The DJ and creative multihyphenate discusses maturing as an artist, having a family and navigating the worlds of contemporary art and cuisine.
Resident Advisor has followed Detroit native Seth Troxler's DJ career since the beginning. And on his first appearance on the RA Exchange, he is in his domestic bliss phase, living with his wife and kids in his new home of Zürich and partying at least a little less—and only on the weekends.
Since taking the house and techno scene by storm in the late '00s, when he was still in his teens, Troxler has become one of the most famous DJs in the world, known almost as much for his jokester personality and party antics as his craft. But the public image belies the skill behind his work: he's one of the most popular artists in the world simply because he's also one of the best, able to string music together almost preternaturally, as if he was born to do it. You never know what kind of records he's going to play—sometimes he doesn't, either—but you can count on it being a journey worth taking.
These days, Troxler isn't putting himself through the wringer like he used to, but he has his moments. Before this interview with RA music critic Andrew Ryce, he played New York, then Miami, then New York again, then Toronto, all in the span of one weekend. He opened up about his more responsible lifestyle, his family life and his love of food, as well as his passion for pairing art and technology and his hopes for a lasting legacy.
At Kraków's Unsound festival, the London-based ambassador of footwork and jungle opens up about recent musings about legacy and the art of letting go.
Since her first Boiler Room set went viral (so viral, she claims, it broke her phone), SHERELLE's career has ascended with a rapidness that even she struggles to fully comprehend. Almost instantly, she went from working a day job at Mixmag to DJing major festivals around the world, where she spread the word of 160 BPM music. Today, the London artist has an NTS residency with long-time friend and partner Naina, has two EPs under her belt and is at the helm of two labels–Hoover Sound and Beautiful. This year, she planned to take her reputation as a producer to the next level with a debut album that was scheduled for release in 2023.
But this summer, every musician's worst nightmare happened to SHERELLE. After a mugging in Europe, she lost every bit of her music—her DJ repertoire, her unreleased tracks and perhaps most devastatingly, her entire debut album. Discussing this at Kraków's Unsound festival, however, SHERELLE is chipper and refreshingly wise. In this intimate and hilarious conversation with RA's in-house critic, Kiana Mickles, she describes the incident as a launchpad for recent musings about the art of letting go, the importance of archiving and how she's approaching her debut album differently the second time around.
EX.685 Honey Dijon
"I don't complain, I create." The house DJ talks about her new multi-platform project, Honeyverse, and using music as a way to celebrate the Black queer community.
Honey Dijon is a queer house music icon whose reputation precedes her. Originally hailing from Chicago, she grew up experiencing the city's nightlife, eventually beginning to DJ and produce alongside contemporaries like Derrick Carter, Mark Farina and other artists who shaped the Chicago house music canon.
Throughout her career, she's been an active spokesperson for trans rights and a champion for the BIPOC community, and last month she put on her greatest platform for queer Black culture to date: Honeyverse. The multi-platform Honey Dijon experience took place at London's Southbank Centre, bringing club nights, live sets, orchestras and intimate conversations together in a takeover that drew its inspiration from her roots in Chicago's Black queer community.
In this RA Exchange live from Southbank Centre, Honey Dijon talks to Josh Caffé about her connection to house music, an art form made from rejection and thus marginalised in the annals of music history. Her work, she says, is about giving visibility to the voices that were lost in its development and creating a more expansive platform for queer artists from the Black and Latinx diaspora. "This is a celebration of love, joy and acceptance," she says of Honeyverse.
Listen to the episode in full, and watch video snippets of their conversation on Resident Advisor's Instagram and YouTube.
EX.684 ADHD and Dance Music
Dr Michelle and Mahnoor—a psychologist and a DJ, respectively—discuss ADHD and how neurodivergent individuals can find safety on the dance floor.
In an age of technological surfeit and the attention economy, people are affected with ADHD diagnoses on an increasing frequency. Thinking differently can be both an obstacle and a superpower. While some ways of working and digesting information may be more challenging, others, like creativity, come with more ease.
Today's episode of the RA Exchange, the final instalment of our collaboration with the UK mental health charity Black Minds Matter, explores the topic of ADHD and how it connects with dance music. The industry can attract and often be a safe space for people affected by ADHD diagnoses, says host Vanessa Maria, a London-based broadcaster whose work champions music and mental health. In two interviews, she unpacks what happens on a physiological level when one lives with neurodivergence, music's ability to alleviate many of the symptoms that accompany ADHD and how more inclusive dance music spaces could allow people to better navigate neurodivergence.
Vanessa Maria's guests are Dr Michelle—a music psychologist, DJ and radio host—and Mahnoor, a DJ who lives with ADHD and creates projects for movement, music and meditation for South Asian minorities. She brings the perspective of someone navigating neurodivergence beyond BMM and the Black community. Listen to the episode in full for their insights.
This edition of the RA Exchange was recorded in collaboration with The Qube, London's first members' studio for music and content creators. If you're a music producer, songwriter, artist, photographer or podcaster and would like to apply for a membership, head over to theqube.com.
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.
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.
For an Electronic Music Noob, This is a Goldmine
I know very little about the world of electronic music except the fact that I like it. This podcast is informative and captivating. Martha is such a talented host, I’d listen to her on any show. Love this show for long drives.