The weekly RA Exchange is a series of conversations with artists, labels and promoters shaping the electronic music landscape.
EX.701 Daniel Avery
"The road is incredible but has a lot of pitfalls." The fabric resident discusses striking the balance between DJing and production, the challenges of a life on tour and choosing to stick out.
Daniel Avery wasn't expecting to make it big. Born in the seaside town of Bournemouth, his early musical diet consisted of shoegaze, post-punk, electroclash and indie rock; he was a die hard fan in attendance at every local live show. But when he moved to London, he was introduced to dance music and became immersed in nightlife, meeting artists like Erol Alkan and Andrew Weatherall who were using the sounds of guitar bands with techno and electronic music for the dance floor. Soon Daniel was working out of a studio next to Weatherall's—who became his longtime mentor—and started warming up the dance floor at fabric on a regular basis. His debut album, Drone Logic, was released to critical acclaim in 2013, and has been followed by six more full-lengths and a number of EPs and singles since.
In this episode of the RA Exchange, Avery reflects on the shock of being catapulted into the limelight after Drone Logic's unexpected success, and the ongoing struggle he's contended with as he's taken on a full-time touring schedule as a DJ. He also touches on his eclectic range of influences and how he's integrated them in his forthcoming album and newly revitalised fabric party series, Divided Love, which launches on March 2. Listen to the episode in full.
EX.700 Detroit's Blueprint: Episode 1
Our landmark 700th episode in partnership with Detroit’s Blueprint presents the first in a new three-part series exploring the untold history of Detroit techno from the perspective of the women who built it.
The history of Detroit techno is often recounted in waves. First there was the Belleville Three—Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May—closely followed by a second cohort of artists who further developed the sound in the '90s. Names like Carl Craig, Octave One, Robert Hood, Jeff Mills and Mike Banks are among those that have been codified in the official annals of techno history.
But there's another, lesser known story that is seldom told about the women who grew the scene right alongside them. Equally esteemed artists like DJ Minx (the founder of Women On Wax Recordings), K-Hand, DJ Cent, Stacey Hotwaxx Hale and more ran labels, collectives and DJ nights that aren't bestowed with the same credit as those from their male counterparts, and have consequently been lost in the chronicles of time. For the 700th episode of the RA Exchange, we counter correct this gender inequity with the first episode of a three-part series hosted and produced by the all-female Detroit collective and party series Blueprint.
Alanna Greenlee, Janisa Nelson and Crystal Mioner embark on interviews that illuminate an alternative history of Detroit techno that unfurled alongside these better-documented techno waves, tracing the birth of a woman-led community that put mutual support at its heart and fought to earn respect from their male peers and the scene at large. Listen to the episode in full.
Produced by Blueprint
Hosts: Alanna Greenlee, Janisa Nelson, Crystal Mioner
Guests: DJ Minx and DJ Cent
Writer/Researcher: Crystal Mioner
Technical Production: Janisa Nelson
Consultant: John Collins
Consultant: Conor Anderson
EX.699 Phase Fatale
The Berghain resident talks about re-queering the goth scene, exploring a lighter side of his sound and preparing for marathon closing sets.
Hayden Payne, AKA Phase Fatale, grew up fully immersed in the world of music; his dad is a recording engineer and musician, as are many members of his family. After joining post-punk outfits like Dream Affair and consuming a diet of new wave and synth from parties like Wierd in New York, Payne eventually relocated to Berlin, where he saw possibilities emerge around ways of fusing guitar music with sounds for the dance floor. It was only shortly after relocating that he landed a residency at Berghain and began releasing his own productions as a techno artist, becoming known for darker-edged sets and productions that fuse industrial, EBM and techno.
In this episode of the RA Exchange, he talks to senior producer Chloe Lula about all of this and more, like "re-queering" the goth scene; exploring a lighter side of his sound with his Italo duo, Soft Crash; his label, BITE Records; and sustaining strong ties to dance floors in Kyiv and Tbilisi, two cities that he reflects as being refreshingly socially and politically motivated for queer artists living in the margins. His new EP as Soft Crash, NRG, is out now. Listen to the episode in full.
EX.698 Ron Trent
"Art and music are the same, they're just different dialects." The Chicago house music legend talks about co-curating the photo exhibit Walk The Night and nightlife's '90s heyday.
Ron Trent grew up in Chicago, where he dreamed of being a musician from a young age. He would end up becoming one of the architects of the Chicago house sound and working alongside contemporaries like Chez Damier, and across the pond, Basic Channel. His label, Prescription Records, became a renowned purveyor of the deep house sound. He spread his vision from the American Midwest to New York, Europe and beyond.
In this talk recorded live at Miami Art Week, Trent talks to Resident Advisor music critic Kiana Mickles about the songs and dance floors that shaped him in this early part of his musical trajectory. In addition to playing some of his favourite jazz, funk and disco songs, he reflects on clubs like Studio 54, Paradise Garage and The Warehouse, which he claims matured him as an artist and irrevocably shaped the trajectory of club culture. Trent was instrumental in co-curating an exhibit called Walk The Night (which premiered at this multidisciplinary event), a photographic homage to these spaces and other historic clubs around the world.
To hear more about the legacy of Trent's favourite clubs and the music that shaped him, listen to the episode in full.
EX.697 Yvonne Turner
In this live talk with Tama Sumo, Lakuti and musclecars, the New York legend sets the record straight.
DJ, producer and remixer Yvonne Turner was one of the only women instrumental in shaping New York's early house scene, yet her story has gone largely undocumented. Born in Harlem in 1953, she started DJing regularly by the late '70s, playing weekly parties in Flatbush and getting her musical education at The Loft. There, she says, she learned how "good music" should sound. It inspired her to start going to the studio and sharing her musical revelations with other people.
As a woman producer, she was often relegated to the small print on records, bumped to associate or co-producer status or marked as a mixer instead of a remixer. Many of the male vocalists she worked with got credit for the music. But Turner penned some acclaimed house tracks, such as "Set Fire To Me," "Music Is The Answer" and the official remix of Whitney Houston's "I'm Your Baby Tonight." While Turner took a back seat for a few years, deciding to teach in elementary schools and wind down her touring, she recently got back in the studio and wants to set the record straight about the history of house and her place—and many other women's—within it.
This conversation was moderated by Tama Sumo, Lakuti and the DJ duo musclecars live at Public Records in New York. Listen to the conversation in full.
EX.696 Annie Nightingale
In this re-run from 2020, the late DJ and radio host reflects on memories from BBC Radio 1, disrupting the patriarchy and the keys to success in broadcasting.
Annie Nightingale, who died last week at the age of 83, was the first women radio presenter on BBC Radio 1-and the longest serving broadcaster in the station's history. She became known for championing new, underground music and led the movement for women to become DJs and broadcasters, becoming a necessarily disruptive force across radio and live music.
Fans of Nightingale's knew her as the Queen of Breaks, given her strong affinity for the sound. But she also introduced listeners to prog rock, punk, indie and dance music, and was unfeignedly passionate about them all. While she had no technical know-how when she started at the BBC, that didn't stop her. Despite her parents' request to "have something to fall back on," she dove head first into broadcasting, establishing herself quickly and even braving listeners' expectations by booking acts who weren't considered trendy or mainstream at the time.
In this archival conversation with Martha Pazienti Caidan—who worked closely with Nightingale at BBC Radio 1—she discusses her memories and encounters in the music industry: being sworn at by Johnny Rotten; touring with Underworld; discovering her love for drill and grime; and the keys to success for aspiring broadcasters. Listen to the episode in full.