Hey Joseph, thanks for taking the time to speak to us today. Where are you talking to us from?
I’m home in London. I got back yesterday from a week in Paris where I’ve been spending a lot of my time this year.
There may be some readers that aren’t familiar with you. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve worked in music my whole adult life, and spend most of my time going between DJing, writing music, producing other artists and mixing down records. I’ve also done a lot of work in fashion and sound for short film. I’m probably most known for the music I release as Joseph Ashworth, and have released on Cocoon, Disco Halal, Siamese and Anjunadeep.We’re here today to chat about your forthcoming album titled Stay, which is set for release on your new imprint Sound Of Outside. We’d love to know a bit about what influenced the album and your decision to start Sound Of Outside. I had been wanting to do a second album for a while, and had all these half-finished ideas from the past 5 years. The catalyst for finally putting the album together actually came from being asked to contribute music to a service called AiMi, which uses an amazing algorithm to reinterpret my music into an ever-evolving piece. I then was gathering material for that, and ultimately decided I wanted to do a more traditional album to coincide.
The album is very diverse, ranging from Italo Disco to Acid House. What were some of your earliest musical influences and are they reflected in this album?
I gravitated towards electronic music from an early age, through Leftfield, Prodigy, The Orb, Chemical Brothers, Future Sound of London, 808 State and various others. The way these acts managed to come from underground club/rave culture and find a way to present their music as an album that can appeal on a huge scale has always been a huge inspiration to me. I also became obsessed with Drum and Bass as a teenager, and I think that has also stuck with me in some way, mainly through sound design and atmosphere.
Have the events we have found ourselves in in the past couple of years influenced your work?
Not being able to travel much meant I wasn’t DJing, DJs weren’t playing my music, and because of this, I temporarily lost interest in more club-focused music. I spent a lot of my time producing other artists and making a more ‘electronica’ album with DJ Tennis. I think as things come back, I’ve found myself more focused and less bothered about trying to fit in and compromise.
What’s your creative process like in the studio? Do you have a go-to piece of equipment that you use?
For me, workflow is key, so whatever I’m doing it needs to be inspiring and fast-moving (at least at the writing stage – I’m happy to agonise over any mixdown for weeks). I love recording little sounds, humming vocals etc, usually into my Shure SM7, as well as recording real piano, even if just to use as subtle layers. In general, I travel around a lot and am always in different studios, so I tend to use whatever’s available to me, but my own personal set-up is pretty much in-the-box, using Logic on my new MacBook Pro M1X. And a million plugins of course.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music? Can you tell us about them?
I do! I love rock climbing, cycling, I go through phases of running a lot, try do a couple of half-marathons in a year. I’m interested in art and cinema and have recently found myself rediscovering an interest in architecture (I did a degree in Urban Design).
It looks like we are at the end of the pandemic, finally! Where can we expect to see you over the rest of the year?
Slowly shows are starting to come in again in a more regular way. Some shows I’m exited about are Anjunadeep Explorations Festival, and also under a separate alias of mine, Gottwood Festival and an Off Sonar Party. Thanks for the questions!!