- Spellbinding percussive twists and turns.
- Sometimes it only takes one track. Ehua first popped onto many people's radars with "Meteora," her contribution to UK label Nervous Horizon's excellent third compilation. If you could have a breakthrough track on a various artists album, "Meteora" would be it, its lumbering, slowed-way-down swing like something from the Príncipe label on downers. She followed that up with this year's Aquamarine EP, featuring more slow, spacious rhythms inspired by water and the ocean, made with clever percussion sounds sampled from all sorts of places (more than in her interview below).
From her productions to her mixes, Ehua thinks carefully about the sounds she uses, how she puts them together and why. Her RA Podcast is no different, switching between moods (and tempos) with grace and, more importantly, panache. Looking at the tracklist, it's a who's-who of exciting, percussive dance music from around the world, with tracks from the likes of Karima F, Loraine James, Dengue Dengue Dengue, Djoser and Citizen Boy, whose "Izandla" makes for one of the mix's many "wow" moments. And there are plenty more waiting for you.
Beyond her music, Ehua is also part of GRIOT, a platform and collective focused on art from Africa and the global diaspora. Fire up the mix, hit GRIOT and have a read.
What have you been up to recently?
The past few months have been extremely creative. I have a forthcoming multi-disciplinary project which I'm really looking forward to sharing, but I've also been producing loads for several projects and new releases. Lately, I've been doing lots of movement and sound research, as I'm trying to fuse the two more and more in my practice. I've also bought a whole new set of percussion instruments, which I'm having lots of fun with!
How and where was the mix recorded?
I recorded the mix on my Pioneer XDJ-RX console at the end of June in my studio in Hackney Wick, which is located in a very colourful and quirky canal-side warehouse. I've been hanging out in this space for many years, as the Nervous Horizon headquarters are also located here, and this has been my little production and mixing den since the early days of the pandemic.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
For this mix I wanted to play with the concepts of light and darkness, blending recent and unreleased tracks across a wide range of BPMs that conceive this feeling of traveling, both physically and mentally, from really dark to really bright sonic places and vice versa. The last year and the months leading to the recording of this mix have been an emotional roller coaster filled with both these antitheses, and I feel they're the mood that best represents my sound at the moment.
Can you elaborate on how your "sound research" translates into the music you make? For example, I read that the Aquamarine EP was inspired by "the colour and motion of water."
I like creating original samples by playing and experimenting with objects of all sorts, which I then use as percussive elements in my tracks. For example, the metallic sounds in the intro of "Xantho" are made by hitting a thermos filled with water with a butter knife. In "Aquamarine" I used jazz brushes which reminded me of the sound of waves. I find the ocean an extremely fascinating sonic environment and I really like to add these details into my tracks.
It seems like you have some great momentum heading into a near future of reopened clubs, festivals and dance floors. Are you feeling optimistic about going back to nightlife?
Yes, I feel like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm very excited to start DJing again, I've missed that energy a lot and my feet are literally itching to dance!
What are you up to next?
I'm exploring a lot in many creative directions, especially focusing on production. So, more studio time and research for my next EPs - I'm binge reading and watching eveything I can find about bioluminescence right now - and hopefully going back to more DJing and touring soon!
Basic Rhythm - Craft
Ehua - ???
TSVI - ???
José Manuel - Cumana Sibilla
SIM - A Vertex Thing
Lurka - Powder
??? - ???
Metrist - LB Steaua
Karima F - Crab Ride
Ma Sha Ru - Mechanical Rustle
Guedra Guedra - Archetype
Omaar - Drum Temple (remix)
Sébastien Forrester & Ehua - Typhoon
Citizen Boy - Izandla
Ikram Bouloum - The Game
Djoser - Duster
Despina - ???
Remisería Temperley - ???
Loraine James - Insecure Behaviour and Fuckery (feat. Nova)
Troy Gunner - ????
Dengue Dengue Dengue - Yaama
Palazzi D’Oriente - Gatekeepers
Realitycheck - Infra
Klahrk - NuNegative (Ehua remix)
conzi - Beyond The Jungle
Zuli - Bassous
elise Massoni - G & More