Born and raised in Croydon, Joe Turner has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting young producers around. His self-released debut single ‘Atmosphere’ which was released in 2019 gained the support of BBC Radio 1’s Phil Taggart, BBC 6 Music’s Tom Ravenscroft and BBC 1Xtra’s Jamz Supernova, who was so impressed with Joe’s talents that she signed him to her own record label Future Bounce to release double A-side ‘Retina / Stay’. The tracks hit the number one on the HypeMachine chart and gained further support from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne, i-D’s The Best New Music, Eton Messy and wide streaming editorial playlists.
Fast becoming a tastemaker’s tastemaker, Joe already has the approval from the likes of fellow musicians TSHA, John Digweed, Joe Hertz, Hessian, Eelke Kleijn and Durante via his release on Anjunadeep Edition. We caught up with Joe shortly after the release of his stunning Textures EP. When we spoke Joe was sat in his studio after celebrating the release of said EP where he was already working on some new music.
I asked Joe a little more details about his new EP. It is a seven tracker, which is long for an EP release. I wanted to know the reasons behind this… “I had originally intended for it to be three tracks but as time went on, I decided I wanted to create a body of work rather than a few standalone tracks. I started to form a storyline around the record which I wanted to convey through the music. I wanted to create a record with depth to it that helped people understand me better as a producer”.
Three of the tracks from the EP had already been released; ‘Malibak’, ‘Crystal Clear’, and ‘Influence’. All tracks are very diverse and feel like all have had very different influences; almost as if written at very different times. I asked Joe if this was the case… “All three of those tracks were started at different times, ‘Malibak’ is the oldest of them. I think sonically they all sounded different in their infancy stages, however, as the EP began to take shape, they all began to take on similar elements and I think that helped gel them together to form the core sound of ‘Textures’ as a whole”. Something I know producers hate being asked is their favourite tracks on releases so I thought, let’s ask Joe that very question… “That’s like asking to choose someone who their favourite child is! In all seriousness, I think I would choose ‘Malibak’. I think that track has a good balance between the dance and electronica vibes I like to experiment with in my productions. I also think that song has a great journey, and I love the vocal sample in it”.
Joe is from a background of bands so I was intrigued why he decided to make the transition to electronic music, and what were the benefits brought from his background when producing his sound today… “It was a natural process really. The last band I was in broke up after years of touring around the UK and in the months prior to that I had started to mess around with producing my own music. After a lot of experimenting, I found myself making more and more electronic music that I was really loving the sound of. Not long after that, I wrote my debut single Atmosphere, which defined the style of music I wanted to create”. Joe went on to add… “I think being in bands and playing a tonne of live shows helps you in preparation for performing your own gigs and having the confidence to play in front of crowds. In terms of production, the bands I played in were totally different to the music I make now, so there isn’t actually too much I take from them into my productions although I do try and incorporate live instruments within my music where possible”.
“After a lot of experimenting, I found myself making more and more electronic music that I was really loving the sound of. Not long after that, I wrote my debut single Atmosphere, which defined the style of music I wanted to create”
We all know that 2020 has been the year from hell so I went on to chat to Joe about how he has found the whole lockdown situation, as well as what has kept him going through these crazy times… “The lockdown has obviously had a massive impact on the live music industry, which is something I love to take part in as a performer and also as a consumer, so that has really sucked. Like many, I’m disappointed in the way that the government have handled a lot of things during the pandemic, but I think one of the things that angered me more than anything was Sunak suggesting people ’retrain’ or ‘switch careers’. What an absolute joke”. Something I think we can all agree on but what more can you expect from the joke of a Government we have. Anyway, I digress… Joe went on to say… “What’s kept me positive throughout the lockdown is being able to create music every day. I’m sure I speak for most producers when I say countless hours and days get lost whilst creating music, and the lockdown has only intensified those days. It’s very important to have days off though. I feel that is as vital as actually making the music itself”.
Across many parts of the globe, some people have protested against lockdown measures through the likes of protests and illegal raves. I asked Joe his thoughts on this… “It’s a tough one because I can clearly understand why people want to go to raves and parties when we’ve all been kept inside for the last 9 months, however, there is a bigger issue at hand right now which we can’t ignore. We need to all come together and make small sacrifices for the greater good, and if people are actually willing to protest against that then I personally think that it’s pretty irresponsible and selfish. Hopefully, we’ll have the vaccine soon and can return to normal anyway. That first party is going to be huge”! Well, I could not agree more with Joe there! Bang on! That first party we all attend is going to be like our first-ever rave!
“We need to all come together and make small sacrifices for the greater good, and if people are actually willing to protest against that then I personally think that it’s pretty irresponsible and selfish.”
Electronic music has always been about inclusivity and freedom but there does appear to be a high level of division in the scene at present. I asked Joe his thoughts on this and how it might be overcome… “I don’t think you can ever change people’s individual taste. Someone’s favourite act/genre maybe someone else’s worst, that’s just how the world works. The best music often splits opinions, but I just don’t see the need to actively be nasty about an artist or genre. I think we live in an age where there is an abundance of incredible music being made in every corner of the world. Even if there are certain divisions of genres and styles, every party should still be full of freedom and inclusivity”.
I asked Joe if there was anything else he would like to say before I left him to enjoy his day… “Firstly, thank you to you guys for having me. Secondly, to anyone reading this, check out my debut EP ‘Textures’ if you haven’t done already, and let me know your thoughts. Thirdly, I’d like to give a massive shoutout to everyone who has listened/shared the EP so far, the support has been incredible and I’m extremely grateful!
Thank you to Joe for his time, and you must go and check out his new EP. You can buy here.
Press shot taken by Alex Rawson