Beautiful downtempo vibes perfectly suited for laidback garden moments and home-listening purposes from Radiant Love co-founder Byron Yeates.
As one of the masterminds behind Radiant Love, Byron Yeates has been killing it on all fronts in recent years. The authentic, and altogether meaningful platform, heavily powered by a community-driven ethos, celebrates inclusivity with a strong focus on contemporary art and killer line-ups. Also being one of the residents of the popular underground party, Yeates knows to get the crowd going and operates with a preference for stretched-out sets. Sets that are as dynamic as they are danceable, blending ‘90s progressive house and old-school trance cuts with modern-day steppers.
As someone who we have been quietly admiring from a distance for a while, we’re pumped to present a silky smooth mix of downtempo mind massagers and dubby goodness by the Radiant Love label boss. For the occasion, we also caught up to hear the latest about the recent V.A. compilation that Yeates compiled for International Women’s Day, his early influences and things to come. Dig in below!
Hey Byron, good to have you on! What’s been keeping you busy over in Berlin?
Hey, hey! I’m well thank you. I’ve been busy working on music, cooking, reading, spending time with my nearest and dearest and just sitting tight ~trying~ to wait patiently for things to ease up, like everyone in Berlin I guess.
Radiant Love is fresh from its second IWD compilation, featuring chunky material by close friends and emerging talent. With all proceeds going towards charities working with queer people of colour, refugees and trans sex workers, can you tell us about the process of putting these releases together and what we can find on this particular one
The compilation is a collection of tracks from friends, family and connections I’ve made through Radiant and showcases a range of sounds you can expect to hear at the party. Last year, when I put together the first compilation, I just wanted to mark IWD through the label, party and raise some cash for organisations that were important and meant something to us. I didn’t really plan on doing another at the time, but after how hard the last year has been for everyone, I thought it was even more of an important time to raise some funds and wanted to focus on local organisations this time around. After how successful they’ve both been, it’s now something I intend to keep doing every year.
You also started your new radio show on Refuge Worldwide last March. How are you approaching the bi-monthly slot and what can we expect from the show in the coming months?
I’m so excited to finally have a radio residency. I’ve wanted to do real radio for a while now and I really believe in what Refuge Worldwide are trying to create for the community. The studio is right around the corner from my house, so it’s super local. It’s not open right now, for obvious reasons, but I can’t wait to get in there once we’re allowed to. It’s an opportunity for me to play and maybe experiment with different sounds, or get to play music that I love but people don’t associate with me so much.
In a recent interview you mentioned that your parents were very much involved in the underground music scene back in the day, throwing parties, DJing and moved to San Francisco with you in the early ‘90s to be part of the rave scene there. Tell us about some of the earliest memories you have from that time, next to the impact it had on shaping your own sonic footprint and place in today’s scene?
I was very young when we were in San Francisco, so I don’t remember much but there are pictures of me at open airs during the day and at some of the parties they had. There were always Technics in the house, music playing constantly and lot’s of their friends over. I was a moody teeneger (lol) and started to kind of rebel I guess, there was a period where I didn’t listen to much dance music, more bands and stuff but as I got older and got into electronic music in my own way, from DJing and partying I realise how informative that time was and how much of an impact that it all had on me. I play a lot of those tracks today that I remember from my childhood.
Taking care of the overall curation for the label side of Radiant Love, what is your main focus for the label and what do you’ve in store this year? Anything you spill the beans on about Maara’s upcoming record for instance?
My main focus for the label is to showcase music that resonates with me. I try and keep it as close to home as possible by releasing music from friends or connections I’ve made through the party. Maara’s release is coming sooooooon! Everything has been super delayed with Covid but it’s coming up very shortly. Promise!! 🙂 After that will hopefully be my own release (fingers crossed) and the rest you’ll just have to wait and see.
We know you’ve been keeping busy in the studio with your own material as well. How’s that coming along? With the first results being outed via Radiant Love’s latest comp, in the form of a collab mix with Sophie (D.Tiffany), can you tell us how your step into production has been so far, and what kind of vibes you aim to channel with your work?
That collab was super fun, working with Sophie is always a pleasure, we’ve done a couple of things together and my partner brandi sang on that track and we also jam frequently. Production wise.. It’s been really good but also really hard. You really, really have to stick with it even when you feel totally defeated or uninspired or haven’t a clue what you’re doing. It’s taken me a lot of time to figure out what kind of stuff I want to make, or to find my own techniques and sounds within production, but I feel I’m slowly getting there. In the last year especially, it’s really helped me focus and have something to spend time on and dedicate myself to. I’m eternally grateful to my friends (you know who you are) for helping me get everything set up in the last year.
Finally, what kind of vibes are you channeling in the mix you’ve recorded for us?
This mix is basically a collection of tracks I’ve been listening to at home over the last few months. Deep, dubby downtempo. Where my head has been at recently…