Saturday, September 27 2014
Few DJs have made such a dramatic impact on the underground house and techno scene over the last two years as Hot Creations label owner Lee Foss. Described by DJ Mag as “one of the most talented new forces in modern dance music today” and by fellow future house innovators Art Department as their favorite producer, Lee has quickly catapulted himself into dance music’s collective consciousness. Lee and his Hot Natured partner Jamie Jones currently spearhead a whole family of like-minded producers that includes Robert James, Russ Yallop, Richy Ahmed and most recently Danny Daze who are currently re-writing the rulebook of how to make evocative and emotive house music.
Born and raised in Chicago, the birthplace of house, Lee now lives between London and Los Angeles. Lee made his name on both sides of the Atlantic playing at clubs like The Standard Rooftop (Lost Angeles), fabric (London), The Marcy Hotel (Brooklyn), Watergate (Berlin), Spybar (Chicago) and DC10 (Ibiza). Lee’s rapid rise to prominence has been as much down to his unified but all-encompassing approach to DJing as it has to his pioneering take nu school house and synth-heavy techno, backed up by a string of hit releases on labels like No 19, Culprit, Wolf+Lamb and his own Hot Creations imprint. His unique sound, born out a lifelong love of classic house, 90s hip hop, 80s electro and Detroit techno, combined with fanatical grassroots support from clubbers in both Europe and North America, made him the highest new entrant in Resident Advisor’s Top 100 DJs poll last December, coming in at number 38.
While growing up in Chicago, Lee cut his teeth on the clubs and raves of the late 90’s, which sparked his interest in house and disco. However, it was a chance visit to Ibiza back in 2001 that changed his whole approach to music that helped steer his musical destiny for the next decade and beyond. It was in Ibiza that summer that he first became friends with Jamie Jones and the pair quickly formed a tight brotherly bond that has recently blossomed into their highly acclaimed Hot Natured partnership. Having spent several years abroad, and heavily inspired by time spent at seminal electro and deep house parties in Ibiza and East London, Lee decided to take all that he’d learnt in Europe and export it back to the USA.
After cutting his teeth in the competitive Chicago dj scene for the better part of a decade, Lee chose to uproot and set up in Los Angeles. Lee decided to work on music full time and soon fell in with Droog who were just setting up Culprit Records which became a platform for his early releases like ‘h.e.a.d.s EP’ in partnership with Jamie Jones. His bold move to Los Angeles soon started paid off as it helped draw international attention to both his DJing and production work. His real breakthrough came with the release of ‘Grinding’ on Wolf+Lamb, a track that was picked up and played by DJs right across the spectrum of dance music.
Since then Lee has gone on to release a string of hits on a variety of labels including ‘The Edge EP’ ‘Equilibrium’, ‘U Got Me’ and most recently his ‘Starfruit EP’, all of which have been independently awarded ‘Tune of the Month’ in Mixmag at various points over the last year. In addition DJ Magazine voted ‘U Got Me’ as their number 4 favorite record of 2010, having already featured it in their ‘Stone Cold Killers’ section earlier in the year.
With this many accolades under his belt in such a short space of time, it would be easy for Lee to rest on his laurels but this couldn’t be farther from the case. He’s just about to unleash ‘Forward Motion’ his latest Hot Natured production with Jamie Jones, which was one of the breakout records of Miami this year and is shaping up to be one of the summer’s biggest hits. In addition to this he’s currently in the studio with Jamie Jones and ‘Forward Motion’ vocalist Ali Love putting the finishing touches on their forthcoming Hot Natured debut album, which he’s producing alongside his own debut artist album due out later this year. With plans to turn Hot Natured into a fully formed live act and tour it globally in 2012, this is already shaping up to be a career-defining year for Lee Foss.