Carl Cox, Jamie Jones, James Zabiela, Maya Jane Coles, Loco Dice, Steve Lawler, Adam Beyer, Nic Fanciulli, Huxley… These are just a few of the many top artists who, over the years, have supported the work of Leftwing : Kody. Many of their releases, always with a very powerful groove and an approach halfway between tech-house and techno, are habitual in sessions of all these DJs and many others. They already accumulate more than 40 releases on Beatport, being one of the most recurrent duos in the scene. With “I Feel It”, Leftwing : Kody have moved towards the house sound. They themselves told us that they seek to reach broader audiences, to extend their music even further.
Leftwing, Kody… Why these names?
Kody: My real name is Chris Adie, and Kody is just kind of a game or a mix with my name and my surname. There’s no further secret.
Leftwing: My real name is Jon Kong, but here there’s no relation, as you can imagine. Leftwing is because of politics. I always liked the left wing of politics, so I decided to use it as an alias.
Leftwing : Kody was born as a duo in 2012, but I guess you have been playing since long time ago…
L: Indeed! I started to mix tunes when I was 14. I think I was like around 24 or 25 years old when I met Chris.
And then your story together began?
K: We met at several events playing separately and, honestly, I got always impressed by Jon’s music. It seemed to be reciprocal, so we started to share music with each other, then to play together… and this madness was already on air!
Then, could we say that Leftwing : Kody is a duo born just for fun, or you really wanted to become big in this scene?
K: Well, not exactly. We always wanted to make a career with our music. This was our real goal: to live just creating music and making people move. We were not convinced of what we were doing separately. We started to have some doubts and, without noticing, we had created a duo that killed all the doubts and made us feel 100% sure and happy with our music and ideas. And look: now, here we are, 7 years later, still going strong with it!
I’d say you play and produce techno music, but not industrial techno, but more groovy techno. Do you agree with that?
L: Our music has changed a lot in recent years, but yeah, at the beginning we were more on that.
K: We’ve always tried to keep things fresh in the studio and avoid being repetitive. We even try to experiment with new sounds, somehow.
Talking about your studio… Your track “Snap Back”, in 2018, became Desolat’s best-seller. Did you expect that?
K: You know what? We were not sure about sending it to Loco Dice. We thought that maybe he wasn’t going to like it! And, suddenly, boooom!
It was probably the biggest success in your career as producers… What influences do you have in this field?
L: I used to listen to hip-hop and rap music when I was young. Timbaland, Eminem… I love those guys.
What about now?
L: I keep listening to the same old tunes most of the times. It’s incredible, isn’t it? They still inspire me the most.
We could say that modern music is not better than old music?
L: If we talk about hip-hop, that’s true. Old stuff is much better. If we talk about electronic music, I could listen to everything. We’ve been influenced by music from all kinds of genres. This morning, I needed to start my day with some calm, so I spent 1 hour with classical music, for example.
What about you, Chris?
K: I have no doubts. UK garage has been my main influence since I was young. Before that, I used to like the music made by the bands from Bristol, like Portishead or Massive Attack.
Let’s go back to your studio. Was this field something you wanted to achieve since you were young, or did it appear later?
K: I started to deejay in 1996 and, at that point, to produce music was not in my head. After some time, I saw that the industry was requiring to be a producer in order to be seriously taken as a DJ. They’re 2 different things, but, either if we like it or not, now they go hand to hand.
Is that fair?
K: Uhm… I’m not sure if that’s fair or not. I wanted to be a DJ, not a producer, but I had to become a producer. Is it fair? I don’t know… I think a DJ should be a well-considered DJ if he or she is a good DJ, without needing to be also a producer, but we’ve seen that people don’t want that. It’s difficult to say if this is right or wrong, but my message is clear: if people have the talent to deejay, they should be allowed to show it.
There are not many front-line DJs who are not producers nowadays… I’m thinking about Job Jobse, Nastia… Dixon does some remixes, but he said several times he doesn’t consider himself a producer.
K: And these are amazing achievements. If you get to the top of DJing just showing your skills as a DJ… man, I take my hat off to you.
Do you produce together, or do you have a ‘more DJ’ and a ‘more producer’ guy in the duo?
L: I’m more focused on making music in the studio, and Chris is now touring alone.
Wow! Don’t you miss touring?
L: Honestly? Yeah, I miss it a little bit.
Talking about your music… What track would you say that made your career?
K: Ooouuffff, I’m thinking about 2 or 3… What do you say, Jon?
L: I’d say “Lost”.
Is it also the one you like the most?
L: No, my favourite one is “Snap Back”.
K: Yeah… And that one we made for Leena Music. It was called… “Detection”!!!
And if I ask you for a track not produced by you?
K: That’s an easy one! “The Sky Was Pink”, by Nathan Fake and remixed by James Holden.
A place to play at before dying?
L: Burning Man.
Your best gig to date?
K: I’d say that magic one in Sankey’s Ibiza, I think…
L: No!! You’re forgetting the one at Watergate, in Berlin!!
L: It was 4 years ago. We were supposed to play for 2 hours, but you know how Berlin works. They asked us to play longer and longer and, after 5 hours, we had to stop playing because we were going to lose our flight. Amazing!
As well-known producers that you are, most people may be asking why you don’t play live.
K: We had some troubles with our MIDI and with the linking of our software. The stuff is not ready for the stage yet, but we really want to investigate it further, to solve everything, and to go for it. Maybe you’ll see us playing live next summer!
Jon, maybe our readers don’t know that you practice Buddhism and Kung-Fu…
L: In fact, I do!! I’ve been always connected to Chinese culture, since young ages. Buddhism, Kung-Fu, meditation…
We are talking about an industry where healthy life isn’t our daily bread. I guess this is helping you a lot to avoid those problems.
L: Massively. I wouldn’t be talking to you today if it wasn’t because of that.
K: I have to say I feel lucky to have these fresh mindfulness feelings next to me.
Good friends also help…
K: Absolutely. We have a lot of good friends in this industry, and it’s very important to be surrounded by good people, people who understand how hard this lifestyle is and that you can’t be 24/7 raving.
Let’s go back to your music to talk about your last release, “I Feel It”.
K: That means summer vibes!! We learned some piano chords and we wanted to use them in a track. We didn’t want to lose our groove, but we wanted to do something less underground, more colourful. Some music by Richy Ahmed inspired us on that.
Has it become a special one for you?
L: Yes, because we finally made non-underground club music, but music that people can listen to at home, or working, or driving.
K: Exactly. We finally made music to be played in a barbecue, during a pool party… We reached a much broader audience, at the end of the day.
It worked well during the Miami Music Week!
K: It did! MK played it. Chus & Ceballos played it too. That was an awesome feeling. You stand in the crowd, and then your song comes on. Speechless.
It is a much more housy track than what you’re used to do. Do you want to be more housy from now on?
K: We don’t plan anything. Let’s see what happens! There’s not an intention behind. We just do what we feel at the moment. We think that if you think too much about what you’re doing, it loses that special essence.
What about your future, then?
K: Let’s say that we want to do music for broader audiences.
L: I like that, yes. We want to extend our sounds. Oh! What about the remix we’re working on?
K: Ah, true. We are not allowed to tell anything yet, but you are going to listen to something new and big in 1 week.