Joseph Ray Interview: New EP, The Return of NERO, and more.

Joseph Ray co-founded Nero as a teenager with a background in classical music. After releasing their debut drum n’ bass EP ‘Requiem’ in 2006, the trio quickly saw their stock rise within the dance music scene. The group went on to release 2 studio albums, Welcome Reality (2011) and Between II Worlds (2015), and countless singles and remixes. Poised as one of dance music’s most influential musical groups, its no surprise to see the lasting impression they’ve made amongst the community. With fans all over the world eagerly awaiting their next move, many are pleased to see one of Nero’s founding members Joseph Ray back in action. Fresh off releasing his latest atmospheric techno/drum and bass single “Lose My Mind,” Joseph Ray is making headlines once more for the release of his solo debut EP “300 Below.” The project takes you on a whimsical adventure filled with somber tones and sonic soundscapes. Showcasing a side of Joseph Ray that fans rarely get to see or hear, the 5-track EP makes up for quite the occasion. We’ve had the honor of chatting with the producer about the release and much more.

The “300 Below” EP continues a trend of a deep house/downtempo direction we’ve seen from your solo alias before, what has made you fall in love with this sound and style?

I’m getting old and need to give my ears a rest after all the heavy bass-y stuff I’ve done! (As much as I still love that sound too..)

How much of this production style do you take away from when you first started producing music?

The first electronic music I was into was the Ninja Tune sound, so it’s nice to go back to that tempo again.

Who are some of your biggest influences when creating new solo work?

There’s so much good stuff out there at the moment, but I always find inspiration in Gilles Peterson’s show, the Keinemusik guys, and any Burial-y techno.

How did the “300 Below” EP come about?

They were a bunch of tracks I wrote during the pandemic, and they definitely have a dystopian feel to them.

What can fans expect going forward from either you or the Nero project?

Lots more music, from both (hopefully at a faster rate than in the last few years!)