Evan Casey’s style is dark with heavy sounds drawing inspiration from techno, progressive and minimal music. He brings out deep emotions on the dance floor while focusing on the shared experience he creates with his audience and listeners. Evan Casey is a long time member of the Desert Hearts family alongside Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Porkchop, Marbs, & Kristoff McKay. His latest release was a team effort for Desert Hearts Black’s release of Reset EP.
He sat down with SPIN to talk about his healthy Desert Hearts Black, Reset EP, darkness in his music, and much more. Stream Reset here and dance the night away with his SET below.
Check out Evan Casey’s electrifying SET below! Want more SETS? Head over to SPIN TV to keep up with all the latest and greatest DJ/producers breaking through the electronic sphere.
Who is Evan Casey and what do you stand for?
Coming out of a period where I think many of us have taken a deeper look at who we are and the things we stand for, I appreciate beginning here. To put it simply, I am just someone who loves to connect, share new experiences with others who have a passion for this journey we’re on, and to always continue learning. Easily one of the best aspects of this musical path is the people we meet, the conversations with strangers full of kindness and authenticity, and the way your community continues to grow over time. Ultimately that is what I stand for; being kind, uplifting others any chance you get, listening to great music, and always keeping a genuine curiosity for life.
Tell us about your sound – where does your style originate from and what have been your biggest visual, social, and sonic influences?
Although my sound has evolved and shifted throughout the years, I would say the constant has been curating a journey with depth and a bit of weight, and darkness. I always credit my first stylistic influence to Pink Floyd, as their work both musically and visually spoke to me immediately. Shifting into the early years of my career, I give the most gratitude to 4 artists who I feel had the biggest impact, Boys Noize, Mind Against, Damian Lazarus & Art Department. All of these names were master curators in terms of their sound and presence, and my sound has grown constantly through my love of their work.
Was there a definitive turning point to your success? When did you realize the magnitude of your impact within the industry/community?
The moment I was welcomed into the Desert Hearts family as a resident was certainly the turning point for me. I had been to a few parties with the crew, and just knew there was something special that I wanted to be a part of, a strong feeling of community. Over the years I have felt endless support and appreciation from this big family, and that allowed me to be myself authentically. I would say I felt the most aware of our impact on the community during the lockdowns, when we began to stream weekly and connect with everyone stuck at home all over the world. I was completely unaware of how special that would become, but the chats, stories, and now conversations in person with people who tuned in every week, saying we helped them through a very dark period. Once again, community is everything, and that was truly shown during those times.
What inspired the name of Desert Hearts Black?
Desert Hearts Black was a pretty straightforward decision for us upon creation, as we wanted to clearly be an extension of our flagship label, but in a way that felt more niche, and just overall darker in its presentation. Strong but minimal visuals, black and white label artwork, and music curated for the late night/early morning experience.
How did you feel before and after your first time performing at Desert Hearts?
Ah, what an amazing memory that was! Feels like it was 20 years ago now, but something that I will always hold close to my heart. Beforehand, I tirelessly prepared and felt overwhelming excitement for the opportunity at hand. The whole experience went so well, and I could not have asked for a better welcome into this incredible group. I was buzzing off that experience for a long time. There is something completely unique about the DH booth; the sound, the crowd, the energy in the pocket, its just the best.
What does your creative process entail?
It all depends on the type of work I am doing, but I have always been a really big fan of working in little cafes or coffee shops, just plugging in, but still surrounded by lively energy. Very often out on the road I’ll find a unique new coffee spot and dive in. A big part of my process as a DJ is spending hours exploring new music and finding gems from lesser known producers, always been a passion for me. Then curating my Lost Dimension mix series with patience and intention, really coming up with a full journey. Headphones on, a delicious cup of coffee, and uninterrupted hours dedicated to the plan I have laid out.
What was it like collaborating on the Desert Hearts Black’s latest release Reset EP ?
There is no one I love collaborating with more than my label partner and best friend Marbs, and this remix was another great time together. We’ve had Darin on the label before, and absolutely love him and his work. We were especially excited to have a release with Fur Coat, who we have been massive fans of for years. Very happy with the complete release, and grateful to be a part of it with such talented artists.
In what ways have you pushed yourself beyond existing self-imposed limitations?
I would say the biggest thing to push through was the belief that this career path was fun but not realistic. Every artist seems to go through periods of doubt, questioning whether or not to pursue through the many challenges of a career with very limited stability. But I found that as long as I was surrounding myself with positive and creative minds, feeling authentic in my work, and ignoring judgment, I could push past any limiting beliefs. This holds true for any phase of life in my opinion, just allowing yourself to find your flow.
What’s next for Evan Casey?
A couple of dates, heading to Connecticut on March 25, and then in April Desert Hearts returns for the first time in 3 years at a brand new venue! Could not be more excited, and it truly has been a long time coming. Hope to see every one of our friends and family very soon. Also continuing my Lost Dimension mix series, and work with the label. Exciting things ahead for Desert Hearts Black.
What do you wish for the future of electronic music? In what ways would you like to see it evolve?
I guess it would just be for events and gatherings to find their way back safely, and people being able to reconnect, express themselves, and dance! For artists to feel less attached to any creative restrictions, trying new things, and sharing their passions with the world. I also would like to see a bit more respect shown in the states for underground sounds and events, and how impactful they can be on art and culture scenes within certain cities. There is such a beautiful community around electronic music, and it should be protected, and allowed to grow.
Any last words for the SPIN-verse?
Just that I am grateful to share some words and music here! The set I recorded is mostly tracks from our label, both released and unreleased, and I hope everyone enjoys it. Sending love and hoping to cross paths sometime soon. Keep dancing, and keep spreading the love everywhere you go!