Exploring realms of consciousness through sonic vibrations, New Hampshire’s Josh Teed blends mind-melting bass and classical sounds for a truly psychedelic and transformative experience. As a bass producer who’s a classically trained multi-instrumentalist and violinist, Josh has figured out a way to push bass music into new horizons by curating a sound uniquely his own.
Closing out 2022 in a monumental fashion, Josh Teed blessed the bass world with a brand new 8-track LP titled Recurring Dreams, where he dove headfirst into the vast world of dreams and the subconscious mind. Released on December 2 through Gravitas Recordings, Recurring Dreams is filled with live instrumentation, heavy bass, and pure emotion as he takes you on an enlightening journey through sound.
Following the release, The Daily Frequency sat down with the rising bass producer to discuss the new record, his musical background, spiritual practices, and a whole lot more.
Check out the full interview with Josh Teed Below.
DF: Congratulations on Recurring Dreams! It’s truly a work of art and is the perfect combination of mid-tempo experimental sounds and heavy bass. How does it feel to put out a record of this magnitude?
JT: Thank you very much! To have this album out in the world is a monumental feeling to me. There’s always some anxiety for me before releasing a body of work, especially with this one, because of how out of the box some of it is. But the moment it came out, it just felt like a weight off my shoulders. I feel proud of the quality of the project and hopeful that it may invite some inspiration for other producers and musicians out there!
DF: You have stated Recurring Dreams is based on an actual recurring dream you’ve experienced throughout your life. What was this dream, and what do you think, if anything, it was trying to tell you?
JT: The dream I’ve had repeatedly throughout life is one that I’ve honestly never been able to make much sense of. It starts off walking through a dense, boggy forest. After a while of walking through that, the trail opens up into a lake with a path of stone steps going through it. I follow that stone pathway for a while until I reach an island In the middle of the lake with a tree and a stone altar under it. As soon as I walk up to the altar, I wake up every time. I’ve never been able to determine a meaning from it, but I can’t help but feeling like it’s a place that I may come across in my travels someday!
DF: What challenges did you face translating your experiences within your dream into not only sound but a full-length album?
JT: Having the concept to work around honestly made it easier, if anything! I’ve always been a visual person, so most of my bodies of work are based around a storyline or place. So it helped give me a structure and story to follow throughout the process more than anything!
DF: Recurring Dreams is such a transformative experience and really takes the listener on a journey. Are there any bands or artists you look up to that inspired you to take a cinematic approach while writing the album?
JT: In the past, I’ve definitely tapped into some inspiration from my favorite artists like CloZee, Of the Trees, and Charlesthefirst. But with Recurring Dreams, the goal was for it to just be an expression of myself and try to avoid influence as much as possible. However, there are definitely still some shades of some of those artists in there, as those are the people who really inspired my sound.
DF: You linked up for some amazing collabs with Daggz, Shanghai Doom, Izzi, Jason Leech, Eyezic, and Super Future. What was it like working with such talented artists?
JT: It was such an honor to be able to work with these guys. I’m a firm believer that one of the most important parts of music is being able to create with others, and these dudes are all very like-minded in that sense. It’s always an enlightening thing just to be able to see how other artists approach their creative processes, and all the collaborators on this project are masters of their craft, but all approach it from different angles, so that’s just a really cool thing to see!
DF: Let’s take it back for a bit. You’ve been classically trained as a violinist since you were around four years old and later gravitated to jazz and bluegrass. How has your training within those genres helped you with producing bass music?
JT: It really went a long way in giving me the fundamental knowledge of music and composition that I apply to music-making. My music theory is nowhere near what it used to be, but I’ll always be able to tell what sounds right and what doesn’t, and I’m very grateful to be able to have an ear for that due to that prior training. The compositional aspect is just as big, it helps me to break outside the box a bit and compose music outside the constraints of your typical bass music. For example, the huge bridge section in ‘Zones of Reality’ or the second drop in my song ‘Empathy .’There’s plenty others as well, but those two really come to mind for me when thinking of classical influence in my music.
DF: While it’s becoming increasingly common to fuse live instrumentation into electronic music, incorporating the violin is basically unheard of, especially at the frequency you use it. Yet you not only make it work but make it seem so effortless. What inspired you to integrate those two worlds, and did you feel there was any risk involved?
JT: Man it was really just a labor of love in finding that balance. I had to find what pocket the violin sat best in within the mix and take care to not overdo it, which was a really easy thing to do initially! The person who inspired me to do it was Govinda, whom I had seen at my first festival back In 2017.
DF: Making the leap from genres like classical, jazz, and bluegrass into electronic music is a big transition. Is there a specific song you’ve heard or experience you’ve had that made you dive headfirst into bass music?
JT: I think it’s important to state that there was definitely a buffer between the two! I had stepped away from music after high school to focus on basketball, and along the way, I started listening to more electronic music like Shpongle, Troyboi, and Minnesota for example. That opened up the gateway for me going to my first fest when I came back stateside from Vietnam. It was called Psychedelic Sleepover in New Hampshire. Up there, I saw both Govinda and the Emancipator Ensemble, and they both really opened my eyes to what could be done with violin in this genre.
DF: It’s clear there are many eastern influences throughout your style of bass music, from the sound design to the themes of your projects. How much interest do you have in eastern culture and philosophies, and what sparked that curiosity?
JT: I grew up in a household where both of my parents practiced Buddhism and placed an emphasis on the mindfulness that it pushes. I also spent the better part of a year living over in Vietnam, where I fell in love with the hard-working yet un-rushed lifestyle that a lot of people led there.
DF: Do you have any spiritual practices, such as meditation, that you use in your personal life?
JT: I practice yoga and meditation as much as I can and have become a big fan of stream-of-consciousness journaling! Essentially a written meditation where you just write down all the thoughts that come to mind. It’s great for just clearing the clutter out of my brain sometimes!
DF: Lastly, on top of the album, you just embarked on the Recurring Dreams tour! What can fans expect once you roll through their city?
JT: People can expect a set that’s a little different from a normal DJ set. There’s going to be lots of ups and downs, lots of space, not just drop to drop DJing. Also, this is the first time I’ll have some custom visuals and merch at shows! The biggest initiative of the tour, however, is that we’ll be partnering with local groups to raise money and clothing for people experiencing homelessness. I’m really excited to be at a point with my career where I can use this platform to bring a little positive action to the world.
Stream Recurring Dreams HERE!
Check out more exclusive interviews with The Daily Frequency HERE!