A tightly woven gaggle of men in flowery button-downs and women in wispy jumpers is hovering over the DJ table at a Wicked Paradise pool party. It’s 3 p.m. at the Mondrian Hotel and Tâches, birth name Lex Christopherson, is burning a tribal disco beat into the West Hollywood ether.
The congregation is searching for a compromise between heedless hip shaking and balancing the liquid horizon in their cocktail glasses. A young lady in a candy-apple red one-piece, with “Hamptons or Nothing” printed down its torso, is fighting her way to a more breathable space on the dance floor.
Tâches takes the crowd through a flipbook of worldly rhythms that are sewn together with the familiarity of house beats. When he wraps his last kick drum, he disappears into the see-and-be-seen party.
At Carney’s before the party, Tâches paints his verbose narratives with the theatrical mannerisms and the erratic tone of a Shakespearean vagabond. He interjects punctuation into the conversation with open-palm slaps of the picnic table. When the break of a period lingers for too long, he resets with a freckled smile and asks, “What was the question again?”
He’s too well-spoken to waste his time being the jester, and too eccentric to hold a long-term position in the court. “Why not look a little silly while taking yourself so seriously?” he asks, reflecting on the images that accompany this interview.
“I’d rather go from zero to 100 real quick, as the kids are saying these days,” he says. “I just love really, really going full in.”
Coming from a DJ, this might sound like a party reference. But Tâches’ idea of “going full in” is more procuring an off-the-grid Airbnb in the arid obscurity of the desert with someone he just met and spending the weekend peeling off the friendship petals.
“There was a place called Morongo Valley where I found this really beautiful little hut. It doesn’t have power or running water. It doesn’t have heating. That’s where I really fell in love with chopping wood.”
The English-born 23-year-old grew up on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, Spain, as an only child. His pastoral upbringing taught him that human connections were a privilege and can be fleeting.
“I don’t really care about music. I don’t really like it. I don’t want to listen to the radio.”
“I love being around people,” says Tâches, “but what I really value is one-on-one conversations with a person, when you can just connect. You add one more person to a conversation, and it’s no longer personal. It can be about personal topics, but I love being able to listen to someone. And I love having someone listen to me. It’s nice when you’re with one person with no distractions, because you realize there very rarely is silence, and if there is silence, it’s OK.”
He cultivates his music collection with as much care as his personal interactions. “I have very few songs on my USB stick,” he says. “I don’t download things that I don’t love. A bit of a controversial statement here, but I don’t really care about music. I don’t really like it. I don’t want to listen to the radio.
“If you were to imagine music as a big sphere, there is a very, very tiny circle in that that I want to listen to. If it’s not something that I really, really love and get an emotional reaction out of, I’d rather not listen to it. Therefore, when it comes to DJ sets, in general, I don’t really care about trying to tailor my set to the dance floor. If the things that I love aren’t working, then I can’t do anything else.”
Uncovering what Tâches loves is a bit of a challenge. On his new EP To the Mountains, he conjures the sentimentality of a dissipating sadness at dawn. The sounds are somewhere on a threshold between personal gloom and spiritual awakening, and they demand a vulnerable, open heart from the listener.
The EP is the first release on his new record label, Glitter Cowboy. Despite the label name's “weekend at Burning Man” connotation, Tâches asserts that its catalog will be a reflection of his own, more emotional approach to making dance music.
“A lot of world sounds,” Tâches says. “Dreamy, experimental. It’s got to make you feel a little small. Make you feel a little bit sad. Not in a way that makes you feel sad because your life sucks but makes you feel sad because it takes you back to things you no longer have in your life. I use the word 'melancholy' because it’s the perfect word for how I search for music.”
Tâches is playing at the Lincoln Speakeasy as part of Blood Moon Halloween on Saturday, Oct. 28. Tickets and more info.