Sitting on a furry couch in downtown L.A. surrounded by ornate porcelain sculptures and mannequins draped in sequins, electronic DJ and Desert Hearts co-conspirator Lee Reynolds drinks a beer while sharing some of his wildest stories. Like the time a battalion of police SUVs and helicopters tried to shut down a snowy mountaintop party he once threw, or how his career began in the late ‘80s not as a DJ, but as a sponsored BMX rider. To this day, the eccentric music producer, who is now in his mid-40s, continues to live passionately.
Reynolds, a U.K. native, initially moved to Southern California in 1988 to pursue a career in BMX riding. He was not here long before he stumbled upon the rich, dark world of underground techno music, which was just beginning to blossom in the early ‘90s. Instantly falling in love with the pulse-accelerating music and its colorful cohorts, his 25-year DJ career began.
“I knew that Southern California was the place to be so I moved out, got a bike sponsor, and did that for a while until I broke too many bones,” he says, chuckling. “I started DJing in the early ‘90s but right when I got into it, I had kids. I don’t like to do things half-assed; I like to do a few things really well. So I just decided to put it on hold for a while and then started back up a couple years ago. I’m obsessed with it now.”