Jordana LeSesne, known professionally as 1.8.7, is an American musician and producer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She became known in the mid-1990s as an American Drum and Bass producer. The Village Voice described her as being "widely regarded as the top U.S. drumnbass producer." Vibe magazine called her "one of the most respected Drum n Bass producers in the US." In 2015, Jordana was named as one of "20 women who shaped the history of dance music" by the authoritative dance music magazine Mixmag.In 2014, Harriet Magazine named Jordana as one of "12 women in black music history you should know".During the same year, Complex Magazine UK named one of her songs to a list of "36 great American drum & bass tracks". She is transgender and has been out since 1998.
She has released of over 50 tracks, including four full-length albums, several EPs, and many remixes under the alias 1.8.7. The album When Worlds Collide, released in 1997, became known for its "dark pummeling assaults". She has also licensed tracks for numerous compilations as well as the Sci Fi Channel. Three of her albums charted in the Top 25 of both the CMJ College Music Journal and Mixmag U.S. later Mixer Magazine, now defunct for 1997 as well as 1998 and 1999. Her third album "The Cities Collection" debuted in the CMJ Top 5 climbed to the #2 position on CMJ Music Monthlys dance chart for June 2000.
Her works have been reviewed by the likes of Billboard, Spin, Rolling Stone, Urb, Mixer, Mixmag, Raygun, Vibe, and Trip Español, as well as Knowledge – the U.K. Drum and Bass magazine. In 1999, she was listed in Rayguns Whos Who of International DJs. She was one of the headlining DJs on Knowledge Magazines 28 city Kung Fu Knowledge tour in 1999. She also made Out Magazines OUT100 list for the year 2000.
1. Impact on Music
Jordanas work has influenced other artists such as a well-known dubstep producer Bassnectar, who heavily sampled 5 A.M. Rinse feat. MC Sphinx, the last song on her first album When Worlds Collide for his song Here We Go of his 2010 EP and single Timestretch. Additionally, electronic rock act Celldweller sampled "Wake Up" off of her first album as well as "San Francisco" off of her third album "The Cities Collection" in their 2013 song "Uncrowned".
In 1999, Drum & Bass/Hip Hop producer and label owner Hive approached Jordana to remix her song Defcon-1 also off of When Worlds Collide. Hives remix appears on his 2001 album The Raw Uncut. Jordana collaborated with Lady Sovereign on a song early in Sovs career after the two met through an internet chat room for StrikeFM.co.uk, an online radio station which Jordana had a show, and the now defunct UKGarageWorldwide.com forums. The two would later team up when Jordana under her Lady J alias, had Lady Sovereign MC for her radio show on Flex FM London.
New Zealand based Dubstep and Drum & Bass producer Alexis K/Unsub has also cited Jordana as an influence and the two are collaborating on music and a possible tour.
Jordana first came to the attention of the music industry when she was asked to remix Blondies "Atomic." Her Drum & Bass remix appeared along with Armand Van Helden and Diddys remixes on the single. A little over a year following that release Mac McFarlane, the promoter of the well established and legendary New York city DrumnBass club night, Konkrete Jungle, contacted Jordana to create a Konkrete Jungle themed song for a CD compilation/mix-CD. Jordana created the song "Konkrete Jungle" for that purpose. Described by CMJ as containing "menacing hardstep attacks", it was released on the Ultra Records compilation, Konkrete Jungle - Maximum Drum & Bass, mixed by BBC Radio 1 DrumnBass show regular host Jumping Jack Frost. Following extensive touring throughout North America and abroad as a live Drum & Bass artist, Liquid Sky Music, an indie label distributed by Caroline Distribution signed her to a three-album contract in late 1996.
3. Hate Crime in Ohio
On the night of February 22, 2000 in Kent, Ohio Jordana was attacked and brutally beaten in a transphobic hate crime by a group of men including Matthew Gostlin of Akron, Ohio. Gostlin and other assailants jumped her in the parking lot outside of the Robin Hood nightclub where she had just performed on the Cities Collection tour. The attack took place while she was escorted from the event with the event promoter to the promoters car. The group of men attacked suddenly and Jordana lost consciousness almost immediately after being struck in the face. She suffered nerve damage to the lower part of her face from her lower lip down as a result. She was quoted as saying in the May issue of CMJ New Music Monthly that in the seconds just prior to the attack: "I saw his face. I remember the look on his face. It was this look of utter hate, like Im going to kill you." In an interview with the Village Voice following the attack, George Meesig, a fan from Cleveland, Ohio who defended Jordana during the attack, stated that Gostlin had misgendered her, saying" his is personal”. Other reports noted by the Village Voice on the message board for Breakbeat Science a NYC based DrumnBass record store mentioned transphobic slurs being shouted during the attack. Jordana subsequently cancelled the tour to recover. Gostlin, while charged, was never arrested nor spent any time in court. Jordanas family was told by the Portage County Ohio prosecutors office that attempts had been made to serve the warrant but Gostlins whereabouts were unknown. As a result of no movement on the case by the authorities, Jordana felt that justice would not be served. She left the U.S. for England because of their concerns about personal safety and well-being.
4. Additional Work in Music Industry
In addition to production, Jordana has also been a DJ, musician and singer. From 2001–2002, Jordana worked at Flex FM in London, England as Lady J with Lady Sovereign MCing for her during Jordanas radio show. In 2002, she held a club residency spinning UK Garage, 2-Step Garage and House Music at legendary club night Trinity in Londons Vauxhall neighborhood.
After returning to the US, Jordana has returned to her rock roots and fronts a melodic goth metal band in Seattle. Just prior to that, she was asked to play bass in another band briefly where she met and became close friends with singer/songwriter Shelita Burke.
Currently, Jordana is scoring the documentary, Free CeCe, produced and directed by Jacqueline Gares and actress/director Laverne Cox of the series Orange Is The New Black. The documentary details the struggles of CeCe McDonald, an African-American transwoman who was wrongfully incarcerated for murder for defending herself against a hate driven attack on her life outside of a bar in Minneapolis.
Jordana is working on a new Drum and Bass E.P. for Bristol, UK based Complex Records. Her guitar and vocal work have featured on clips of songs off of her new E.P. posted to Soundcloud and on cover songs she has posted on AfroPunk.com.
5. Literary Mentions
Jordana has been featured in several books. Her success in rising from the depressed 80s economy of a "rust belt" city to MTV-featured electronica artist garnered a mention in the 2002 The New York Times bestseller "The Rise of the Creative Class" by economist Richard Florida. She appears in two books examining the history and rise of the American rave/EDM scene: Michaelangelo Matoss The Underground is Massive, which details an early online exchange between her and Moby dealing with the role of live performance in a rave context; and Rave Culture, an Insiders Overview by Jimi Fritz and Virginia Smallfry.
6. Personal life
An extensive interview with Jordana was also featured in the "New Transsexuals", a book published in 2012 by rock journalist and illustrator George Petros. She currently resides in Seattle, Washington.
- 1997 V/A – Nirvana EP "We Are Not Alone" JS114 Jungle Sky
- 1997 Soul Slinger-Dont Believe "Ethiopia/JungleSky 1.8.7 Megamix" JS118 Jungle Sky
- 2002 Lady J feat. Lady Sovereign – "The Intro Dub" Flex FM
- 1997 1.8.7 – When Worlds Collide full-length album EP2 "Wake Up"/"Distant Storm Approaching"/"Ghetto Style"/"Ghetto Style West Philly Mix" JSK122 Jungle Sky
- 1996 RockStone Foundation "Dis Soun" JS007 Jungle Sky
- 2002 Jordana – Full Colour 12" 1 *whitelabel* ConceptAudio
- 1998 1.8.7 – Quality Rolls full-length album EP3 "United"/"Blue Nile"/"Reboot" JSK139 Jungle Sky
- 1995 Blondie "Atomic The Beautiful Drum and Bass Mix" VV58320 Chrysalis Records/EMI
- 1998 1.8.7 – Quality Rolls full-length album EP2 *"Jerusalem"/"Get Amped" 215 Remix/"Stigma" JSK 137 Jungle Sky
- 1997 Soul Slinger-Dont Believe "Abducted 1.8.7 Remix JS118 Jungle Sky
- 1998 1.8.7 – Quality Rolls full-length album EP1 "Quality Rolls"/"Relax Your Mind"/"Phobic" JSK136 Jungle Sky
- 1998 1.8.7 – Quality Rolls full-length album EP3 "Rock The Party"/"Deep Stealth"/"Cross the Line" JSK138 Jungle Sky
- 1997 1.8.7 – When Worlds Collide full-length album EP1 "Defcon 1"/"When Worlds Collide"/"Blueshift"/"Dragonfly" JSK121 Jungle Sky
- 1999 Jordana – Cities Collection 12" 2 "Pittsburgh"/"Miami"/"San Francisco" JSK158 Jungle Sky
- 1998 Murder 0ne 1.8.7/T.Farmer "Annihilate"/"Memory" BOOST002 Boosted Records
- 1998 This is Jungle Sky Vol. 5: Rock N Roll EP Disc 3 "Atmosphere Remix"/"The Jam"/Beastie Boys – "Sabotage 1.8.7 JS Remix" JSK132 Jungle Sky
- 1999 Jordana – "Pure Funk"/Stardust – "Music Sounds Better". Jordana JS remix *whitelabel* JSK149 Jungle Sky
- 2002 Jordana – Full Colour 12" 2 *whitelabel* ConceptAudio
- 2001 Jordana – "Tampa Tantrum"/"In Your Arms" 12" TECO008 Technorganic
- 2000 Loki and Jordana – "Murder" 12" *whitelabel*
- 1998 This is Jungle Sky Vol. 5: Rock N Roll EP Disc 2 "Break In"/"The Return of Shaft"/"Konkrete Jungle" Jungle Sky JSK131
- 1999 Jordana – Cities Collection 12" 1 "Hollywood courtesy of Lucasfilm"/"Los Angeles"/"New York" JSK157 Jungle Sky
8. CD releases
- 1999 V/A – This is Jungle Sky Vol.6 CD "Pure Funk" JSK150 Jungle Sky
- 2005 Jordana – Jordana EP CD "Tampa Tantrum" TECO CD001 Technorganic Recordings
- 1999 V/A – This is Jungle Sky Vol.6 CD "Unite Remix" JSK150 Jungle Sky
- 1998 V/A – This is Jungle Sky Vol.5 "Atmosphere Remix" JSK130 Jungle Sky
- 1999 V/A – E-Sassin Absolute Friction CD "Worlds Apart" 21C.3007 Quantum Loop
- 1997 Soul Slinger-Dont Believe CD "Ethiopia/JungleSky" JSK120 Jungle Sky
- 1996 V/A – This Is Jungle Sky Vol.2 "Dis Soun" JSK008 Jungle Sky
- 1999 Jordana presents 1.8.7 – The Cities Collection CD full-length album JSK162 Jungle Sky
- 2000 V/A – Digital Empire: DJ Girl "Deep Stealth" 6454-2 Cold Front Records
- 1997 V/A – New York Junglist "We Are Not Alone" AVCD11540 Avex Trax
- 2008 V/A – What the Bleep & Foi Oi Oi-Feelings For Detroit Vol.3 Yabette – "Babylon 1.8.7 Remix" EEMIX003 Electronic Enlightenment
- 2005 Jordana – Jordana EP CD "In Your Arms" TECO CD001 Technorganic Recordings
- 1998 Soul Slinger – Upload: A Continuous Mix CD "Rock the Party" JSK142 Jungle Sky
- 1999 V/A – Sci Fidelity: This is Sci Fi. CD "Deep Stealth" SciFi Channel/Jungle Sky
- 1998 V/A – This is Jungle Sky Vol.5 "The Jam" JSK130 Jungle Sky
- 1994 V/A – Interstellar Outback "Jungleman" ROM01 RomHyperMedia
- 2003 V/A – Girls In Space CD "In Your Arms" CD-9213 Urabon Records
- 1997 V/A – Future Groove "We Are Not Alone"?74321 50089 2 Ariola/BMG
- 1998 V/A – Nu Balance: Domesticated Drum & Bass CD "5am Rinse" COA70016-2 City Of Angels
- 1997 V/A – This is Jungle Sky Vol.4 "We Are Not Alone" JSK116 Jungle Sky
- 2001 Hive – The Raw Uncut EP CD "Defcon-1" Hive Remix VTXCD-002 Vortex Recordings
- 1998 1.8.7 – Quality Rolls CD full-length album JSK135 Jungle Sky
- 1995 V/A – Scotto Presents: Drop Beats Vol.1 "Ravestock Anthem" DROP001 Drop Entertainment
- 2002 Jordana – Full Colour full-length album ConceptAudio Limited Release
- 2005 V/A – DJ Psycle-Back From The Future CD "In Your Arms" TECO CD-9213 Technorganic Recordings
- 1997 1.8.7 – When Worlds Collide CD full-length album JSK124 Jungle Sky
- 1997 Soul Slinger-Dont Believe CD "Abducted 187 Remix" JSK120 Jungle Sky
- Ring Me Back 2002 – directed by Trevor McKinley
- We Are Not Alone 1998 – directed by MSKW1 aka Michael Whartnaby
- Defcon 1 1998 – directed by MSKW1 aka Michael Whartnaby and DBIDWA aka Dan Bidwa
- Worlds Apart 1998 – directed by Gerard Ryan
- Atmosphere 1998 – directed by Gerard Ryan
In 2002, Jordana licensed "One vocal, background use, forty-five seconds 0:45 in length" from her song "Break In" to Paramount Pictures for the Zoolander DVD release.