Laidback Luke: Here for long haul
Mon 17th Sep, 2012 Features 1506 viewsin
Between running label Mixmash Records, doing the international festival circuit and continually adding to his almost 15-year production resume, Dutch high-flyer Laidback Luke doesn’t have any trouble keeping busy. When inthemix caught up with the Stereosonic recruit a couple of weeks back amid his packed schedule, he offered up some on-the-money thoughts about DJs churning out the same sets over and over – an observation that stirred plenty of conversation up ‘round these parts. We promised at the time you could expect the full Laidback Luke interview soon and sure enough, here it is.
So you are obviously right in the middle of summer at the moment. What are the big things that are coming up?
Yeah, it’s a big summer. One of my dreams came true this summer, which was hosting my own Super You & Me area at the different festivals. I’ve been hosting my Super You & Me arena at EDC, Tomorrowland, and I’m very much looking forward to doing it at Creamfields UK as well. It was a dream for me about three years ago, and this year we’re doing it finally!
Just a very, very fun thing. The whole Super You & Me concept is just about having crazy, silly fun with electronic music again and this was a nice little thing we managed to concoct for Tomorrowland.
I interviewed you back in 2010, I think before you toured then, and you said the whole SYM concept was because dance music had become too serious. Do you think that’s still the way?
Yes, absolutely. There’s always an edge there that people just tend to forget that this type of music is just to go out and release yourself. To have a “serious side”, sometimes music gets analysed too much. We’re here to dance and to let go and just to forget about the daily struggle, the office life and just laugh, have fun and enjoy!
One thing I’ve noticed is you talking a bit about a repetition in DJs’ playlists. Do you feel like there’s less risk taking on mainstages at the moment?
No, not really. What I think of the mainstage at the moment is that a lot of DJs are comfortable with what they’re playing at various festivals and are doing the same sets over and over again. To me, what real DJing is about is anticipating on the moment and the location and the crowd. So playing the same set would be impossible for me, because I always try to pinpoint the right moment and the right time and the right vibe on various festivals. To me, that’s what DJing is about; that anticipation, and improvisation on the moment.
Do you think the production side of things has made that harder? That people are kind of synchronising their sets to a whole lot of other production elements, not letting them be so spontaneous?
Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, they bring a heap of confetti and fireworks and additional things, which I don’t really see the use of to be honest. I’m a person who says fireworks, and then when you think the moment is right, you hit the fireworks button and let it go.
That’s speaking about stage production, but on the other side of things, a lot of famous DJs these days are famous because of their production of their tracks. A lot of these guys came out of the studio and don’t really have a DJ background. So in that sense, you get DJs that DJ their tracks, but essentially they’re not very skilled as a true DJ.