“S.O.S.” is the first single off of the late producer’s forthcoming album, TIM. It was DJcity’s most-downloaded track of April. Luke’s remix puts a big room spin on Avicii’s poppy, tropical house sound.
In the video, Luke gives a layer-by-layer breakdown of his remix in Ableton. He discusses the synthesizers, drum samples, and plug-ins he uses, and ends with an overview of his mastering process.
While in Washington D.C. for an event last week, Laidback Luke sat down with A-Trak for a candid conversation. The two discussed topics such as A-Trak’s start as a club DJ, how French music influenced his career, and how Fool’s Gold became more than a record label.
The focus of the convo centered around the topic of real DJing, however, and some of the controversial antics DJs do on stage. Specifically, they talk DJs throwing up heart hands and standing on the DJ booth. A-Trak tells Luke why it looks bad when certain DJs throw up the heart symbol then explains why he jumps on the DJ table during his shows.
On DJs throwing up heart hands:
“I don’t hate it, but you know what it is? I think, you know, in some cases it can be, it can look like a bit of a caricature of certain kinds of DJs who aren’t actually doing much mixing and who do more of like the theater.”
Why he jumps on the DJ booth:
“That’s just an energy thing. You know, sometimes I think that my approach to DJing is, there’s a certain amount of showmanship to it. If you were to see Slash do a concert, you expect Slash to just be a showman … in a sense, my approach to DJing is comparable to that. … and sometimes I’ll get up on a table, especially at a bigger festival where it’s just a way to feel a connection with the crowd.”
On balancing DJing and antics:
“The reach of DJing has gotten so big, I think, inevitably there’s a certain amount of antics that come with just trying to make sure that the crowd feels your presence in certain ways. But I think the important thing is that the actual DJing part of the set is still, you know, the majority of the time. And that the jumping around is kind of a little spice on top. Not the other way around.”
Watch the conversation above (starts at the 2:46 mark).
Related: Watch A-Trak’s ‘MikiDz Show’ Set
Laidback Luke (Credit: Think Photography)
Developed by Luke, twisted house is a style that combines tribal-influenced house beats with, in his words, “crazy sounds and bleeps.”
Luke’s “Taki Taki” bootleg is available exclusively on DJcity, along with three other of his new twisted house bootlegs (Gnarls Barkley‘s “Crazy,” Zedd‘s “Happy Now,” and The Chainsmokers‘ “Side Effects“).
Preview his “Taki Taki” bootleg below and download it only on DJcity.
Laidback Luke at Marmarela in Alicante, Spain on Aug. 25, 2017. (Credit: Rubén Ortega)
With close to 200,000 subscribers and 13.5 million views, Laidback Luke’s YouTube channel is popular in the DJ and producer community. His weekly vlogs, which are both entertaining and insightful, have received praise from fans and DJs alike.
However, Luke recently received some backlash for a tip that he gave in one of his episodes. When answering a viewer’s question about where to get music legally without spending too much money, Luke replied, “a really good hack is good ole’ trusty SoundCloud. There are ways to actually rip tracks from there and save them as an mp3. And then you’re able to play them out.”
The comment didn’t sit well with some people, one which was house DJ/producer Chocolate Puma, who reached out to Luke via Twitter:
we share your view on the art of dj’ing, but isn’t telling dj’s to rip 128kbps files from soundcloud an insult to the art of producing?
— Chocolate Puma (@ChocolatePuma) December 9, 2017
You’re right, and I guess I’ll need to clarify that in another VLOG. FYI I played rips that sounded amazing on club systems ????
— Laidback Luke (@LaidbackLuke) December 9, 2017
Not one to hold back when it comes to tech issues, DJcityTV’s Mojaxx also weighed in:
@LaidbackLuke I have a lot of respect for you man, but if you’re telling young DJs that playing 128kbps Soundcloud rips is ok, I must fundamentally disagree with you, I’m afraid. https://t.co/VLUtwyfNhZ
— Mojaxx (@MojaxxDJcity) December 9, 2017
Luke responded to Mo as well:
Fair enough. Please look at my thread and you’ll see where I come from. We’re on the dawn of a new era here, the era of streaming. And you’ll hear SC streams in the club as soon as DJ consoles connect to WiFi. It’s modern times.
— Laidback Luke (@LaidbackLuke) December 9, 2017
Then, on Friday, Luke addressed the situation and clarified his comments in his latest vlog. At the end of the episode, he instructed his viewers to check out Mojaxx and DJ TLM‘s respective videos about SoundCloud rips and music rights.
Watch the video below. Shout out to Luke!
Laidback Luke is known for being an advocate for the “real DJing” movement. The legendary DJ/producer, who has addressed accusations of playing a pre-recorded set in the past, often encourages DJs to “play live.” He even held a workshop on “real DJing” back in 2015.
Luke has since shared several educational videos on his YouTube channel, which includes a series called In My Mind. In it, the Dutchman annotates his live sets to show the thought process behind them. The series has drawn close to 500,000 views.
On the latest episode, Luke breaks down his recent set from Belgium’s Tomorrowland festival.
“You are gonna crawl inside my mind and see how I play at a huge festival, one of the highlights of this year, and see how I maneuver my way through it,” Luke says in the video.
In January, Denon DJ made headlines when it unveiled its new Prime series of equipment. On Thursday, the company kept the momentum going by naming legendary house DJ/producer Laidback Luke as a brand ambassador.
With his addition, Denon continues its push toward becoming a serious player among DJ gear manufacturers.
In a video announcement on Facebook (see below), the Dutch legend said he will also serve as a product development consultant.
The move is in line with the company’s recent “Change Your Rider” campaign, which urges DJs to change their rider to include Denon equipment.
In the press release, Luke explained why he chose to partner with Denon: “The Denon Prime Series is an organic fit for my DJ sets. Its functionality is extremely intuitive and it’s [sic] performance delivers exactly the quality that I need.”
Denon DJ’s Brand Manager, Paul Dakeyne, also commented on the partnership:
“As one of the world’s most creative and expressive live DJ’s [sic], Laidback Luke is constantly setting the standard, raising the bar. He needs equipment that is a natural extension of his thoughts, equipment that instantly transforms his inner feelings and spontaneity into sound. The Denon DJ SC5000 and X1800 Prime units remove all performance obstacles and pushes new boundaries for Laidback Luke to explore.”
Watch Luke’s announcement below.
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