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Ondergrondse veelzijdigheid met een vet UK randje: The DJ Producer

Ondergrondse veelzijdigheid met een vet UK randje: The DJ Producer

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Toen ik in februari naar Club r_AW ging, had ik niet kunnen verwachten wat er zou gebeuren die avond. Het betekende voor mij een flinke schop tegen mijn muzikale achterwerk: enorm veel verschillende sounds heb ik daar gehoord met veel creativiteit. Een van de artiesten die daar zijn ding deed was The DJ Producer. Wat deze man met draaitafels en een mixer voor elkaar kreeg was echt ongelooflijk. Ik ben mij gaan verdiepen in muziek van deze man en werd wederom verbaasd. Hardcore, drum n’ bass en ambient zijn de voor mij aanwijsbare invloeden die hij in zijn muziek stopt. Hoog tijd om wat meer over deze artiest te weten te komen.

Uit respect voor de artiest is het interview in zijn eigen taal.

There are only a few people that know you started as a hiphop dj. How did you end up playing breakbeat?
I was into hip hop all through my school years. From 1986 to 1989 I was one hundred percent B-boy and I was deeply into all elements of hip hop culture: breakdancing, graffiti art etcetera. But my biggest passion was dj-ing. When I went to college in 1990 I started to meet new kids who were into new things. I made one new friend who was also into dj-ing. This friend of mine suggested to me that I should come too, although I was convinced I would hate it, but on entering it I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing: 1800 people and all dancing to a dj’s music...and I remember it was Frankie Bones that was playing). I decided then and there that this is what I want to do with my life.

[dump id=744 left]Over about the next two years I started buying as many records as my allowance would afford and got into some of the illegal parties that were happening in my area. The very first records I was buying was all European stuff. Labels like R&S, Hithouse, Go-bang, Music man, Stealth records. So really the first form of house and rave I was playing was Belgian nu-beat and a lot of American techno labels like KMS, Transmat, Fourth floor and NU-Groove. As the music developed it wasn't just acidhouse anymore. A lot of reggae influences came in mixed with breakbeats from hip hop, something I strongly connected with, and piano licks from the more Italian/Balearic forms of house. The “breakbeat” rave records were truly the first one hundred percent British version of house music, naturally I embraced it with open arms.


In 1992 you played at a breakbeat party. But instead of breakbeat you ended up playing techno. Why did you change your style and what did this mean for you at that time?
The party in question was party Universe’s third big party in the south west. This third edition was entitled “mind, body, soul and the universe” and was their biggest party to date. Breakbeat hardcore was definitely the main music in the UK rave scene at that time and for the first time for any UK rave promoter they booked a European Hardcore/Techno dj. That man was Berlins Tanith.

To be honest, no one in UK had heard of this guy, but I had and I also was partially aware of the music that was coming from Germany at that time. If this guy was the only guy playing techno that night he was gonna sound quite alien amongst ten other UK jocks, all of which would play breakbeat hardcore. So I thought I would play a one off techno set just to give him some support. You really have to understand though, I was still only 18 years old. And I was about to play music so different that if the crowd didn't like what I did this could possibly be the end of my career before it had even started.

What actually happened was more amazing than anything I could have dreamed of. I only had a fourty minute set and I was to play before Tanith. And in front of 20.000 people I virtually rewrote the rule book. The response was more than overwhelming: the crowd were absolutely going wild. The promoter ran over to me halfway through my set and was like “this is incredible Luke, what the hell is going on in here!”
I can proudly claim that that set was hte first ever hardcore techno set ever played to a capacity UK rave. It changed the course of my history forever. The set was released on cassette and sold nearly 20.000 copies... The whole world now knew me as “that crazy UK techno” and my bookings just went through the roof. All promoters wanted me to play techno. The rest, as they say, is history.


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In 1994 you began producing your own music. Did you already use the name The DJ Producer at that time?
The first record I ever did was for London's Edge Records label. At this time I was still known as “the producer” and that is how I was credited on the record label. Shortly after that I got a call from this guy, he was very angry, apparently he was making records under the name “the producer” and apparently had the rights to the name....even now I think it was all rubbish. But because I didn't know the music industry at all and I didn't want a fight I simply changed my name to The DJ Producer. That way I still kept my name and in fact it made it more specific to me: I was the dj, he was the... producer. Anyway, I never heard of him again.


Would you say your artist name is more of a description than an artist name?
I was originally given the name by my friend in 1990. We were trying to think of a good name for me and he says: “man, you should be called the producer!”. I was a little puzzled by this “why producer?” I said and he replied “because you produce the goods!”, meaning that when I dj I deliver what you want.
But understand, back then I did not know anything about music production, it was just a cool name. Now that I actually make records the name does actually sound more like a description, which is also cool because it is kind of mysterious; like some dark faceless figure who just does what he does.


As a dj your music style is quite broad; you have played a lot of different styles. I guess your style will always change? In which direction are you heading at the moment?
Don't ask me which direction I'm heading; that is just too final for me. I just play the music I like. I change my style according to the crowd, depending on what they can and can't handle. I can play from 135 bpm all the way to 240 bpm depending on what is required. I like the relationship between industrial UK hardcore and elements of breakcore and drum n' bass. It kind of feels like I am going back to my roots but with a severe future twist. So I guess I am heading in several directions all at once, combining them rough, rugged and raw!


When you play at a hardcore party, people that don’t know you might expect mainstream hardcore. Is this preconception damaging for you? How do you handle such situations?
I've done enough gigs in Holland now that I like to fuck with things a bit. I can play alongside those guys playing mainstream, and I do have a lot of those records which I play quite a lot in the UK, but there is no point in me coming to Holland just to play Dutch music! That doesn't really represent my core values. As for people's preconceptions, that isn't damaging for me, it's just confusing for them! I've dj'd for seventeen years so I like to think I can handle any situation now. I think if you rock the house that's the main thing.


Did you ever need to play ‘safe’ as in adjust your style?
Never! Fuck safe! I will play slower as to not alienate people, but playing safe? Fuck that........


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Your set at Thunderdome 2001 was one of your first big gigs in The Netherlands. The set you played there with Simon Underground created a lot of buzz, how did you experience that night?
It was a big deal for us. And it was the first time since I had played an indoor party that big for many years so it was a really big buzz for me. I still think what we played was a bit too “doomy” as the slower stuff I was into was a lot darker than the average mainstream records around at that time. Still, we had fun.


Question from Revolting Against
Some of your colleagues have moved to Holland because of the bookings. Since you have more and more bookings here, are you considering moving to Holland?
No, and why? Because I think the more I am there, the quicker the Dutch crowd will bore of me. I also could never leave my home town of Bath in the UK. It is without question the most beautiful city in the UK and I will be here forever. I am a homeboy through and through, UK is where I was born and UK is where I will die. Being anywhere else is simply unthinkable.


You have played at a lot of different places in the world. Which gig was the most special to you and where do you want to play once your lifetime?
I think the most special has to be the original 'mind body soul and the universe' gig that made me. Without that party, nothing else would have happened the way it has happened. And I've virtually played every gig that I wanted to play. I guess the only one left that I haven't played yet and I really want to would be Mysteryland and who knows? We will have to wait and see...


[dump id=749 right]
Do you think that because of the Dutch way of categorizing music to a specific style, your work doesn’t get the attention it deserves?
I'm not really worried about that. I do what I do. I make ambient, techno, drum n' bass, breakcore, hardcore tracks. I wouldn't want to be categorized in one little box. I don't crave attention either. I just work for respected labels and try to arrange tracks to suit a certain label's sound and outlook on music.


As a live act you work with Ableton Live. Why did you choose to perform as a live act and why Ableton?
Because there is nothing quite like Ableton for live manipulation of audio. It is also the only software that allows me to do certain things that records or cd’s could never achieve.


Question from Farouane
Is the sound in 'Pestilance Eterna' taken from a real seal?
No seals were used, or abused, in the making of Pestilance.


What is your favorite hardware and software in your studio and why?
My speakers. Because without them all other hardware is completely useless. I don't use plugins.


[dump id=747 left]
In today’s dance the Roland TR-909 drum machine is frequently used. Don’t you think this device is overused?
No, and why? The 909 is to hardcore and techno what the Amen Break is to drum n' bass. It's the foundation elements, like the Amen, the 909 has been processed, distorted, resampled and almost redesigned by way of audio manipulations to such a degree that what you have is a version of what the 909 used to be. Even now software developers D16 in Poland just built a virtual instrument version of the TR-909 that is an exact replication of the original drum box, but because it's digital there are so many things it can do that the original 909 cannot. So software like this will ensure the future of the 909 sound for many years yet.


You have worked with different artists like Hellfish, Manu Le Malin and Promo. What were the reasons for these cooperations and are there some cooperations coming in the near future?
There are no reasons. We just all have common interests and basically wanted to do jams together. I've just completed a new EP with Promo called “The pro EP” which will be out real soon on The Third Movement. A very interesting release that sounds virtually as I would have wanted it. Watch out for that soon.


When I played your album Doomsday Mechanics for the first time I was positively surprised. Instead of mainstream hardcore I heard music with a lot of depth. From atmospheric soundscapes with deep basslines to punching kicks with complex rhythms. What is important for you when you are making a track?
The most important thing is that it doesn't sound like tracks I've already released. I hate it when it sounds like I'm repeating myself and when that happens I just turn the equipment off and play video games. As I explained before, I have so much music history in me I like to call on different elements and try and mix them up in order to hopefully create something new in the studio.


The last track on Doomsday Mechanics is a bonus track. I think it is one of the coolest tracks on it, why this one as a bonus?
Because it was one of the last tracks I did for Mechaniks but couldn't work out where it was going to be in the tracklisting. It was nearly scrapped altogether then Manu suggested that I include it as a hidden bonus track.


As the labelowner of Rebelscum you provide your work on a regular basis to other labels like Deathchant. How come?
Again, let me set the record straight. Rebelscum is a label owned by Simon at Underground Music. All I do is the A&­R. All that's involved for me is releasing on the label when I like to or finding new material for the label. So yes, I may be the 'front man', but I certainly do not own the label. And so I treat Scum as any of the other labels I produce for: when a track sounds like it's a 'Scum release', then obviously it gets released on Scum. And this is why I freely produce for other labels because I'm not tied down to solely releasing on Scum alone.


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What is the biggest difference between UK and Dutch scene/crowds?
Dutch crowds are a lot bigger, but to be honest they don't always show as much enthusiasm as the UK crowds. Something I simply can't explain.


The Dutch scene is quite big nowadays with a lot of different musical styles. Are there Dutch styles or artists where you are influenced by?
Obviously the initial gabba scene as a whole influenced me from as far back as 1993, after all it was records on Rotterdam Records and Mokum Records that first exposed me to distorted kickdrums and high bpms. You just take elements from different things and try and replicate them, whilst trying to add your own style and ideas. Thats why it's so amazing to me that after all these years of hearing those records I'm finally working within the realms of where all that originally comes from. I'm incredibly respectful of that fact.


On the 26th of October Dedicat3d: The DJ Producer is coming up. This first event of the new Third Movement concept focuses on one artist and you have the honor to be the first in the spotlight. Are you looking forward to the party?
For the first time in years I'm actually nervous. It's a big chance to give Holland a back-story on The DJ Producer. Ok, the gig focuses on me, but that night I will be focusing on the music that made me as a dj. The music that I've made
that got me recognized as a producer. It's an exciting time for sure.


[dump id=748 center]

What can the people expect this night? You're dj-ing as well as playing and live. Any surprises in stock?
I certainly hope so, I've only been coming to Holland since 1999, so there are many years that you didn't know what records I was playing as a dj. I will be playing my top choices from about 1995 to present day. I will be doing the same with my live set, so prepare to hear some tracks you missed out on, some tracks you know, and some tracks you never heard before... I hope you enjoy it as much as I'm going to.


What is your connection with The Third Movement?
They are my friends, lovers and family, hahaha. The amount of support from all those guys, from the day I met Promo backstage at Thunderdome, right to present day has been truly amazing. Their ideas on 125% artist freedom is just a shining example of how a forward thinking record label should be. Since the agency started, they have done nothing but great things for me. It's a good relationship and I have a lot of time for those guys.


You have often played together with Hellfish, who appears to be a good friend of yours. Can you tell something about this friendship?
I was resident for eight years with an organisation in the UK called 'Helter Skelter'. They used to hold parties at a big warehouse location called ’the Sanctuary’ and we used to have a large second room called 'the technodrome'. I was playing at one of these events in the middle of 1996, if my memory is correct, when in the middle of my set I was approached by this guy who stepped to me with a white label in his hands, and I remember his words were basically: “I dare you to play this now!”. This is something I would have never done because I like to know what I'm playing, but I looked him straight in the eye and was like “I'm gonna take a risk on you”. That record was a white label of Deathchant 02 “technological Terror”. I played it, it caused total devastation and also made me look pretty good. After my set I think we stood talking until the end of the event.

It's quite weird, because as a kid I was initially into hip hop and scratching. I was the only kid round my way into it because I lived so deep in the country I was just surrounded by farmers. But on talking with this guy it's like we had lead parallel lives, musically anyway. He was name checking really underground old records that until now only I knew about. All this was just amazing to me. It was also at this time that I had just bought basic equipment and was making tracks on my own and one of my first demos that I did I sent to Deathchant. Unbelievably he rang me straight on and said “I've got to release these tracks mate”. That was Deathchant 08 “The Old School Retaliation E.­P” which came out at the beginning of 1997. And again, the rest is history.


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Question from koek.
Why didn’t you and Hellfish played/produced under another name instead of using both your own names?
I have never even thought about that. I guess because we are both dj’s and never thought about it like a band thing.


Are there any alter-ego’s?
I use my real name “Luke McMillan” when I do techno tracks, which I did 2 EP’s for the North technology label in 2001/2002. I've used 2 aliases for drum n' bass tracks “The Coalition” with my friend and studio buddy of fifteen years Chris Maxey. In 1997/1998 I also released drum n' bass tracks on UK’s High Octane label under the alias “Suspicious Circumstances”


What keeps you busy when your are not making music?
None, this is a fulltime occupation and has been for the last seventeen years of my life.

What do you still want to achieve in your life?
I don't know. I just want to stay happy I guess.


A lot of Dutch artists use Partyflock as an agenda. Do you visit Partyflock? And if so, what do you use it for?
I do hit Partyflock quite often. Just to see what other dj's are in the same line up as me.


Any messages to the 'flockers'?
Your country first made music that I wanted to play and then to create. Now I make a version of that music and you give me the opportunity to play my version of that music back to you. To me that is awesome. Thanks for the continued support and keep your minds wide open.
The DJ Producer kicking some shit for Partyflock. October 1st 2007. Peace and........OUT!


Club r_AW foto's gemaakt door Bart-Jan Sipkes

139 opmerkingen

Een van de beste en meest interessante producers op aarde: niets dan :respect:
jah steengoed de beste...

oduh!!:respect:
laatste aanpassing
Breaks The Un Break-Abale :lief:
laatste aanpassing
A.s. vrijdag wordt dus duidelijk vet :D
Uitspraak van Pass-Out op maandag 22 oktober 2007 om 01:47:
A.­s.­ vrijdag wordt dus duidelijk vet

sowieso! van begin tot eind! van hidden&eye-d tot deathmachine!!
The DJ Producer :respect:
Een geniaal en veelzijdig producer &­ DJ!!
The Producer vs Deathmachine Live @ Uproar .. moet me nog maar even zoet houden tot Vrijdag:D
Dat hij goed draait, staat voorop.­
vrijdag ook enorm genoten.­ hoe hij om kan gaan met enkel een beat,,

PRACHTIG!
Numtek
Artiest Numtek
Shame.­ I read this a few days to late.­
Still fan since aprox.­ 2000, you're an inspiration!
Niets dan respect voor deze held.­
Uitspraak van -fdg- op zondag 28 oktober 2007 om 18:29:
vrijdag ook enorm genoten.­ hoe hij om kan gaan met enkel een beat,,

Zekers!was een zwaar swingend feesie!:woeptiedoe:
fuck safe

zker weten :respect:
t is gewoon een held, geniale producties :K
zonder hiphop krijg je nl mainstream hc met mono ritmes
een reden dat de italiaanse djs waardering krijgen die brachten nieuwe souds

zelfs hardstyle is meer hakbaar dan main met irritante melodien
Uitspraak van TeRRoR JuNk op zaterdag 9 juli 2011 om 01:22:
zelfs hardstyle is meer hakbaar dan main met irritante melodien

nope, te traag