Currently holding the number 17 spot in DJ Mag’s “Top 100 DJs” list, Luke van Scheppingen, better known as Laidback Luke, stormed Denver’s Beta Nightclub last Thursday. EDM fans from all over Colorado made their way to 19th and Blake to catch the remix master drop his hybrid of D&B, dirty dub and fresh house beats. Luke fired off some serious remixes from some of our favorite artists like Flux Pavilion, Rage Against The Machine, Darude, System Of A Down, and Skrillex, proving there isn’t a single genre he can’t turn into a straight up banger.
Although in his mid-30′s, the youthful looking DJ/producer from the Netherlands probably still gets carded for buying booze back home even though you only have to be 16 to drink where he’s from. Luke has been making his name in EDM since the late 90’s, and was recently featured on the BBC’s essential mix for the second time. Luke has dozens of impressive collaborations under his belt, including the current electro hit, “Turbulence,” with Steve Aoki and Lil John. He also helped discover fellow Dutch producer and Swaager favorite, Afrojack. Luke was kind enough to chat with Swaager about starting his own label, the pressure of being in the spotlight, and playing in the United States.
SWAAGER: What has it been like having your own record label, Mixmash Records? Why did you decide to start your own label?
LL: It’s a blessing to be in control over your own output in music. Not even for my own records but also for other people’s records. To me it has always been very important to train young talent through www.laidbackluke.com/forum and I feel I now have
a platform to offer them too when I think they are ready.
SWAAGER: You are constantly traveling and are always working on the next big project, when do you find time to for your personal life?
LL: To be honest, music is my life. Music is my personal life. I live and breathe for music. Obviously I do have hobbies and I do still take care of my two sons. I do block off time, but my personal life and music are more interleaved nowadays.
SWAAGER: Out of all the places you have played around the world, where is your favorite place to play and how do the crowds compare from place to place?
LL: Every place is different. I actually have the differences in tastes in every country mapped out in my mind as I learned from trialand error. In Portugal they love tribal beats and I will play as much of it I can over there. In Brazil it’s the other way around, they like very straight European and techy beats. That or mash-ups. I could play a mash-up-only set and no Brazilian will hate. In Germany they die for that typical bleepy Dutch sound. My favorite place to play at the moment is probably the USA. It’s so new and fresh to people now and Electronic Dance Music has really exploded. I feel the US is where it’s happening now, while in Europe we have seen and done it all already.
SWAAGER: Which artists are your favorite to remix?
LL: I have no one in particular to be honest. Just as long as I love the original track it will be easy to have my Luke way with it.
SWAAGER: Which remixes of your music do you like best?
LL: I really don’t know! To me they all register as the same kind of level of fun I had making them. Obviously some work better on the floor then the other and some are more successful but I couldn’t just pick one.
SWAAGER: When producing a track, how do you know for certain when the track is complete?
LL: The track is done when I think it’s done. It’s that simple. I’m the captain in the studio and when I feel the track has all it needs to work for me then I’m there. I am very open for feedback and comments afterwards, though as it always helps me make the track better. But the first section of the first kickdrum to the rendering of version 01 is me just in control in the studio.
SWAAGER: What does the rest of 2011 have in store for you?
LL: I’m putting two big singles out on the Ministry Of Sound UK label. We are planning on a lot of radio and TV coverage and promotion. We’ll shoot videos for them too. The first one will be my new single ‘Speak Up’ featuring Wynter Gordon and the second one will featureExample on the vocal.
SWAAGER: Who are you currently listening to?
LL: A bunch of music. I always seem to be listening to DJ mixes of Derrick Carter and at the
moment my summer house track is looking to be Hot Natured – Forward Motion
SWAAGER: How has the progression OF DJ Mags Top 100 list affected the way you approach the creative process? Do you feel more pressure now that the spotlight is brighter?
LL: Ah naaaah. It feels like a good big tap on the shoulder a lot of people voted for me in the DJ Mag top 100. Much thanks for that! My career has always consisted of performing under pressure. Every single DJ gig and every track I have ever put out has [made me feel like I] had the weight of the world on my shoulders, so I’m really used to it. I just have fun in the creative process as it will translate best to fun on the dance floor too.
SWAAGER: What is it like playing in the Philippines, where you were born. Do you get more recognition out there? What is the EDM scene like in the Philippines?
LL: It’s really cool. I get so much support from the Philippine community all over the world! They are very proud of me, and also in my home country. The EDM scene is really small in the Philippines and it seems it’s either only for a selective group of people that have loved EDM music from day one, or the VIP elite. For me it’s just an honor and a pleasure to bring my experience back to my motherland and show them how I rock it like I do all over the world.