Luca Lozano is one of Britain’s finer exports to the magical land of 24 hour parties and numerous temples to the house and techno Gods commonly known as Berlin! He’s the head honcho of Klasse Recordings and former member of Zombie Disco Squad. You might remember his first release “Berlinetta” on Claude VonStroke’s Dirtybird Records. Fast forward to now and Luca’s debut album ‘Life In Black And White’ is gearing up for release later this year, adding to his discography of amazing and unique EP’s and remixes.
Luca kindly took a few moments out of his busy schedule to speak to WANARB about his recent gig at Oonst, life in Berlin, Klasse Records and some hotly tipped summer tracks!
Hi there Luca, how are you?
I’m fine thank you, recovering from a gig here in Berlin on Saturday… Tuesday is always the day everything catches up with you, but the sun is out and Berlin is beautiful at the moment so I’m content. Heading to the studio in a while… get things moving.
What one track inspired you to get into music?
I can’t really put it down to one track, it would be impossible… although I do have memories of listening to my stepmother’s records when I was around 11-12. She had a great vinyl collection and I remember sitting and listening to Kraftwerk, Led Zepplin and being scared to death by The Velvet Underground. Music was always important to my family and was a part of daily life so I can attribute my interest in music to them.
Did relocating to Berlin have much influence to your sound?
Berlin mainly affords you time, things are much slower and relaxed here… the cost of living is cheaper and therefore the pressures to make money are less, this results in a different attitude towards music and production. I don’t think I ever could have produced my album in London, I always felt too rushed and manic. There is a flipside to the ‘relaxed’ pace in Berlin and you have to have a great deal of willpower to keep things moving forward… sometimes people can get sucked into a certain way of life and forget about the rest of the world and how quickly its moving, it’s important to be aware of what’s going on outside of this broken utopia.
Tell us a bit about Klasse Records and the wonderful things you guys do.
I started Klasse in 2010, I run the label as a vessel for mine and my friends music. It’s a closely knit thing, I’m not overly keen on being part of any scene and releasing music solely for its potential as a hit… just a nice project to have, something in which I can realise all the ideas I have in my head. We release music on digital, vinyl and sometimes cassette. We also make tshirts, random merchandise and nice videos. I think the possibilities of what a label can ‘be’ are many… there’s so much more you can do than just release music, Klasse Recordings is a fitting umbrella term that can incorporate all those things.
How do you find and/or pick your artists? Is there something in common that runs through all your signings or a sound you’re looking for?
Yes, in a way… everything we release appeals to my taste, so I guess that’s a common thread. Theres a lot of bass lines, ‘donk’ sounds and deepness going on… I enjoy tracks that have a good balance of dark and light… happy and sad. Tracks find their way to me via our Soundcloud as well as personal recommendations from friends and producers. I try to keep things within the Klasse family but I’m open to tracks from anywhere, Klasse is mainly dealing in-between the boundaries of house and techno but a good song is a good song and I’m down for whatever.
Your upcoming single Sail on Feat Amirali is gorgeous! Any more releases coming this year?
My ‘Life In Black And White’ album drops later this year after a reaaaaally long wait; everything is gearing up towards that. There’s a couple of remixes in the pipeline that I can’t say too much about at this point and a release with my main homie Mr. Ho coming on a new label from the UK. Bits and bobs here and there, every day sees a tidal wave of new releases… I’m happy to stand back from it and take my time.
You recently played OONST at Basing House on Friday (26th April) alongside Alex Egan (The Draughtsman). How did that go?
It was great! I had a good feeling when I got into London (despite the traffic) and it was nice to be in the familiar surroundings of Basing House (which I remembered as On The Rocks). The crowd was really receptive and it felt good to play in London again, I miss that ‘UK’ energy sometimes…. people bubbling away in a corner with a big smile on their faces. There was lots of high fives and pounds and I left feeling like I had done a good job…. big up to the Oonst guys for having me over, thanks for all the rum!
Was it good to be playing with the familiar company in Alex Egan, The Draughtsman formerly of Skull Juice?
I think it had been over 6 years since I saw Alex, we said hello and had a brief chat and it was like nothing had really changed. I wish we had had more time to catch up and chat, I keep updated on his movements via Facebook and I was really impressed by The Draughtsman material… he is a good dude and has his heart in the right place when it comes to music. Awesome DJ too… playing ‘Phreaky MF’ by Mike Dunn and ‘Ma Foom Bey’ by Cultural Vibe that night… doooooope.
What do you think of London’s latest fascination with house music?
I don’t really think anything to be honest, London’s trends move so quickly it sometimes seems like a waste of energy to even form an opinion. I’m amazed at the popularity of the so-called ‘deep house’ trend… it seems to have permeated all walks of life, someone told me they had seen a poster advertising ‘Hot Creations house’ as a genre-type which is pretty wild. I’m aware of a huge interest in retro-styled house music although don’t particularly go for the new stuff, why buy something that emulates something that was done so well previously… buy the original shit!
It’s easy to live in a bubble here in Berlin… I feel out of touch with what’s going on in the ‘mainstream’, that’s a good and bad thing I guess.
What’s been your best night out recently- from a clubber’s perspective as opposed to a DJ one?
I had a really good night at Berghain recently, it was one of those un-planned nights where you just seem to get caught up in the movement of everything and suddenly everything works out. I managed to see Rodhad, Levon Vincent, Chloé and Phil Weeks all in one night… Rodhad being the highlight, he played an intense set of blistering techno… I was blown away.
What was the most nerve-wracking gig you’ve ever played?
I can’t say I get nervous really, the big gigs are always a little more interesting as I’m aware of not having so many ‘big room’ tracks in my set. There’s a fine line between keeping the crowd moving and just surrendering over to playing purely functional music all night.
Tell us a bit about your summer plans- festivals, Ibiza, that sort of thing!
We are curating an event for Off-Sonar this year, inviting John Heckle and Arttu to come and play with us, there’s a Klasse Showcase at the new Aerophilia Festival here in Berlin. I’m off to play with Kink in Basel in the next weeks… Aside from gigs I’m working together with Johanna Knutsson on a new vinyl sub-label, Johanna is a vinyl only DJ and I felt like we should create something for her to be in control of so you should see that launching in the next few months. I’ll also be running around writing graffiti on things, skateboarding, doodling on paper and generally refusing to be an adult for the most of this summer… the usual!
What tunes are you hotly tipping to be a smash for summer and autumn?
I’m putting all my money on Sepultura’s ‘Roots Bloody Roots’ (wassup Igor!) and Floor’s catchy little ditty ‘Who Are You?’ as being the hits of this summer! TIP! FULL SUPPORT!
And now possibly the most difficult question you will ever answer: If there was a zombie apocalypse, what track (any genre, any age) would you play to distract them whilst you tried to escape?
Thats easy! I’d scare them away by playing Tommy Wright III’s ‘Runnin N Gunnin’… MEMPHIS RAP 4EVA.
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