MEOKO talks to 19.418.104.22.168.5.18
- Published on Tuesday, 03 April 2012 17:58
On Saturday 14th April, one of the most mysterious figures in the underground music scene comes to London. Playing the second Undersound party and continuing their aim of hosting the most forward-thinking and interesting DJ’s - 19.422.214.171.124.5.18 fits the bill like no other.
MEOKO landed a rare interview with the Undersound headliner where we spoke Luciano, the name 19.4126.96.36.199.5.18 and working in a call centre.
First up, how do people refer to you?
The number guy.
Ask the Frozen Border [record label] owner. He found the name.
Was your desire to be a faceless DJ and producer a reaction to one particular trend in the scene? For example, the whole Superstar DJ thing.....
I like techno or house for itself, not for a way to become famous. Nowadays, electronic music is not different anymore - it's like pop, dance or hip-hop…Aggressive promo, fake DJ's, business, an EP every 2 months, 5 remixes, an album every year, "spacebar" podcast…ok, this is how it works now but I don't want to play that game.
I feel closer to Moodymann, UR, Dan Bell, Zip, SP23. I want to keep it low profile, just release music when it's better than the previous one, or at least as good as the previous one! Not because I have to keep people talking about me and get my 5 gigs a month. Never mind! On the other hand, I think we need superstar DJ’s, it helps the scene get a larger audience.
Recently, I read criticism of Luciano being popular and commercial bla bla bla. I prefer that he becomes the new king of Ibiza rather than Guetta, LMFAO or Sinclar! At least he can produce a record by himself, knows how to DJ and we all know where he comes from.
Horizontal Ground shares a similar aesthetic to labels like Underground Resistance. Were you heavily influenced by the ideas of producers like Mike Banks growing up?
Definitely, Mike Banks and UR are strong references. Musically; UR-38 Codebreaker is a must, but also the way of thinking: Escape the chains of your music. Also, Alan Oldham's music and drawing and on the Euro side, Downwards Regis and Surgeon. Today, Silent Servant's music and visuals are really interesting.
How did you come to be involved with the Horizontal Ground label?
I sent a demo to Frozen Border. [Horizontal Ground’s parent label]
I read that the label owner has never met any of the artistson Horizontal Ground. Is that still the case?
True, I’ve never met Jeff.
Do you know the identity of the other artists on the label?
It seems that some of them make it public now.
You are booked to play at Undersound in London this month. Do you wear a DJ disguise?
Like wearing a mask or something?
Not my thing. I'm just the average guy playing records. Who told you 19.454 is one guy? Maybe we're a bunch of producers playing ro-sham-bo to know who's playing on the weekend.
Do you like playing out or prefer to be hidden away in a studio making music?
I prefer to shred [snowboard] the backcountry.
Are you a DJ or producer first or do you feel that both professions go hand in hand?
I started as a DJ, learning how turntables work, buying & listening to music. It was only after a few years that I slowly started to think of producing, but I'm definitely not a producer. I mean, I'm not a studio rat - spending hours learning tricks and reading manuals is not really my thing. When my mates come home for a beer, they show me how it works. Do both go hand in hand? I think so, it's a progression, but only a few kill in both – Ricardo [Villalobos], Jeff Mills, Surgeon, sandwell district…at this point you push the music forward.
Is that not one aspect of the scene that you feel has got out of hand – you have to be both DJ and producer? Not just one or the other.
Well Traktor can DJ for you and with Ableton presets you can do tracks in a day, so you don't need any of these to be a famous DJ now. Hire a well-known promo agency, dress trendy, arrange a photo shoot, spend time in after hours and you will soon get gigs. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against new technology, it's a strong part of our music, but when you see "DJs" on stage with laptops, controllers, fxs "playing" hours of 2 bar functional tech house, well it's nothing new. Dettmann can do better with 2 records and an analog mixer! Or go to a Monolake concert!
Had you made music before and do you make music under a different name?
What do you despise most about the underground music scene at the moment?
I don't waste my time on this, let's talk about good things! There are so many nice records coming out! Skudge, the 2 guys make awesome music and have a killer live set with real machines! Not a "spacebar-ableton-arrange view-drink-smile-put your hands up" live. All clone labels! Naked Music, Black Sun, Delsin! You know I'm really happy with all this good music around 'cause as I said before, I'm not a studio guy so there's no need to spend time on my machines anymore. I have my weekly dose of great music and I can go out snowboarding.
Are there any other labels that share your ideals that you would consider releasing on?
FOR released a limited 12" with a Skudge remix lately. Also Accelerate, Metroplex and Horizontal Ground.
Are you involved in music full time or do you have some other faceless job like working in a call centre?
Ha ha ha, yep working in a call centre. My DJ name is my service number and I play with a headset.
No, seriously, as I don't play the "yes to all" game, I prefer to get a part time job rather than playing music or clubs I don't want to. I work in the underground, surrounded by vintage, rare and expensive stuff…like in techno there's a spiritual thing…and sometimes we do crazy parties as well...
Undersound takes place on Saturday 14th April 2012 at a secret east London location.
10:00PM - 6:00AM