We still remember the first time we caught one of Laidback Luke’s DJ sets. It was his first appearance at Mansion nightclub in South Beach, and we had no clue what we were in for. The young Dutch DJ-producer wowed the sold-out crowd with his crafty skills, playing everything from groovy house tracks, and even dropping in some Daft Punk for those in the crowd who weren’t up to par with everyone else’s musical knowledge. Two years later, he’s at the top of his game and headlining some of the biggest clubs in the world. He’s currently on a massive global tour, playing an insane amount of European dates, as well as highly anticipated shows at clubs Space in Miami, Pacha in New York City and the infamous Electric Zoo festival in NYC.
Clubplanet recently caught up with Laidback Luke while he was on the road and chatted about his current tour schedule, his highly anticipated party at Pacha NYC, and what we can look forward to from him for the remainder of the year.
Clubplanet: How has 2010 been for you so far?
Laidback Luke: This year has been amazing. These last couple of years have actually been increasing better for me. It’s been a roller-coaster already. At the moment I’m just really focused on coming up with a lot of original tracks, in the form of an album.
Clubplanet: Your schedule is absolutely insane. How do you find the time to produce music?
Laidback Luke: A lot of times I just produce in airports, on airplanes and in hotel rooms. I love producing, it’s the thing that I love to do most. If I have the choice between watching a new movie, or producing a new track, it’s always to produce. I’m a produce-aholic.
Clubplanet: You’re set to play New York City’s infamous Electric Zoo festival. What’s your approach when you play a festival, as opposed to playing a club?
Laidback Luke: Obviously you can play a broader style of music. The good thing about festivals are that you can play just about any style of music and the fans are open to wherever you might take them. It’s really a matter of bringing a bit more of rough energy to the show and broadening the styles.
Clubplanet: You’ll also be playing next month at New York’s Pacha nightclub. What excites you the most about playing that particular club?
Laidback Luke: I’ve played Pacha a couple of times and to be able to host my own party there, Super You & Me, is amazing. We’re bringing along Wolfgang Gartner to play as well that night. I just hope that people come out dressed up for the party, because that’s the dress code, dress up as a super hero. I love the venue. It’s a legendary venue and it’s a really good typical warehouse-type venue.
Clubplanet: You’re also playing Club Space for the first time in Miami that same week. Knowing that so many great DJ-producers have played this club in the past, what’s your mentality going into the event?
Laidback Luke: I’m really anxious to play Space for the first time. I’ve been there tons of times. During WMC, for instance, even when I wrapped up a gig in Miami I’d go over to check out Club Space. I’m kind of nervous, actually, but I think I’m just going to have a bit more of a techno edge that night. I’m definitely coming prepared because it’s such a big deal to me.
Clubplanet: Who are some up and coming producers that you think people should look out for right now?
Laidback Luke: At the moment, Max Vangeli, AN21 are doing some great things and they’re definitely someone to look out for. There are also some great new Dutch kids coming up with some great stuff, like Mightyfools and Firebeatz.
Clubplanet: Technology is making it easier and easier for the average electronic music fan to become a DJ. What do you think makes a good DJ today?
Laidback Luke: Electronic music has always been about new technology. I think in the last five years, people have forgotten that that’s what triggered techno and dance music. I think we should stay open to technology and never approach with prejudice. I do think that a good DJ can still feel a room. You should be able to sense what a room wants and what people come for. A DJ should be able to improvise and obviously have a signature choice of music and be able to take a room to a higher and euphoric atmosphere. Running two tracks alongside on another for two minutes shouldn’t be the essence of how you can work a room.
Clubplanet: What are you plans for the remainder of the year?
Laidback Luke: Well I’m definitely going to be finishing up my album. The summer is looking crazy, with Ibiza around the corner. I definitely hope to be releasing a lot of original tracks soon. I’m at the halfway mark right now, so I’m excited to wrap it up.