Laidback Luke on “DJs doing the same sets over and over”
The DJing scene is at a pivotal point in its history. The last couple years, the “laptop DJ” has gone from bedroom dynamo to full-time career. Show up with your Macbook, enqueue your tracks, and party all night. But now that big time producers and DJs are being labled “button pushers”, they’re starting to fight back.
Recently Dutch producer Laidback Luke took a turn at the podium, and shared some very strong feelings. Recently in a phone interview with inthemix, Luke said:
“A lot of DJs are comfortable with what they play at various festivals and are doing the same sets over and over again,” he told inthemix. “To me, what real DJing is about is anticipating the moment, the location and the crowd. Playing the same set would be impossible for me. For me, DJing is about improvisation in the moment. Sometimes DJs bring out confetti and fireworks that needs to be synched, which I don’t really see the use of, to be honest. You could have a button that says ‘Fireworks’ and when you think the moment is right, you just press it.”
He touches on another point which I’ve mentioned briefly on here before, and that’s how fast the EDM scene recycles producers. A few top dogs in the industry have been blessed with staying relevant throughout the ever evolving scene, despite the emphasis being on NEW artists. Here’s what he had to say:
“It is going really fast these days,” he added. “Talent comes and goes. It’s the ‘goes’ part that makes me worried. I’m here for the longevity; it’s about the whole trip. Being accelerated very fast can do strange things for the kids who aren’t ready.”
In fact, the scene rinses and repeats so frequently that many of the young promoters working in the scene aren’t even familiar with who Laidback Luke is, despite the fact that he’s been releasing bangers sine 1998 (Luke is 35, after all!)
“I get that often,” he said. “I think it’s flattering at my age that people think I’m a newcomer! Sometimes I get the benefit of that. Promoters will hire me to play for them for the first time. They’ll be like, ‘Okay kid, this is your shot, if you mess this up, we’re probably not going to book you again, but if you do good, we’re going to make you big in this country!’ Having 13 years of DJ experience, I can manage stuff like that. It’s cool to surprise people, coming from an underdog position.”
Who will be the next prominent artist or DJ to speak out publicly about the button pusher debate?