As I sat in front of Laidback Luke, nervously trying to compose myself, the DJ was so excited to discuss the release of his new album “Focus,” his first album in more than a decade. So, why the long wait? Well, time was definitely a factor. Between all the shows, festivals and his own MixMash record company, he doesn’t have much time for the studio.
“Usually an album can take up so much time and I was just too scared my career would be over so that’s why I put myself to the challenge and only gave myself a month,” Laidback Luke said.
That’s right — “Focus” was part of his 30 tracks in 30 days challenge, which seems insane if not impossible. For Laidback Luke, it was the only way he knew how to buckle down and push out an album. I learned that if there’s anyone who can take the pressure, it’s him. Some of his best skills are producing on the fly so it’s no surprise that he was able to pull this off. Sixteen tracks made it onto the album, selected by members of his MixMash team, which kind of caught me by surprise. Laughing at my reaction, he assured me that he trusted his team with his “baby.”
“To me they are all valuable. I just told them to make it an awesome selection and I’m really happy with it.”
Although it’s been more than 10 years since his last album, Laidback Luke is a name that few people have forgotten over the years. He’s managed to stay successful and relevant despite the influx of DJs and the changing landscape of the scene. An album seemed unnecessary, but was important for him, especially because albums are starting to become more popular among DJs.
Last year I was just looking at Knife Party and saw they came out with an album and all of a sudden they were on the main stages of every festival and I thought, wait a second, I can do that.
“Focus” is as eclectic as Laidback Luke’s musical style. He loves to jump from genre to genre and mix it up as much as possible. It’s also been a rediscovery process for him of music he loves to listen and play.
The next night, he was set to play Output as part of the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival b2b with his wife, DJ Gina Turner. Obviously, I had to ask him about playing with Gina. He admitted that both him and Gina are “Type A,” which can get tricky when you’re playing back to back. He loves to play around with effects while he’s mixing to keep Gina on her toes. Sometimes he has to remind her that he is Laidback Luke after all.
“She sometimes gets really nervous. I’ll need to say, listen I’ve been DJing for almost two decades ya gotta trust me on this – I know my stuff.”
More than anything, Laidback Luke loves his Super You&Me shows where fans dress up as their favorite superhero, including himself.
He might have two decades of experience under his belt, but Laidback Luke is still young at heart.