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DJ interview


Laidback Luke

Roger Sanchez


interview by Ruchie ‘Roo' Farndon

The Afterdark series is back in the ring for round three, and promises to deliver its most pitch-perfect knockout punch yet with a darker, dirtier, more deranged mix of underground house than you'll hear anywhere else this year. The combined talents of the incomparable Mr. Sanchez and fast-rising Dutch techno phenomenon Laidback Luke conjure two spellbinding discs that plumb the depths of what makes after-hours house so intoxicatingly unique and reinvigorate the sonic sensibilities of anyone who's willing to come along for the ride.

And here's what the pair had to say about it via email!

It's already the 3rd volume of Afterdark and it's known for cool combinations. How did you guys team up?

Roger: Well, Afterdark, as you know, gives me the opportunity to explore the darker side of house, and since Luke is a rising star in the electronic scene, and having played with him several times, I thought he would make a great match 2 team up 4 the Afterdark.

Luke: I'm really a big fan of Roger's deejaying, I'm so glad to be part of the Stealth family. Thanks to Roger also, my career got an international turbo-boost this year. I guess my time has come to have a great opportunity in mixing Afterdark with main man Roger!

Afterdark is known for it's more twisted and underground feel, could you tell us what the stand out tracks are?

Luke: For my sets I play a lot of own material nowadays and special bootlegs and edits I make for the floor. You can expect a twisted version of Nightcrawlers by me, as well as a special rework I did on Dutch classic Jaydee – Plastic Dreams. Can't forget to put on some of the super tracks by my Swedish House Maffia brothers!

Do you feel if there is still room for you to play underground sets?

Roger: Absolutely! I play darker and more underground in my longer and later sets such as when I play Pacha Ibiza, Space in Miami and in Montreal. Musically it is great to be able to explore so many different directions and my sets already allow me to do that. The sound of the Release Yourself CDs is so established, its great that with Afterdark we can do CDs with this different sound as well.

Luke: Although I consider myself a mainstream DJ, especially in Holland, there is still even room in mainstream sets to pull off some underground stuff. As long as it rocks and you can keep the crowd enthusiastic it works!

Did you two talk about how your mixes for this Afterdark release should sound?

Roger: I really left Luke's mix up 2 him - I know his sound and I know it will complement mine perfectly. I choose the DJs for Afterdark based on their sound and the synergy comes from 2 different perspectives by 2 different artists on the same sound.

Luke: I did get an extensive briefing on what the compilation is all about! Even the way I mix it, I have to focus on what the Afterdark listeners are used to. This is a whole other league I'm mixing here so anything I can learn off this, is next level stuff for me!

Both of you are producing a lot of tracks per year: where do you get the inspiration from?

Roger: Wherever I am I find inspiration be it on the road, living in Ibiza and New York, from the places I play like Pacha, the island itself, and so on. Also I listen 2 other producers, guys that I am really loving at the moment are Jesse Garcia Kurd Maverick, DeadMau5, Needle & Ink, Laidback Luke of course and loads of others.

Luke: Inspiration for me is everywhere. I can be triggered by the slightest things and translate it into music, or even make tracks in my head. I'm all about music, I'm like a never ending walking jukebox ha ha.

Afterdark is a platform for upfront DJ's & cool combinations. Any new developments in this area?

Roger: Well Stealth is very much about the hottest talent both new and established producers, and Afterdark fits into that exactly. I am constantly looking out for new talent, for the label the compilations and for the events. And I am loving the fresh guys that are out there at the moment like Rene Amesz, Javi Munoz and so on.

Luke: Definitely! In Holland and I guess in the world even you see a lot of DJs making their own bootlegs now. Because it's so easy to get music nowadays it's getting more important to spin the most exclusive stuff you can get your hands on. Or just simply make the most exclusive stuff yourself, in my case, making bootlegs is a nice hobby for me now and the instant pleasure I get from spinning them out is crazy!

When can we expect new singles from you?

Roger: Well, of course, we are working on "Not Enough/Again" at the very moment, but I am working with a slew of producers and it is something new for me to be working with so many different people which makes for some really interesting new approaches. Right now I'm doing collaborations with producers like Tom Stephan, Martijn ten Velden, Kurd Maverick and Dean Coleman to name a few, so soon there will be new stuff.

Luke: I got tons lined up for the coming season. The biggest one is a 2007 remake of my Dutch classic called "Rocking With The Best." We shot a video in LA and it's going to look insane! We got remixes from Rene Amesz and Don Diablo in the package so it's looking to be pretty good!

When was the most memorable time you DJ'ed alongside each other?

Roger: I really enjoyed Luke's set at the Stealth party during WMC this year and he rocked it at Pacha for Release Yourself!

Luke: For me it's a gig I was doing in Holland in 2000 called Lowlands, playing in a tent that holds 10.000 people, I had to spin between Roger and Dave Clarke. We were shooting the first video for Rocking With The Best at the same time, so I brought the MC with me to join me in my set. We had been promo'ing the track so Roger had it already. And when the MC started to say the words: ‘Oh yes, you are now rocking with the best' Roger turned around and said: ‘Wow, it's him, it's him!' The MC felt a bit like a star for a few seconds there ha ha.

Where did the name Laidback Luke come from?

Luke: I was searching for a cool US sounding name to combine it with my real name Luke. I wanted a double name to make it sound like Carl Cox or Todd Terry. ‘Lucky' was already taken ha ha, so I needed some other L-word to join it with. I heard Gin And Juice from Snoop Dogg pass by and was instantly hooked when he rapped: ‘Laaaaidback…'

Afterdark Vol.3 mixed by Roger Sanchez and Laidback Luke was released on October 15th, on Stealth Records. Laidback Luke ‘Rocking With The Best 2007' (Mixmash) also released October 15th, so go check them out now!

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