Luca Lozano (Klasse Recordings) Q&A

lucash_og 11Can you tell about how you came to form Klasse Recordings and what the philosophy behind the label is?

Klasse was born out of the need to do something different, I have been involved in music for a while and it seemed like the right time to start my own label. I enjoyed working with other labels but felt the need to create something that I was in total control of, from the artwork to the music I wanted to ‘be’ the identity of the label. There was no grand plan of world domination, just a simple platform for myself and my good friends that surrounded me….Klasse started in 2010, amongst an explosion of new digital labels, I began to see a lot of content being created and a lot of it seemed really half-hearted shitty album artwork, bad design and carbon-copy music seemed to be everywhere and Klasse was my way of counteracting all that, a place where we could consolidate all of our interests…music and beyond.

Your new single: Sail On is built around a classic sample. Can you talk us through the process of producing it, and about your relationship with Amirali who is featured on the release?

Sail On is similar to most of the other tracks on my album, heavily sample based and with a heavy leaning towards hip hop, classic breaks and live instrumentation. I had had the track for a while and it seemed to be begging for the right vocal, I tried various things but nothing seemed to fit right. I was lucky enough to be put in touch with Amirali, we had a brief back and forth and he laid down the vocals, they fit perfectly from the get-go and the track just fell into place. Amirali is a talented dude with a great voice, I recently saw him play at Panorama Bar and really enjoyed his set….

https://soundcloud.com/lucalozano/luca-lozano-sail-on

Where you get your inspiration from/ which artists have most inspired you over the years?

I’m constantly returning to the music I enjoyed as a teenager, Mo Wax, DJ Shadow, early East Coast hip hop like Mobb Deep and Wu. My album was directly inspired by these early connections with music and I think these sounds are deeply embedded in my consciousness. I spent a lot of time digging for weird and wonderful music, listening to a lot of Jazz on labels such as Three Blind Mice, taking inspiration from Jamaican steel drum bands and abstract Cosmic music from Italy. I looked everywhere outside of dance music for inspiration and influence and I think that comes across in the music.

lucaYour forthcoming album is called ‘Life In Black And White’. Can you tell us about what the title means and about some of music on it?

The title refers to a few things, the main one being my slightly left of centre placement in this world. It’s kind of tricky to describe but there are parts of my personality that are dominated by OCD tendencies and sometimes I am unable to see the ‘middle ground’, I’m obsessed with extremes…everything is either ‘ON’ or ‘OFF, ‘YES’ or ‘NO’. Hence ‘BLACK’ and ‘WHITE’, there’s no grey area of mediation and negotiation…no room for movement. Essentially it’s all about me being a really awkward dude….I guess that sums it up!

The music on the album is primarily for listening, I didn’t want to make an album that was focused on the dancefloor…most of the tracks range between 90-110bpm and feature some sort of Hip Hop influence. I used a lot of classic breakbeats and classical instruments on there, attempting to marry them with electronics and a more standard ‘dance music’ template. Every track was a pleasure to make, whilst making the album I tried to ignore fashions and trends and this made it flow very naturally….good music always comes easy!!

The artwork for the label is also particularly distinctive. How would you describe that?

Art and design is a huge part of my life and I want Klasse to look as good as it can, commercial identity is always really important…especially in today’s world of facebook, emails and never-ending social feeds. The idea behind most of the artwork is simplicity and effectiveness, all the artwork needs to work on a wide range of scales…most artwork is viewed as 300 X 300px thumbnail these days and it needs to stand out amongst the rest of the shit out there. I take inspiration from my interests, graffiti, punk zines, outsider art and ‘the good old days’…it’s important for me that the visual side of Klasse has a definite grain and roughness to it…something different than the usual shiny, rounded and polished graphics of most labels around these days.

Earlier this year I took Klasse Recordings over to Barcelona for the ‘Blanco Y Negro’ graffiti event…in conjunction with Montana Spray Paint and betahaus barcelona we put together a handful of likeminded writers and got busy.

Heres the video for the event, which features an exclusive peek at a new track from my upcoming album. Enjoy!

BLANCO Y NEGRO from mydogispolite on Vimeo.

You also A&R for the label. How do you find the standard of music around in 2013, what do you look for when signing a track to Klasse Recordings?

I look for a uniqueness and individuality, a track needs a personality just as an artist does. I enjoy tracks that have a good balance of functionality and originality, weird is always good..something to surprise the listener out of their comfort zone. These days I get sent a lot of ‘retro-house’ and I’m done with hearing the same old deep house organ stabs and diva vocals, by default I find myself leaning towards colder, more techno-ish styling’s. Our recent release of the FJAAK guys is a perfect example of what I’m enjoying at the moment, synth heavy, hook laden and drenched in analogue goodness….please send more like this!

Where can people get to hear you Dj this summer?

I have a few shows coming up; I’m really looking forward to playing with Kink in Basel, Spring Festival in Austria and the new Aerophilia festival just outside of Berlin. We are also putting together a great show for Off-Sonar, I’ll be playing alongside John Heckle and Arttu…most of all I’m looking forward to playing alongside my homies at the next Klasse label nights….watch this space!!

http://www.klasserecordings.de

https://www.facebook.com/lucalozano/info

https://twitter.com/lucalozano

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reviews:52

Visioneers
Hipology
BBE

Not often an artist album comes along displaying not only valuable words but musical skills on this level. Marc Mac (also one half on 4Hero) who whose been producing music for the past couple of decades has arrived at this point, again, with his second Visioneers album, Hipology. Listening to this reads like a history lesson in sight and sound while expert instrumentation is employed via a sterling set of players. Indeed, try an instrumental track like LaAnne from Harlem and tell me it doesn’t move to tears of joy. The album creatively evokes moods and plays with words both spoken and sung throughout, while for the dancefloor try the take on B-Boy legend, Apache (Battle Dub) for size, plus any number of other sure-fire gems. Something for everyone exists on here with the summer funk of Come Sand Play in the Milky Night destined for any beach party worth its salt, or Shine which feeds your mind with meaningful word and soulful tones.

release: June 2012

http://www.mixcloud.com/LaidBackRadio/marc-mac-dusty-disco-crates/

http://hipology.org/

https://www.facebook.com/bbemusic

http://www.bbemusic.com/

 

Leftroom Presents… Laura Jones
Leftroom

Laura Jones invigorating exploration of electronic sound continues with her first compilation mix for the prestigious Leftroom imprint. Starting with moody brilliance of dOP & Masomenos Hello! the album rapidly proceeds to entice you with its emotive selection of beats and rhythms that never fail but to ignite your imagination. Combining a diverse selection of music from labels like Vitalik Records, Visonquest, and of course Leftroom means that you know you’re always in safe company. What’s also particularly notable here is the way the album weaves between styles, flipping from Techno to House while never feeling contrived. The second half of the mix picks up the pace with a sure succession of killer tracks from Gavin Herlihy and Polyrhythmic, amongst many significant others, finishing on Guy Gerber’s masterful The Mirror Game.

release: June 18

Laura Jones interview http://www.magazinesixty.com/?p=498

http://soundcloud.com/leftroom

http://soundcloud.com/laurajones

https://www.facebook.com/leftroomrecords

https://twitter.com/#!/leftroom

 

Cutting Edge mixed Luke Solomon
D-Edge

Sao Paolo’s D-Edge combines with long standing House Music impresario Luke Solomon to release this testament to the DJ’s undoubted prowess in all things musical and techincal. The Classic Records co-founder carefully teases every inch of rhythm from this truly intense mixture of distinctive House, unsettling Techno and general electronic madness into the bargain. Whether that’s Red Rack’em’s bassline master class of How I Program, or Boo Williams severely funky Devil Music this will truly rock your discotheque. Any mix that climaxes in the process with the Roberto Rodriguez version of Seven Reasons can only probably be described as transcendent.

release: July 7

www.lukesolomon.com

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/luke-solomons-podcast/id392533558

www.dedgerecords.com.br

 

Luca Lozano
B.O.N.E.S EP
Klasse Recordings

Excellent EP from Germany’s Klasse Recordings beginning with the melodic technology of Soul123 which references Detroit like it was just around the corner. Next, Skeleton Keys gets busy with classic House bass and organ creating perfect tension in the air. While, Fakie Snot Bubble cleverly hits you hard at first with fizzy old-school stabs and ‘work this’ vocals, then turns it all upside down with warm pads and House strings causing emotive confusion? Despite its somewhat dubious title the more I hear this, the more seriously impressive it sounds.

release: June 11

http://soundcloud.com/lucalozano/sets/kls019-luca-lozano-b-o-n-e-s/

https://www.facebook.com/lucalozano

http://www.klasserecordings.de/

 

Walker & Royce
You’re Not Welcome
Crosstown Rebels

You don’t really need me to tell you that this latest from Crosstown is excellent, do you? Put it like this: it feels ever so slightly sinister with sumptuous bass notes driving the taught beats, as the uber cool vocals feel deeply soulful in a Trans-European setting with sparkling keys lifting it all skyward. Stare If You Want To feat. Javi happens next with killer syncopation feeling like disco never went away (I know, it didn’t) but coupled with tripped out voices and more contemporary chords plus guitar, this again transcends the timeline. The Francesca Lombardo Remix of You’re Not Welcome resists the titles negative appeal with addictive notation and proves the vocal to be defiantly happy.

release: June 11

http://soundcloud.com/walker-and-royce

http://soundcloud.com/francesca-lombardo

 

I Cube
In Alpha EP
Versatile Records

I Cube once again produce’s something so startlingly original that when it’s primed it will explode all over your dancefloor. Y.O.U.R.O.C.K is somewhat self-explanatory here as shimmering electro keys clash with strident disco beats, while repeating to infinity and beyond. This has to be heard to be believed! Followed by Popular Electronics which frays the edges with twisted synths and a lot more besides, but possibly saving the best to last is In Alpha which replays eighties guitar funk, via the curious mind of I Cube, to feel compellingly uplifting and certainly rather beautiful. The album is coming…

release: June 11

http://soundcloud.com/versatile-records/sets/i-cube-in-alpha-ep/

http://versatilerecords.com/

 

Justin Martin
Ghettos & Gardens
dirtybird

Clearly in his own class Justin Martin’s debut album acts like a conduit for his myriad of influences and own particular brand of music. Encompassing everything from U.K bass to Acid the album avoids treading a cliqued path by its use of trippy voices and unexpected combinations of styles, which none-the-less always feel exciting and pertinent. Butterflies is a case in point with edited child-like voices playing off against synthetic chords and squelchy basslines to sound like not a lot else out there. Also try Molokini for some heavy-duty business, and The Gurner with Pillow Talk for something a little deeper and more spiritually motivating.

http://www.beatport.com/#release/ghettos-and-gardens/906717

www.dirtybirdrecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/justinmartinmusicpage

http://soundcloud.com/justin-martin-music

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