This Is How Luke Solomon DJs
To celebrate the release of the amazing ‘Defected Gets Physical’ mixed by Luke Solomon and DJ T, we talked to Luke about how he DJs and his personal preferences as an international taste maker.
With an impressive track record of consistent underground success, nobody could debate Luke’s dance music credentials. From setting up the seminal label ‘Classic Recordings’ with Derrick Carter, DJing around the globe, to taking quirky house into the UK Top 10 and international charts, Luke has been there for many of the more interesting 4/4 moments of the last decade.
The mix itself sees both DJ T and Luke’s respective catalogues explored and exhibited as never before. Proudly celebrating a collaborative mind-set, synonymous with the original spirit of house music.
Are you more of a DJ or producer?
I see them as separate jobs. I dedicate an equal amount of time to both; one inspires the other though.
Describe what makes a good DJ in three or four words.
There are too many different factors – selection quality programming ability – maybe
Who or what inspired you to become a DJ?
Damien Chicken. He used to DJ at the university I attended before I started there. I used to go and listen, hang out, watch him program and mix. He had amazing ability and I aspired to that.
When did you know you wanted to DJ?
As soon as I saw him glue two records together and make people dance, I was in!
Who to you is ‘The DJ’s DJ’?
I think it would probably be a mixture of Ty Holden, Derrick Carter, Farley Jackmaster Funk and Spencer Kincy (Gemini).
Describe your main and preferred DJ set-up.
3 x CDJ 2000; I have grown to love them. I spend a lot of time buying records and digitizing. I love being able to re-edit on the fly with 3 players. As for mixers, I use the pioneer 2000 as it allows me to add to the whole edit process. I am waiting for them to make a mixer that deals with the sound quality too though. As an audiophile I can listen through a urea – or ran rotary – but I wasn’t schooled on a rotary and they don’t suit my style of playing
Beverage of choice while playing?
Any favorite country or clubs you like to play?
It runs in cycles. It used to be Japan and I always love London as it’s my home town. On the road recently, I had the most amazing time playing at Monarch in San Fran.
Do you Sync and what’s your view on this? Has it levelled the playing field for the better or worse?
The only time I have used it is when I was supporting a band and the DJ set up was off from the main PA. There was a crazy delay and I didn’t want to compromise my set, so it saved my ass as I could lock the tracks up and concentrate on the selection. In all honesty, the CDJs have the tempo marked on them, so if you use Rekordbox and you can match numbers, they will lock up anyway. Ultimately, its about making your music selection original and having the ability to program, mix in key and make people dance.
Favorite EFXs while playing?
I use the effects on the pioneer or the RMX1000.
Read the crowd or just pound it out?
Reading the crowd is a dying art; that’s how I learnt and that’s how I will always play. Knowing you might be losing them and trying to turn it around; not panicking and staying in control. As my dear departed friend Kenny Hawkes would always say – “give them what they want, but not what they would expect.”
Big festivals or intimate clubs?
I love small clubs with great systems, but there are some amazing festivals too. Glastonbury is one of my annual highlights; Festival No 6 too. Electric Elephant was pretty awesome this year.
Ever miss the vinyl days?
I spend a fortune weekly on vinyl; it remains a big part of my life and always will. I don’t miss playing it out though, I keep that for at home. I am done with the stress of bad set ups, records skipping, getting charged excess baggage and messing up my shoulders.
How do you maintain your music library?
At home I have my vinyl organised in genres and years. Digitally I organise everything in Rekordbox. It’s taken a couple of years to master that art, but now i have it down.
AIFFs OR MP3?
AIFFs and WAVs are cool. I like that AIFFs contain the metadata, but always pre-master with WAVs.
Any tips for aspiring young DJs?
Originality and hunting for music that no one else has. BUYING music, that gives you the jump on most DJs. Technology has made people lazy. Use that to your advantage.
How do combat the “Everyone is a DJ” mentality?
I don’t. I run with the “not everyone is a good DJ’ mantra!