We chat '90s house and techno with one of the world's most popular DJs.
"If you strip it down, techno is about programming drums and programming blips and blobs at certain times. That's one of the things that broke me." This might not mean much coming from a crusty has-been, but when it comes from Laidback Luke, one of the world's most popular electronic music artists, you trust he means it. A mega-star in the world referred to as EDM, there's more to Laidback Luke, AKA Luke Van Scheppingen, than most people realise. Between 1995 and 1999, Van Scheppingen released a string of timeless house and techno tracks. Stripped-down, emotive and deadly on the dance floor, tunes like "Are You Ready," "Daydream Funk" and his remix of Green Velvet's "The Stalker" are the sound of a talented teenager working at a level beyond his years. Van Scheppingen didn't stick with the sound for long and, citing creative constraints, shifted away from the aesthetic around 2000, going on to become a popular artist in the mainstream arena.
But '90s house and techno never fully left Van Scheppingen's heart. Speaking with Matt Unicomb at his New Jersey home hours after playing a rare techno set at Flash Factory New York in December, Van Scheppingen opened up about his transition from bedroom DJ to mainstream heavyweight.