The NYC-based 2-stepper mixes up the tempo on this week's RA podcast.
Looking at Planet Mu's 2009 release schedule, you can't help but feel slightly overwhelmed. Come the beginning of September, Mike Paradinas (AKA µ-Ziq) has already released albums by Shitmat, Milanese, Like Vibert, Few Nolder, Venetian Snares, Legion Of Two and Boxcutter. But arguably the most interesting full-length that the label has birthed this year is the debut album from New York-based producer Andrew Lustman. Love Is a Liability saw the 2-step template turned on its head, with Lustman's rich melodic textures and hyper-kinetic beat programming injecting a fresh sensibility into the genre.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Lustman has already completed work on his follow-up album, and showcased a fresh direction with his To London 12-inch on Ramp Recordings. While the title track on the latter sees him pull off a wonky house workout complete with wiggling synths and skippy rolling percussion, "Meta-Cognist" proves that he can also craft lush Detroit beatdown-inspired material with the best of them. Similarly, Lustman's RA podcast journeys through beat-driven low tempo sounds, inventive new-school UK garage, dubstep and even some wild drum & bass courtesy of Luke Vibert. We caught up with him by e-mail to ask about the mix, his penchant for UK producers and his relationship with the Planet Mu boss.
What have you been working on recently?
I've just been finishing up some remixes and mixes. A few new 12-inches along with an EP on Planet Mu later this year too.
How and where was the mix recorded?
I recorded this mix from most of what I play out live lately in Ableton and an Akai MPD24. I did it on my desk in my bedroom near the entrance to the building that I live in. I can hear fire trucks go by me all the time.
Can you tell us a little about the mix?
It's basically the bpm range I try and go through when playing live. Start around 95 BPM and end around 170 BPM if I can. I think it's fun and challenging; that's quite a lot of range and if I can keep people dancing, I've succeeded. I hate to see the room clear!
You have cited jungle as one of your major influences. What was your entry point into the genre, and was there any place to hear it out in New York?
Yeah, there is Konkrete Jungle and other nights, I imagine. I hear it mostly on my iPod though, raving in a train going 45 mph underground through Manhattan at two in the morning. That's the best, I think—alone and completely geeking out on jungle. Shit is out of control! I can't get enough of it. I've done 20 minutes of Remarc to end a set before, and the crowd lost it all together. They loved it.
Nearly all of your podcast is composed of tracks by English artists. Are you a bit of an Anglophile when it comes to your musical taste?
Haha, maybe yeah... I don't know, I just keep my ear to the ground, and what's really doing it for me right now is coming out of Europe, although I could have easily done a 45 minute mix of LA hip-hop too.
It must have been quite an honour to be picked up by Mike at Planet Mu. Did you actively send him your material or did he find you?
I sent Mike so many tunes at one point he said, "Alright, alright... I get it!" But then I sent him "Human Meadow," the first track on my album, and he was blown away a bit by it, I think. From there it's been a great working relationship. I think there is a mutual respect; obviously I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike and all he has done for music, what with his own productions and his mighty label. He has helped me find out who I am as a musician and producer, without even knowing it I imagine. Dope dude.
What are you up to next?
I've got a few things coming out and a Europe tour in mid-September, Fabric in London and Golden Pudel in Hamburg, then more dates back in England 'til the 20th. Come down and say hello!