Spotlight: Luke Slater
Luke Slater will be holding down Room 1 alongside Regis and James Ruskin for our 20 Years of Blueprint Records this Saturday, April 16th. Here’s a spotlight on him, looking at the music typifying his career so far & the mixes we can’t do without – working in reverse chronological order.
Firstly – let’s take stock of Luke’s output.
Between 1989 and 1992 he used six different names across eight releases on Jelly Jam Records – overspilling into the 90s where Deputy Dawg, Clementine and Krispy Krouton added to the list of aliases. For most of us, we’ll know him as Luke Slater; Planetary Assault Systems and L.B. Dub Corp.
Under Planetary Assault Systems Luke has spent 20 years exploring the nuances of techno, spanning 5 albums released across Ostgut and Peacefrog and a tonne of 12 inches. Not afraid of experimentation, L.B. Dub Corp came along in 2006, a moniker for his ‘housier’ releases – including a track with poet Benjamin Zephaniah.
As for Luke’s label, the infamous Mote-Evolver, also came along in 2006. It’s been responsible for releases spanning dancefloor bombs from PAS, Shifted, Psyk, Marcel Fengler and Cari Lekebusch, to deep space techno from Lucy, Silent Servant, Samuli Kemppi, ASC, L.B. Dub Corp and various peak time dance floor reworks.
In a Time Warp interview back in 2011 he was asked “What keeps you going for so long?” to which he replied
“I never really thought about that too much, because really you say 15 years but it’s really like yesterday. It’s kind of a passion for me. I don’t really want anything else.”
Released in 2013. As a mix, this is a gradually evolving session, which begins with gently bubbling house and ends with full-bodied techno, all shot through with Slater’s singular sense of sound design.
In Luke’s words “It’s an L.B. Dub Corp to Planetary Assault Systems mix, and I guess it could have been much longer as this condensed story is celebrating diversity, blend and dynamics within that idea. Those were the inspirations to try and get a listener from L.B. Dub to P.A.S. in a cohesive and adhesive way.”
It’s 2009 – Luke had been out of the spotlight a bit, only to return with the high acclaimed Temporary Suspension album under his most influential guise, Planetary Assault Systems, on Ostgut Ton. This release heralded a return – for Slater and the wider scene – to some of the traditional, purist values of early techno.
The follow-up album, The Messenger (also released on Ostgut Ton), was in a lot of people’s eyes a step up again – reaching for a seemingly endless plethora of odd effects, hooks, sounds and structutal ornaments no one would be ashamed of – combining moments of serenity with frictionless grooves and more brutalist workouts that always supersede the usual ‘techno tool’ blueprint.
There’s undulating hypnosis: try ‘Human Like Us‘, ‘Bell Blocker‘ or ‘Motif‘. There’s chunky club workouts: try ‘Rip The Cut‘, ‘Kray Squid’ or the riotous ‘Cold Bolster‘. There’s subdued and spacey: try ‘Railer’ or ‘Beauty In The Fear’. And one of our faves – Black Tea.
It’s 2000. Slater a drum machine, lots of swooshes and cowbell sounds. In other words:
Let’s go crazy!!!!
Want to hear Slater’s take at broken beat techno? Some serious cutting at work on this track – take from his 1997 release Freek Funk.
You’d be mad to miss Luke Slater setting off Room 1 alongside Regis and James Ruskin. Get down to our 20 Years of Blueprint Records party this Saturday, April 16th – 9pm – 6am.