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Feature: Luke Garcia [Interview + Premiere]

29 min read

Spanish artist Luke Garcia has enjoyed measurable success across his decade-long career. The Madrid resident has been praised for his borderless approach to production, in turn landing standout projects for Diynamic, Innervisions, Sum Over Histories and TAU. As occasional studio partners since the beginning of 2023, Colossio and Luke made their collaborative debut via Engrave Ltd with ‘Let Go’, a release which would precede a recent contribution to Innervisions ‘Secret Weapons’ Part 16. Now, continuing to build on their creative partnership, Colossio and Luke end the year with their microCastle debut ‘Amen / Ryen’.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Luke to learn more about the release of 'Amen / Ryen', his background, nightlife in Spain, creative process, DJing, and more. Enjoy.

Hi Luke, thanks for talking to us today. How are you and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hi guys! Thank you for inviting me to your channel and doing this interview!

Well, lately I've been on a loop with one of the latest Weval eps, Forever. I find it super inspirational, they have tremendous talent.

How has your 2023 been? Any gigs that have stood out for you across the year?

Well, this year has been very good in terms of quality gigs and productions!! I remember 2 great gigs this year, one in Spain in a club that has more than 30 years of history, Metrodance Club and I played this past summer on an open air floor right at dawn on August 19 with more than 2000 pax dancing with sunglasses and a unique energy, I will always keep it in my memory. And the other great date I had this year was at the end of July in an incredible club in Marrakech at a party called Umbra, incredible, with a 360º visual screen surrounding a club of about 2500 pax, sold out doing the warm up for Ivory b2b Tal Fussman. It was a magical and very underground moment!

Take us through a typical day when you’re not travelling, what does a day in your life look like?

My day to day life is very routine and disciplined. I get up early, make coffee and prepare some food to take to the studio. I arrive around 9 in the morning and there are days when I work on new music for myself and others I give production, post-production and DJ courses. Around 3 in the afternoon I go to train for an hour and return home around 5 to rest and relax. Sometimes I take a day off and go up the mountain because for me it is very inspirational to continue making music.

You’ve been active in the scene for many years now, both as a DJ and producer, so what would you say are some of your career milestones both as Dj and producer thus far?

If you doubt going to live in Miami at the beginning of my career, it had a very positive influence on gaining many contacts and experience in clubs all over the USA, and being a resident of Pacha Ibiza between 2012 and 2015 was another very important moment in my career and establishing myself in the club scene of Spain and Europe.

And what goals might you have for the future? Or is this something you think about?

Right after Covid I planned my life differently. Before, it caused me a lot of stress not to reach some goals that I thought I deserved or that I was fighting to achieve, but now I try not to get so obsessed with it and work day by day to achieve small goals that are my daily fuel.

Spain is known for a wealth of electronic music talent. Tell us how living there has impacted the music you make, and your career path into the industry.

Really a lot, because of my way of interpreting dance music. I try to convey dance and emotion in equal parts in my productions and sets, but with the warmth of the Spanish character. A mixture of melody and rhythm with percussion and groove that defines other Spanish musical genres. I have had Oscar Mulero as a reference for much of my life and that has always influenced and inspired me.

If you were a tour-guide for nightlife in Spain, what would be the clubs you’d take the people to see and what local DJs do they need to hear?

Without a doubt, unmissable clubs for me would be DC10 Ibiza, Pacha Ibiza, Fabrik Madrid, Hi Ibiza, Intime Club in Madrid, Studio Club in Malaga, Metrica Open Air Malaga and Metrodance Club in Murcia. And as DJs who are 100% Spanish pride for me, Oscar Mulero in one of the showcases he does in Clubs in Madrid 2 or 3 times a year (PoleGroup), Miguel Payda, Ian Ludvig, Adrian Roman, Th3 Oth3r and Argia, with them there is a guaranteed party!

You have a new EP ‘Amen / Ryen’ (co-produced with Colossio) out now via microCastle. Tell us a bit about the EP and how it showcases your current sound.

Colossio and I met during Covid times. We started talking about the music we both made, we shared tastes and styles. But it was last year when we decided to collaborate on a few projects that have seen the light in 2023 and what is still to come!! We are very happy with the result because very beautiful tracks have been born from the union.

Let our readers inside your studio for a moment, what is your current setup and what studio tools are featured heavily in your recent productions and more specifically ‘Ryen’ which we hosted the premiere for.

Well, lately I hardly use external hardware anymore... only an Arturia keyboard, Beringher Model D and akai APC. I work very comfortably with virtual instruments such as omnisphere, serum or some ableton natives with which I work on synthesis and take them to the level I want. With all that Ryen was born, plus my own voices recorded and ripped the way I like.

‘Situation’ and ‘My Body’ were produced with Mexican talent Colossio, you’ve had previous work together on Engrave and Innervisions across 2023. Tell us how you guys met and eventually decided to work on music together.

As I said before, we met musically in the first time of Covid and we started sharing music, we really liked what we each did independently and at the beginning of last year we decided to collaborate with some joint ideas and so far we have already made about 6 tracks together ... everything has been very easy and has flowed naturally. We are very happy... Maybe there will be something else for next year!!!!

Colossio did remix Ivory’s ‘Timelapse’ for microCastle last year, but this is your first release on the label, tell us why the label is a good home for your music.

Without a doubt Microcastle is one of the most romantic and intimate labels where I have published music. The deal with Mitch, label manager, is special and everything has been flowing naturally and quickly. In addition, he has taken care of all the details prior to the launch and carefully chosen each of the steps that have been taken until the total configuration of the Vinyl. Choosing the art for the cover, mastering, promotion... everything has been impeccable.

Working as a duo is an interesting dynamic, how would you say these tracks differ from ones you would have produced in solo capacity?

There are many sounds that represent the two of us, since we are very close producers in terms of styles, but for my part I think that the energetic drops of Situation and the moments of tension in My Body are recognized. Besides, I want to tell you a secret, the voice of both tracks is mine.

Who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback? And how much road-testing do you do on a track before you consider it ‘finished’?

I show the music to my manager, of course the first (Thanks Ciro), and to some trusted producer friends almost always as well: Ian Ludvig, Th3 Oth3r, Joone, Adrian Roman... As for how I test my new tracks. .. ufff... here I am a very perfectionist, at least I listen to it 15 times on different devices (car, cell phone headphones, in a friend's studio, at home while I'm cooking...) and after that test, I must feel more or less the same sensation on all sides, that the work is impeccable.

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

Definitely the creation of chords and melodies... my head is inexhaustible at that point. And what I like least is the mixture, I usually derive it.

Now let’s talk about DJing for a moment, it’s a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it?

I never prepare my sets, yes, I always follow a similar line with my sound, and almost 90% of my sets are unreleased tracks or demos. I love to improvise and surprise myself when I play, I never make the same mixes, and I work a lot on the psychology of the track in each of my performances. This is what helps me the most to reach the public and make them dance.

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks and perhaps also, your work as a producer?

Since my adolescence, music and my development as a person have influenced me in many moments of my life. But yes, indeed since I have been producing music, the production has made me more critical in my listening. But I have always listened to many musical genres. I like Spanish folk music, English pop, rock, ballads and of course electronic music of all kinds. My day to day is always with music.

How much prep do you put into the sets you play, or are they spontaneous for the most part?

Most of the time my sets are improvised. Every week I choose new tracks that arrive and place them on my USBs. The rest is all inspiration and psychology on the dance floor.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

Hard choice! But surely to DJs that I danced to when I was very young!! Claudio Coccoluto the first, the second Erick Morillo, the third Danny Tenaglia, Deep Dish before the end of the party and I think Oscar Mulero as the closing.

Current top five tracks in your sets?

Ian Ludvig - Good For Me

Th3 Oth3r - Bright Me

An unreleased track of mine that is still unsigned

Luke Garcia, Colossio - Situation

Underworld - Cowgirl (Edit Version)

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life?

I would be a sound teacher.

If you are not DJing or socializing at clubs, where do we find you? And doing what?

With my family, reading, walking in the mountains and above all doing sports. It's what I do most in life, along with cooking. It keeps me balanced in my life doing all these things to compensate for the time I'm in the studio or on the road.

What are some of your favourite TV series? Both all time and recently, what have you been enjoying lately?

The prequel to the Lord of the Rings and Games of Thrones is what I've seen lately and I really liked it.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Play sports at least 4 days a week and spend quality time with my family.

What does 2024 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

Well, great releases that will come out throughout 2024, some on colabs and others only on some of my favorite labels. As for gigs, I already have a few on the agenda and I hope many more. And the rest and the best... whatever comes... let it flow.

'Amen / Ryen' is available now via microCastle: https://tinyurl.com/mszd3kjw

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