‘Living The Bloody Moment’ – LUUDE Chats ‘6AM’, Drum & Bass + Sunrise Kick Ons
On repeat.
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One of my favourite EPs of the year…

DNB. It’s a genre that once it clicks, it’s impossible to get out of your head. It leads to an unspoken bond between all who indulge in it, one that permeates every warehouse rave or otherworldly doof lucky enough to be blessed with its elixir. The same can be said with breakbeat, the magnification of drum loops and the building of emotive layers around them helping to curate a primal sense of catharsis and transcendence, creating a feeling so moving that it’s almost like you’re getting a glimpse at the cosmic heartbeat of sound. Both are on the rise in Australia, and no one is pushing them harder than Brissy/Meanjin producer LUUDE, whose new EP 6AM is out now.

His latest offering sees the producer venture into the realms of DNB and breakbeat like few before him in the realm of Australia, emerging from the fiery depths of drum-infused nirvana with five badass tracks perfect to soundtrack your next night out on the town (hopefully it’s not too far off). From the off-chops pres to the unforgettable yet impossible to recall nights out and the filthy, but glorious kick ons, the EP is suited to it all, and shows the Brissy producer’s versatility to grow and expand his creativity beyond the conventional bounds of Aussie music.

We caught up with the DNB lord to get deep on the new EP, chat his wild nights out in Amsterdam and get the deets on his ideal kick ons. Check it below.

It’s a pretty awesome time for you. You just celebrated your birthday, you’ve got a fresh show on triple j and your EP 6AM is out today. How’s it all feeling right now?

With COVID, you never know what’s gonna happen, but it definitely feels like it’s all coming together now, which is weird. We’ve got a bunch of new Choomba tunes coming out, this new show ‘The Nudge’ on triple j and now the 6AM EP. I’ve also got another EP finished for LUUDE as well for after this one. It’s all worked out well, hopefully the shows start coming back by the end of the year.

How’s release day treating you so far?

I woke up, went to the gym, and now I’m just chilling [laughs]. I havent even posted yet, I’m getting tagged in a few posts though. We’ll see how it goes, hey? It’s kind of different from everything I’ve put out previously. More drum and bass and breaks music now. It’ll be interesting to see how it’ll go. I got the main song ‘Wanna Stay’ with this Perth band Dear Sunday. I’m keen to see how that single does because I reckon it’s super catchy.

 

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Listening to ‘Wanna Stay’ I get real pre-drinks vibes. Everyone downing bevs, getting on it, hyping each other up and totally feeding off each other. Is that what you had in mind?

A hundred percent. With that one, ‘Butters,’ and ‘Arms,’ those three tracks are the party tracks. You hear them at pres pumping you up to go out. Then the other two ‘Glenorchy’ and ‘Bridgewater’ are for when all the boys are in arms watching the sunset at 6:00am completely fried out. But that’s why I made it.

We went to Amsterdam a couple of years ago and we just didn’t sleep the whole time. That’s when I started getting into that more emotional, kick on music. That’s where the EP was inspired from, those wild nights out in Amsterdam.

Was there a single night out of them all that inspired it? Or is it an amalgamation of nights?

We went to ADE in Amsterdam around two years ago. It’s a music week where all artists and managers from around the world meet up and exchange numbers and all that kind of stuff. But every night there are about 50 shows on,  andevery single place that’s got a room has a show. So we just didn’t sleep and bendered the whole time. We’d go to a show and then get back at five in the morning. And we’d be sitting there listening to those real emotional, progressive tracks. That’s what got me into that style of music.

It’s been really cool seeing you really hone in on DNB as of late, it seems like it comes really easy to you. Was there a specific moment or artist that really made you fall in love with that genre?

It’s actually from that same experience, because I just wasn’t into the older LUUDE stuff at the time. I wasn’t having fun making it and was like “I need to switch it up to something I actually love making.” I swear Choomba came from that week as well.

But yeah, we went to two or three DNB nights. I’d been before, but we were just going there totally off chops and living the bloody moment. Then I started messing around with it a few years ago, but this year I’ve just really been diving into it and am having the most fun ever producing. That’s literally all I do. I wake up, go to the gym, come home, and just produce all day. I’m loving it.

It’s obviously really taking off in Australia, what do you think it is about drum & bass that people connect with?

When everyone was locked in last year, and I swear this helped heaps, New Zealand was pretty much the only place in the world that was open. So every weekend, everyone would be sitting at home on their phones just watching all these videos from New Zealand. And drum & bass is like pop music over there, it’s literally on their version of Nova all the time. So everyone was getting into it.

All these guys from the UK will constantly do these massive drum and bass events in New Zealand. So it’s worked out well for Australia because we’re obviously close and we have very similar tastes. Even with having The Nudge on triple j now, I’m just going to be pushing heaps of drum and bass.

Some people might not like it at first, but as with any genre, the most you listen to it the more you start loving it and finding these little niches within it that you love. But yeah, we’re getting there.

 

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You’ve also got ‘Arms’ on the EP which was absolutely huge when it dropped. Did you have a certain rave or party in your head when writing it? I get real ‘red-hot warehouse rave’ vibes from it.

This is kind of a weird thing, but when I’m writing a tune, I’ll have the double monitors set up. I’ll have a drum and bass event on one of them, and I’ll be producing on the other. You go off the crowd or you listen to a mix and get a feel for the style, and then you want that to be the image. You imagine it being played at a festival or industrial warehouse and go from there.

You dropped it along with ‘Butters’ earlier this year as part of the ‘Luudoskins’ EP. Why were those two released first in that project? Was 6AM formulated back then?

It was basically because shows were coming back around then. So we were like, “All right, let’s put out the heavy ones first,” because if you’re playing shows, people don’t want to hear chilled kick ons songs. They want to hear the bangers.

All the other tracks were finished, ‘Glenorchy,’ ‘Bridgewater,’ and ‘Wanna Stay,’ but they weren’t mixed yet. So I was like, “All right, we’ll try these two out. I’ll mix these others as well and then put them out in a few months.” So it worked out well, because now it’s perfect timing for these other songs to come out, especially when everyone’s just chilling.

There’s also some pretty cool breakbeat on ‘6AM’ with ‘Glenorchy’ and ‘Bridgewater’ for the kick ons part of the night. Have you got a memory of your seediest/most memorable kick ons?

There are too many [laughs]. Off the top of my head, there was one real cute one with the boys in New Zealand. I remember we were all at my mate’s house and I’d played a show the night before in Auckland. Nothing hectic happened or anything, but we were all sitting and watching the sunrise, all arm in arm. And we were just like “How good’s life, boys? How easy is life?” We were listening to Bicep or something, as you do at 6:00am when the sun’s coming up. Right in the heart, the “feelsy” one.

There’s also another one from when I used to live in Perth. Me and my housemate, I don’t know how we got up there, but we got the couch and we put it on the roof. We managed to get it up there and were smoking a doob and watched as the sun came up. That was sick.

They’re those moments when you tell the boys that you love them, and that you’re not just saying it because you’re cooked

Yeah literally [laughs], just all cooked as. We were trying to get this couch up there for an hour man [laughs], but it was totally worth it.

Your music has soundtracked a tonne of kick ons (it has for a lot of mine anyway), how does it feel to see your music in those most personal parts of people’s night?

Well, I don’t know yet for this EP. We’ll have to see how it goes. We’ll have to see if people do play it at their kick ons. When’s the last time you had kick ons? I haven’t for ages, but hopefully in a few months when everyone’s bloody vaccinated, there’ll be plenty of stories, you know what I mean?

Your older releases have definitely soundtracked a tonne of kick ons too though.

If someone’s got decks they’ll definitely be playing a banger set with the old tunes. That is true. I’ve had a few of those. Nothing better than playing a show, going to someone’s kick ons, and just playing there as well for hours. Nothing better.

You’ve kicked on with fans after shows? Do you have any particularly memorable nights from doing that?

It’s pretty much the same every time [laughs]. There’s always free piss, everyone comes back, and then the cops always rock up. It usually lasts two to three hours, but then you all get booted out. I swear that’s happened a bunch of times. Especially after nights at Chinese Laundry.

Rest In Peace to the Laundry.

 I miss that place, the old sweat box.

Just broadening things out a bit, you played Ivy right before lockdown came into effect, what was it like going into that? Was there a sense of anxiety?

So we were already down there for training at triple j and I was just seeing the cases go up every day. And I was just thinking “If we were in any other city, it would be locked down by now.” Brissy gets one case and they lock down. But yeah, I think there were 30 cases on the day of the show. And I was just like “There’s no way.”

I was walking around outside of Ivy and got Macca’s before the show, and everyone was already wearing masks. Then I was like, “What the fuck, man? How are we getting away with this?” Then we walked in and it was just normal Ivy [laughs], everyone was all over each other and sweaty as. But it was so sick. So lucky we went ahead with that.

During the last couple of songs, were you thinking about when you’d next be able to play live? Was there a lot of gratefulness to have pulled it off?

For sure. I’m still so thankful we pulled it off because we went into lockdown right after and have had another five to six shows cancelled since. It was a sold out show at Ivy, so it was the biggest show I’ve had all year. So lucky we got that in, especially after just seeing my mates’ shows get cancelled. We were so lucky for sure.

 

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Just to cap off, you’ve clearly got your finger on the pulse of Australia’s EDM and DNB communities. How do you see them both progressing in relation to the more mainstream Aussie band sort of music?

At the end of the day, I would always rather go to a dance music show than a band show. I love seeing bands and all that, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like dance music will always be prevalent because it’s so fun to go out to. When you go out and you’re getting on the beers, you want to dance. So there’s always going to be a genre of dance music in Australia that’s always popping.

But we’re obviously gonna get drum & bass and breaks as big as we can. Those genres have been around for 20-30 years now. I’m going to try and push them as hard as I can, and hopefully next year when we’re back on they’re pumping. Pumping in the radio show and just everywhere. There are a lot of producers coming up as well in those scenes, there seems to be a wave coming through for sure.

Lastly, and this is a bit of a fun one, could you describe your ideal pres, night out and kick ons?

Vegas. If you can do it anywhere in the world, you gotta do it in Vegas. Start off with a big room at Caesars, go to one of the day parties, see bloody Calvin Harris, and hopefully RL Grime or someone is playing at Omnia that night. You go back to your hotel for a few cheeky ones, go back down, have a gamble and go back out for a few cheeky ones, that’s my ideal night. I swear you can’t beat that. Then you just sit on your balcony, watch the bloody sunrise, and just keep on going.

LUUDE’s new EP 6AM is out now. You can buy/stream it here. You can also check out The Nudge on triple j here

Words by Amar Gera September 10, 2021
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