Windmills and dance music, that's what Holland is known for, not forgetting the cheese and the wooden shoes of course. You can understand why Laidback Luke has named his first live mix-cd "Windmill Skill", rather than making a connection to the other stereotypically Dutch foodstuffs and footwear.
Both as producer and DJ, Laidback Luke has all that it takes to become an International star! Not only did he produce "We Can Not Get Enough", the highly successful Anthem to this year's Dance Valley, but he is also fully capable of filling venues the length and breadth of the country every time he plays.
After the release of his debut album "Electronic Satisfaction" in 2002, Laidback Luke worked more as a DJ than as a producer. He performed from America to Japan and Ibiza, and was the highlight at a number of this summer's festivals such as Sensation, Lovefields, Awakenings and Innercity. Realistically, producing his own live mix album was only a matter of time.
The criteria for this album were extreme: "I had complete freedom from United, my record company, to produce what I wanted. This is a rare treat for an artist. Usually when a mix album is released, it contains two cd's, each with around 12 tracks or so, but that was not how I wanted to do it. My album is only 1 cd with 35 songs compiled, cut and scratched into 70 minutes of dance. It's an experience!" Luke explains. "The idea was to just keep the tracks coming, and the album contains all my favorites, some known, some completely new".
Luke discovered while mixing the album that making a live mix album is a completely different kettle of fish compared to performing in a club or at a festival.
"A live mix-album needs to be finely balanced; an accurate representation of how you play your tunes in a club, while remaining something that appeals to a wider audience, something that works as well on the car stereo as it does on a huge PA. What I have tried to accomplish with "Windmill Skill" is the energy of the dance floor, combined with elements from pop".
Laidback Luke kept in touch with the dance floor while mixing the album by keeping an image of a rocking crowd in the back of his mind throughout the studio work. "Of course you miss the interaction with a real dance floor, so I fantasized about it while mixing. That is something that only comes with experience." You can feel the vibe even without an actual dance floor in front of you according to Luke. "Besides that, it's really important to me that the compositions on the album are well put together. Windmill Skill should have a clear musical direction to it. Lined up beside some of my own tracks I've also chosen a few tunes that I would have loved to have made myself."
September 2003 will be the start of the Windmill Skill tour. This tour runs mainly across pop venues instead of the traditional nightclubs. "I still love to play at clubs but a tour like this one makes it possible for me to reach a broader audience". All this is a new adventure for Luke, who likes to cross boundaries that some producers cling to desperately.
Furthermore, from September on Luke will hold his own residency at club Nighttown in Rotterdam, where he plans to help new talent hone "Windmill Skills" of their own. "I would like to create a platform for young talented DJ's. When I started there were no national DJ contests, but I received a lot of support from various DJ's who helped me to grow. On a regular basis I receive cd's by upcoming talents, and I would love to get even more. I know there are a lot of promising DJ's in Holland. If someone is truly talented I just think it is the right thing to do to help them to get the recognition they deserve, either by playing their records or using my connections to open the right doors�"
During the upcoming Windmill Skill tour the emphasis lays mainly on the promotion of his live mix album. This obviously does not mean that he will play the same records that feature on the album. During the tour Luke is planning to road test some new tracks that he has been working on for the next production album, so expect some surprises�Luke, according to rumors, has more storage space than a magician up those sleeves of his!!
Luke is also responsible for the production of the Dance Valley 2003 anthem. The track, We Can Not Get Enough, includes a vocal contribution by MC Marxman and the characteristic brass section is already legendary. Besides the video they shot weeks before release, a second video has been shot at Dance Valley 2003, containing plenty of mouthwatering footage of the man himself in action.
"When I decided to take piano lessons at the age of 20, I surely had the intention to work on my musicality as a producer" according to Luke, who is looking forward to the tour and his residency but is also looking at the opportunities to extend his international career. To accomplish this he's planning to DJ more abroad, with more releases all around the globe and a follow up on his successful collaboration with Junior Sanchez under the name Riot Society.
"Some of my colleagues who produce harder techno then I do sometimes accuse me of making "la-di-da" tunes, but for me that musicality is very important. The biggest kick for me is making something out of nothing. During my DJ sets it's mostly records made by others I mix together and although I love doing that, as a producer I create the music myself and they really feel like my babies. That's the most beautiful thing in the world! I started my career as a producer and I will always be one."