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Laidback Luke - Nice Way To Get Laid

Author: Cyclone
Monday, May 18, 2009

Laidback Luke is back in town next month, bringing his brand of house music to We Love Sounds. 3D’s Cyclone speaks to the Dutchman.

Laidback Luke, AKA Luke van Scheppingen, is in debt to Roger Sanchez. Though the Dutch houser was active in the mid-’90s, the US super-DJ’s patronage brought him belated global attention.

“It has been very important to me,” van Scheppingen concurs. “I really owe a lot to Roger. He was one of the first guys who just gave me an international boost. I was already doing well in my country, I had a couple of music videos out, but he was the one who pushed me through internationally. He feels like a ‘big brother’ DJ to me.”

Van Scheppingen, who ranked at No. 46 in DJ mag’s 2008 poll, is still touring behind a live mix-CD released through the S-Man’s Stealth Records at the tail end of last year.

The DJ spent his formative years in the Philippines, moving to the Netherlands at four-years-old, which accounts for his nickname ‘Thriller From Manila’. The young Luke was initially drawn to hip hop, revelling in graffiti culture, but switched to house. He befriended Dobre at a high school party and the DJ became his mentor. Still, van Scheppingen applied a turntablist’s skills to house. In fact, his streetwise DJ handle was lifted from a line in Snoop Dogg’s Gin & Juice. Luke made a splash with his early productions – Rocking With the Best and We Can Not Get Enough were hits – but his international DJ career was slower to take off.

Recently, in addition to Sanchez, van Scheppingen has allied himself with Steve Angello, the pair collaborating on 2008’s club smash Be. They also remixed the enduring Robin S vehicle Show Me Love, and van Scheppingen joined the Swedish House Mafia as an honorary member for Leave the World Behind.

While he looks up to old-timers like DJ Pierre, Todd Terry and Carl Craig, Luke’s style of dance incorporates contemporary influences – juke house, B-more and fidget. The bootleg don has often pre-empted trends. “I always was a few years ahead and the problem with that was that people really didn’t understand my stuff until a few years later.”

Van Scheppingen has countless projects on the go. After that A-Trak hook up, Shake It Down, he’ll have tracks with Diplo as well as Lee Mortimer. He’s producing material for Frenchman David Guetta. And then Luke is plotting his third ‘artist’ album. “It’s gonna be a club album because people know me as a DJ – although I’ve been taking piano lessons for more than 12 years now and I can also play a bit of guitar,” he reveals. “I would like to have two or three more poppy – or different – kinda tracks on there, just to challenge myself musically. But the focus is gonna be on the dance part, for sure.”

WHO: Laidback Luke
WHAT: Plays We Love Sounds at the Hordern Pavilion
WHEN: Saturday 6 June