The Bethnal Green-based artist talks about the greatness of Groove Chronicles, her first clubbing experiences and her latest singles.
Despite releasing music under the moniker for only a few years, multifaceted DJ, producer and vocalist Lu.Re has quickly flourished on London’s clubbing circuit. A Netil radio resident, whose known for fiery blends of breakbeat and UKG, Lu.Re is ticking off personal achievements at a rapid pace, receiving support across the BBC network, DJ Mag premiers and regular sets on a variety of internet stations.
This year’s “Ruminate EP” offered soulful vocals with softly cut percussion whilst alluding to UKG’s more ominous textures. Exploring the genre’s murkier sides, with speaker shaking basslines and comparably frantic progressions, “Bound/Certain Way”, which came out as a double single just last week, is being championed by everyone from Jamz Supernova (BBC) to Martha (NTS).
We caught up with Lu.Re before she 2-steps further into a fruitful musical career, touring the UK club circuit with her kaleidoscopic mixes of breaks. Take a read below.
El-B is a big inspiration of yours. Can you explain why and the importance of Groove Chronicles to you?
I got into garage more when I started producing and it opened up this world of music to me. I really connected to the grooves and the dissonant musicality, there’s a real jazzy vibe to it as well as grubby bass sounds. There’s also a real darkness, which I like to bring into my music.
In your music, there’s definitely a juxtaposition between the more jazzy and darker sides of UKG, which Groove Chronicles are famous for bringing to light.
Yeah for sure. That’s what I like about it. It cuts quite deep and definitely has a darkness, but there's also a smoothness too. There’s a bit more musicality there.
Building on that, you’re a classically trained musician. There are other classically trained musicians, namely floating points, who end up producing club music and really connect with it. Why do you think it is appealing in this way and why do they feed so well into each other?
Being classically trained was the only route into music offered to me when growing up. I started playing the viola but it was pretty heavy going - I used to play in orchestras a lot. Why club music? Well, for me, I started Djing and that brought it out of me and I had more confidence to make club music, firstly as a vocalist and then as a producer. I grew up listening to boys with guitars but when I started seeing women behind the decks it made me feel like I could do that to.
Who were the first DJs you idolised and wanted to emulate?
The obvious ones really like Bklava who I saw doing vocal sets. Before then, I hadn’t really seen anyone singing and doing DJ sets.
You have people like Nia Archives blowing up in this space too and DJing never used to really be like this. Why do you think th times are changing?
Haha I dunno, I’m just making music that I like and hope other people do too. I like feeling as if we are offering something new and there are still only a few of us out there. I hope that people like the music for the music rather than the niche of being a female producer.
So, take me back to that first time clubbing then. Can you remember it?
I was never made for the orchestra or classical music life. I only did all that because I got wrapped up in it. I just love dancing for hours and that’s where it started really. I’m from Bedford originally and there isn’t much of a scene there but I was going to London as soon as I could.
Was it just garage to start with?
Probably a bit of dubstep too. I used to go to fabric quite a bit – that was my first big experience of nightlife really.
Moving on to your latest singles, “Bound” and “Certain Way”, tell us about these!
I think they’re opening me up to a new audience. They seem to have gone down quite well at least.
How were they made?
I produced them in my bedroom, which I try my best to soundproof. It’s a very DIY setup that I made during lockdown really.
When you sat down to make "Bound" and "Certain Way", did you know they would come out a bit grittier, more bassy and club orientated? Was this a conscious decision?
Yeah definitely. I wanted them to fit more with my mixes in the club and on radio and make them feel more for the dancefloor than the previous EP.
We’ve talked about garage because your music is mainly influenced by that but previous singles like “Silence” have more of a liquid DnB feel to them. Can you see yourself producing at faster tempos again?
I wouldn’t say no to that. While garage is my niche at the minute, I’m working on some collaborations which are different. I don’t wanna say too much in case they don’t materialise haha!
And when you’re playing in the club, what’s your formula for winning a crowd over?
I’d say I drop a few more edits than I would otherwise, they always seem to go off. It depends where you’re playing though, I have a gig at XOYO soon and I reckon they’re the sort to love some pumping edits. It’s with 24-hour Garage Girls, which should be great.
To wrap things up a bit, it’s your last performance on planet earth, what are you playing at the start and end of your set?
Oooo, I guess I’ll have to say my own tracks won’t I, haha! Hmmm, It’s a tricky one... it’s such a hard question. I’d finish with a track from the EP, like “nostalgia”, which is a pretty heart-wrenching tune. If we wanna get to that emotional place it would definitely do that. And for the start of the set, I’d have to go with "Certain Way”, wouldn’t I?
And what’s next for you beyond the double single?
Yeah, so I’m working on some tracks that I’m really excited to get out. Maybe even more in that clubby space. I’ve got a few collaborations coming up, mixes to release and I’ll be on Selecta Radio this month. We have the XOYO night and the CDR birthday party too.