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Off The Record Mix Series 24:
Luca (E2-E8 Records)

e2-e8 luca phonica mix
London-based DJ, label head and radio host Luca joins us for the 24th edition of the Off The Record Mix Series.

Luca is a man of many talents, and indeed a longtime friend of ours over here at Phonica. His E2-E8 show on Netil Radio, now in its fifth year, has become a go-to place to discover all kinds of new and exciting music, covering the entire “electronic music” spectrum.

Following his ethos of “playing music that people should hear”, it was only a matter of time until Luca decided to branch out and turn E2-E8 into a record label. The very first release from which has just been released. It features four mesmerising tracks from Netil Radio founder Miro Sundaymusiq and Phonica’s very own Avsluta. Check it out here.

We felt a mix from Luca was long overdue, so we reached out to see if he would be interested in putting something together for our Off The Record Mix Series. The result is an almost 1.5 hour-long recording, featuring gems from artists such as James Bernard, Alan Backdrop, Konduku, Ingleton Falls, Wolf Müller & Niklas Wandt, Dubtribe Sound System and more. Enjoy!

Hi Luca, thanks for joining us! Can you tell us about your recording and what the idea was behind it…

Well, thank you for asking me! In line with the incredible mixes I’ve heard in this series, I’ve tried to pick records that you would rarely hear in a club if at all. Basically, it’s articulate music of different styles. There’s an abstract jazz record, quite a bit of IDM, some ambient. Each of these records is supposed to tell a story by itself (otherwise I wouldn’t have bought them!) but hopefully, you’ll be able to hear something bigger than the sum of its parts. That’s the job of a DJ after all!

Could you tell us a little bit about your background, perhaps where you grew up and what first got you interested in music?

You know what – I still can’t quite figure out how I developed such an obsession for collecting records. Apparently I was drawing turntables on pieces of paper (and even on the walls of our house!) when I was like 2/3 years old, which didn’t sit very well with my parents.

Then as a teenager, I started listening to house DJs, especially those who would come to my hometown to play from the US. At the time vinyl was the only format, so you’d see the likes of David Morales or Louie Vega turn up in the club with 5/6 massive crates of records and the staff to help them out. And they’d play DJ sets on three turntables. I got into all this by watching them doing their thing. Over time I’d say I’ve developed a very different taste, but their ability to DJ is something I will always look up to.

Can you tell us a bit about your label & radio show, E2-E8…

The show is in its fifth year (where has all this time gone? Eek!) and I have to thank Miro at Netil for thinking of me as one of the first DJs to give a slot to. The name is a tale of postcodes and landmark electronic music albums… I was living in E2, the radio is in E8 and it’s hard to think of a more iconic record than Manuel Göttsching’s E2-E4 if you are into electronic music.

I’ve always wanted a show to play new music that I believe people should hear. Soon I started having guests, especially locals and new names because I like the idea of discovering talent and giving something new to people’s ears. And that’s the concept that translated into the label: it’s a platform for new artists – especially locals and especially friends.

What else can we look forward to seeing and hearing from the label in 2021?

I’d say this is a very timely interview. The first release is just out – a split EP between Miro and your very own Avsluta. They became friends because of me, so I wanted them on a split release – and here we are 🙂
The second one is ready and should be out in September. It’s from Hems, who’s making his debut with a very nuanced record spanning from ambient to a lengthy 140bpm track.

The third one will be from Birds – another local talent who’s already been published by Höga Nord.
I’ll keep the fourth and fifth under wraps for now, but I can say that one of them is someone Phonica is very familiar with 😉 and both releases will have remixes from established artists in the techno scene that I admire a lot. They’ll certainly help all these new talents get the visibility they deserve. I can’t wait to put all this music out – the pandemic has slowed things down a lot, but seeing all this finally happening has perhaps an even sweeter taste now!

What would you say are some of your all-time favourite record labels?

Oh dear… Responding to this question probably takes longer than the length of the mix!
As an Italian house music head, nothing tops the first three years of UMM. Some unsurpassed gems on that label.

Closing in on the last 10 years, I’ve grown to love everything Sotofett puts out, so I’d say Sex Tags Mania and all the affiliated labels. Editions Mego has a special place in my heart too, so I was incredibly sad when Peter Rehberg passed away. Impossible to leave Offen out, run by the maestro that is Vladimir Ivkovic. Fun fact – Vladimir was the first to play an E2-E8 track before I even started sending promos out, because Lucie (Avsluta) sent him her music. Needless to say, it gave us a good head start.

Then I certainly want to mention Donato Dozzy’s Spazio Disponibile. He’s clearly unafraid of going into different directions, which is what I’d like to do with E2-E8 as well, so he’s one I’ll always look up to. Not to mention he’s from my hometown. Nous’Klaer Audio and Brian Not Brian’s Going Good too. So prolific, yet so compelling with every release.

I could go on further but I’ll stop here – let’s just passingly add Trilogy Tapes and AD93. Basically, labels with integrity and eclecticism, where quality is always front of the mind and you’re left guessing what they will put out next. I hope I can take a leaf out of their books with E2-E8…

What’s your preferred method for finding new music – do you still enjoy digging around in record shops or do you prefer to find music online?

Record shops are the lifeblood of our scene, even though the last year has been challenging and has inevitably made people buy more online than in physical shops… Nothing beats the feeling of meeting people in shops, exchanging views about music and tips on what they’ve found.

Online is obviously comfortable and increasingly inevitable these days… But I hope we never get to a point where online shopping is all we have left. I doubt I would have even been asked to do this mix if it wasn’t for my desire to come in regularly and feel the atmosphere of a good record shop for all these years. So long live record shops, and Phonica of course 🙂

Thanks, Luca!

Alan Backdrop – Seed – Abbc
Han Sotofett & Jaakko Eino Kalevi – Welcome – SO-PHAT
Wolf Müller & Niklas Wandt – Auflösung – Growing Bin
Ingleton Falls – Possessed – Isle Of Jura
Désaccord Majeur ‎– Sunquake – A Colourful Storm
James Bernard – UWA02 – A Strangely Isolated Place
Aboutface – 51°30’59.4″N 0°04’33.1″W – AD93
Konduku – Sinopia – Spazio Disponibile
Unknown Mobile – Ravers Sojourn – Pacific Rhythm
Dubtribe Sound System – Physical And Kabalistic Forces Of Creation – Imperial Dub Recordings
Lilipulu – Untitled A2 – Glowing Pin
Miro Sundaymusiq – Rising Sun (Pacifist Techno Version) – E2-E8
Morten Søndergaard – Sahara I Mine Hænder – Stroom
Patricia Kokett – Bizarr – Knekelhuis


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