Not many artists can say that they have done official mix compilations for the likes of Yoshitoshi, Bedrock and Balance… Luke Fair please stand up. Luke Fair is a name that’s been on the scene for over 10 years now plying his trade all over the world, and he first came to our attention with the massive 2002 Kritical/Let U Know 12″ on Black Recordings (Let U Know was famously featured on the Satoshi Tomiie Nubreed compilation). Luke went on to establish himself as one of the world’s premier selectors to call upon for warming up dancefloors, and he was even asked to be the official warm-up DJ for Sasha on his North American Involver tour. Since then Luke has become an headliner in his own right, playing a deep, almost Balaeric-sounding variant of house that will get the most rigid of bodies grooving. Back in 2007 Luke Fair delivered one of the more housier outings with his Balance 011 effort, and he continues that exploration of house in the second of our Balance Selections series. We caught up with Luke for a quick Q+A….
Hi Luke, hope you’re well! Tell us about what you’ve been up too in last couple of years?
Hey! Things are great and most gigs this year have gone very well. My new label, Nonlocal, started this year. We’ve done vinyl and digital, and things are going really well. It’s focusing on the deeper side of house I really love. So far the label’s released a mix of great new artists (MermaidS, Tomas Malo, Victor Berghmeister) with some veterans (Manuel Tur, Ben La Desh, Sivesgaard).
You stopped doing your Rogue Show podcast after 20 episodes (I believe?). Why did that come to an end?
We just thought 20 was a good number to stop it and focus on other stuff. I was also looking forward to starting my own podcast for the label, called Nonlocal Radio, which we’ve already done the first episode of. It was also hard getting a new artist each release to do the artwork.
You’re based in Macedonia now. Is there a good scene down there?
Strictly home for sure. The scene is pretty non-existent there right now for any sort of underground house music. It’s funny, because Skopje (the capital) used to be amazing for gigs. It was one of my first ever European shows. But each successive time I went back you could tell things were changing more, like the cycle you get in every city. There’s a very healthy drum’n’bass scene right now, but pretty much all house venues play commercial music.
Canada is currently a hotbed of talent with acts like Art Department, Mathew Jonson and the Mole just to name a few… the scene must be very healthy down there! Do you still make the annual journey for some shows?
I’m pretty out of touch with the Toronto scene right now since moving away a few years ago. Despite going back there a few times a year to visit family and play, I’m not really aware of the emerging artists or scenes. Lame answer, I know! I could give restaurant recommendations for any type of cuisine, however…
You recently played at the infamous Kazantip Festival in Ukraine. Is that as crazy and hedonistic as it sound like?
I was only there for the one night unfortunately, but the festival itself is pretty insane. It’s basically two weeks long and doesn’t let up. It’s an entire beach-side town transformed into a half-month, non-stop festival. I didn’t see much because I was there so briefly, but the festival security is apparently told that ‘anything goes, except public urination’.
Which countries does your travel itinerary seem to take you back to regularly and why do you think you are so popular in those countries?
Argentina is still the place I go back to the most. It seems that the people and crowds are a really good fit for the music I play, as I don’t recall ever having a bad gig there. And then there’s the steak. I should also mention my hometown Toronto. For the last few years I’ve been playing a really intimate club there called Toika. Each gig is always amazing.
It’s been a while since you’re Balance came out. When was the last time you listened to it and what your thoughts on it now?
I’ve heard a few times recently and still really like it, but more so CD 1. CD 2 was more of a snapshot of what I was playing in clubs at the time, with CD 1 being more of a home listening mix. Those usually always age better than the more clubby stuff.
Thx for delivering a super smooth podcast!
Thanks, I am really happy with how it turned out. A lot of the tunes I’m playing out, and a few of them I’ve been looking for an excuse to play but were maybe too deep for a club. I used a fair bit of layering and was lucky to have lots of great music that went well together.
1.Lord Of The Isles – Remember [Glasgow Underground] 2.Tornado Wallace – Space Tropics [Beats In Space] 3. Bonobo – Cirrus [Ninja Tune] 4. Marius – Flamingo Isle (Flagranti Remix) [NON Records] 5. The Groovers – The One [Your Only Friend] 6. Ben Pearce – Just Enough [Under The Shade] 7. DJ Steef – Ghost Producer [Gazeebo] 8. Isaac Tichauer – Every Word [French Express] 9. Shur I Kan – Conundrum [Freerange] 10. Franck Roger – Who Knows The Truth [Real Tone] 11. Bruh Jackman – Just To Keep [Futureboogie] 12. Dave DK – Home Again [Kompakt] 13. Omid 16b – On The Outside [Alola] 14. Tony Betties – You And I (Isaac Tischauer Remix) [Spacewalker Recordings]