LSB is a veteran of singles on labels such as Demand and Deep Soul Music, and he has recently dropped his second release for Spearhead. We chatted to Luke about his studio techniques, how the tracks on Overthinking came about, and how he goes about capturing the soul that goes into his music.
Hi Luke, thanks for taking the time. Tell us about your latest release, the Overthinking EP.
The EP is my second release on Spearhead Records, my debut on Spearhead All of My Love/Rolling Sideways seemed to do pretty well and BCee was keen for a follow up. Initially we were looking at just a single, but over time it developed into a 4 track. There were plenty of contenders for the EP but we settled on the final track listing a few months ago. I’m proud of all the tracks and think it reflects a good overview of what I am about as a producer. I also took the time to run a lot of the parts through analogue equipment to ensure it sounded quite warm and rounded and that the production wasn’t overly clinical and precise and nods back to my favourite era of d&b.
Take us inside the individual tracks.
Overthinking – The title track started life as an instrumental based around 3 main loops/samples which I’d been sitting on for a while, I had a tendency to overthink things which had become very unproductive, this was impacting my ability to move from an idea to a finished tune. I decided to channel the frustration into this tune, keep it simple and hope that the quality of the sounds and the melody will carry the tune forward. It always needs a vocal and Sian nailed it. She got the idea of the tune straightaway and is a thinker herself, the tune’s meant to be subtle and slow burning and vocal is just that.
All of My Love (Technicolour & Komatic Remix) – This is a remix of my debut on Spearhead, a huge vocal and piano sample underpin the track. When I originally found the sample I spent a fair while trying to research if it had been used before, and couldn’t believe it hadn’t (unless someone wants to correct me on that). I knew those guys were into the tune it seemed fitting they should have a go at remixing it. They’ve really bought a slice of dance floor flavour to the track and it goes ‘off’ in a club. Big remix guys
Far Away From Here – This is still the only track I have ever made without any samples. It started off with a really ropey piece of guitar playing from myself, recorded straight into a mixing desk and then delayed. I then layered over lots of synth sounds and tried to build a vibe. I was listening to Foals & Delphic a lot and I took inspiration from them in trying to create interplay from repeating synthetic sounds. My favourite part is the simple arpeggio that comes in at around the 3 minute mark. At one stage I had an extended outro that essential lopped that part over and over, it was a little self-indulgent. I sent the demo version to Stamina, who sent it straight back with his vocal line. Sians harmonies were added later. You would not believe the amount of work that went into the vocal in the outro. They were all run into an outboard desk, resampled, reverbed and layered, and layered again. Both Stamina and I suffer from tweak-itis and this track took a few years to actually complete this tune.
This City – This track was written solely for the danceloor, I experimented with a few different styles and tons of drums and ended up going for a tune with no traditional snare, it’s a heavily distorted and reverbed rimshot. This leaves a lot of space in the mix for the bass to swell. I ran a few bass sounds into an old EMU sampler and played with the filters to give different movement, I resampled them into Ableton and layered from there. I felt the big vocal and string sample gave the tune a unique mood and try and give the tune a bit of identity before it drops in.
Who are some of the people you've worked with on the Overthinking EP?
I was lucky enough to work with Stamina MC on Far Away From Here, the man needs no introduction and he was also a help with Overthinking as he helped record the main vocal. Sian (pronounced Shawn) Sanderson is an up & coming singer from West London she a great signer and an extremely talented songwriter. She was actually discovered by Stamina, I really can’t take any credit for that!
Your music is very cerebral, and 'thinking' - how do you go about putting your ideas into music?
I do overthink a lot of things, especially music. I think music is such a huge part of my life that trying to put that into tunes is quite intimidating. I don’t take a traditional approach to tune writing, I lack the technical skills and have to rely on instinct and hope that sounds will work together. However I do get bogged down in the technical side and it can kill the vibe really. I spent 90% of my time doing the last 10% of this EP, and that’s something I need to move away from to up my productivity.
What's it like working with Spearhead, who have issued the EP?
A pleasure. BCee is one of life’s good guys, he leaves me to do what I please and if he likes the results he seems quite happy to release it. I’m looking forward to working with him much more in the future.
Overthinking EP http://s.beatport.com/La6p31
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