FutureIntalekt is incredibly proud to present the second in our series of ‘Breaking Free‘ interviews, this time with Luna-C. Luna-C’s long and storied (quite literally, with a new book on its way) career has encompassed many styles, and genres, and his mix on the album ably demonstrates this. The following interview shows his enthusiasm, vibrancy and wit. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as you enjoy listening to Breaking Free The Album.
What is your history as an artist and producer? What do you think has led you to this point?
Ah man, my history is long and convoluted. Long enough that I wrote a book about it, and way too long to write it all down here ha ha. But a quick version would be that I started in 1991, had a big success with a dubious track (Sesame’s Treet by Smart E’s) used the money I made from that to fund my own label (Kniteforce Records) which I ran from 1992 to 1996 / 1997. I set up a whole bunch of subsidiary labels, worked with some of the best in the business, and massively misjudged the future so that it all went horribly wrong, ha ha! Spent a few years doing D’nB with my label Influential Records, before getting back into hardcore around 2001. And since then, I have been doing whatever I felt like as far as production goes. I came from an era when Techno, Drum’n’Bass, Hardcore, Jungle and House were all played in the save venue under the same banner of “rave” music, and I still hold to that. This is the music I love, these are the styles I make.
How would you describe your mix?
Hmm…Well, when I was asked to do it, I didn’t know the theme was “breakbeat” hardcore. So I made whatever I felt like making. I wanted to make something chaotic, something that was exciting for the ears. One of the things I enjoy most about this project was that I usually have to gear my set around what the crowd can dance to. Believe it or not, this was one of the first sets I have put together where the emphasis was on what the listener would enjoy hearing, what would interest the ears and the mind rather than the feet. This is not to say that it isn’t danceable, just that I had a slightly different approach to this one, compared to previous work. So I would describe it as a happy car wreck, or organized chaos.
Can you describe some of the themes of both your mix, and breakbeat hardcore as a whole?
Oops, I already answered that above. I don’t know that I could assign any specific theme to breakbeat hardcore itself. In general, I am not keen on splitting the music into smaller and smaller genres. It makes it easier to describe, but it also restricts and divides, limiting what a producer can do. And my nature is contrary – as soon as I am told “it has to be this way” I do it a different way lol. I have always used breakbeats in my music, even when making predominantly 4×4 stuff. A breakbeat is a useful tool to make music with, but that’s all. How you use the tool is what is interesting, at least to me!
Why did you select the tunes you are using on H:ITC? What do these tracks mean to you?
I created pretty much all the tunes from scratch. And this album actually means quite a lot to me for a number of reasons. The first reason is it is the last of the “Supasets” that I have been doing since 2004ish. At the same time, it is the first of my Hardkorenakopia series. Which in some ways is simply semantics, but in other ways signifies a big change. When I started building the set, I intended it to be the last thing I did before I retired from the scene. I was worn out, and bored, and felt that I had done enough and it was time for me to move on. I had been uninspired for years, and couldn’t really see a way forward for me, or my music. This set took about 5 months to build, and over that time a funny thing happened during that time…I started to feel an old excitement towards what I was doing, and many of the things that had made me weary of the scene kinda fell away. I started to embrace the things I used to love about hardcore, things that I had forgotten or put aside. The scene, in many ways, has got very rigid, and I had also gone that way. This set was about me kicking down those self imposed rules and regulations, and moving back toward the essence of what hardcore used to be about. So while the title “Breaking Free” applied to it being a breakbeat mix, for me it signifies actually breaking free from the cage I had built for myself within the hardcore scene.
Can you sum up how you feel about the album as a whole and how it might fit into music in 2012?
As a personal achievement, I am very proud of my mix. It contains very little music taken from others, and it covers all the aspects of hardcore that I have loved since 1991. As a whole album, I think it is beautifully conceived. All involved have exactly the right attitude, the desire to make something worthwhile and interesting. It is a fantastic concept, backed by fantastic people, and on top of that it has amazing artwork and production values. It is, in a word, exceptional. Which is why I doubt it will fit into the music of 2012. Maybe in 2014 it will be recognized as something brilliant from 2012 lol…these things take time. For now, I think it will be sort of under the radar, and will steadily grow in stature. It certainly deserves to.
Have you tried to capture any specific feelings on H:ITC? Why?
I tried to be me in 1993 which was a time when I was full of enthusiasm, and too young to know anything about rules and restrictions. I tried to get that feeling of being at a rave for a first time, where things are unexpected, and the music keeps changing directions. Mostly, I wanted to capture that feeling of euphoria and excitement.
Why do you make breakbeat hardcore? What does the music mean to you? What do you think makes it distinctive?
I just make hardcore. I love the breakbeat sound because it is what the sound of raving originally was for me. It is a small progression of little choices over many years that made me a hardcore artist rather than a D’n’B artist, and I think I would have been happy with either…except that as a hardcore artist, I have less to restrict me, perhaps. I don’t know what it is about breakbeats that are so enticing. Perhaps it is the tribal element, that rhythmic pounding that makes you want to dance…I don’t know. It is a question I have thought about many times over the years, especially when others have told me that I am the king of that style lol…I am always drawn back to them, even when the rest of the scene is predominantly kick drum driven. After all these years, I am beginning to hope that I never understand it, and that it will always be a mystery I play with. Perhaps it is better that I don’t know why? Some things should never be understood.