Truancy Volume 198: Lukid

Melodically serene, structurally simple and yet powerfully evocative, the music of Lukid sits on its own plane of electronic exploration. While it’s been three years since his last EP, Crawlers, and a surprising five years since his last album, Lonely At The Top, Lukid’s latest EP, Twisted Blood, finds the artist at the height of his atmospheric, experimental vision of techno. Although he’s previously released on labels Werkdiscs, Ninja Tune and Liberation Technologies, Lukid’s new EP marks a return to his own label, GLUM, which hosts the producer’s more offbeat creations alongside friend Samoyed. It’s a fitting and welcome homecoming for the producer, as the GLUM label acts as an extension of his own personality, exhibited in the comedically sad-faced artwork, uninhibited productions and tongue-in-cheek record descriptions like “the sun had set on this young man’s midi keyboard.” Lukid’s instinctual and introspective approach to music can be heard not only in his productions, but in the way his DJ sets flow between genres with ease, highlighting recent finds rather than popular producers. His Truancy Volume here is no exception, as the artist effortlessly touches on alternative, techno, lo-fi, soul, grime, breakbeat and experimental electronic music to provide a snapshot of his mixing style. Delving into the unexpected and surreal, Truancy Volume 198 is, to borrow a phrase from Lukid’s Bandcamp, one “for the adventurous DJ’s DJ.”

Hey, Lukid! What have you been up to lately? We’re very excited about the new record! “Hi, Truants. I have been up to lots of things that won’t make me sound very interesting so I won’t mention them. I’m glad you’re excited about the record.”

How long does it usually take you to make a track? Do you eliminate a lot of your work in the process of putting together a release? “Usually the bare-bones of the track will come together quite quick, in a few hours maybe. Then you gotta sort out the arrangement and all that—the little details here and there—which can take me anything from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. That’s the fun bit, cos you know the hard bit is done. The hard bit for me is making the initial bare-bones, which always feels like trying to remember some magic spell that I’ve forgotten the words to. When I do stumble upon it—a melody or loop or something that I know is gonna become a track—I run around my room like I’ve just scored a goal.”

Does it feel cathartic to have a new record out? Or is the creative process itself more fulfilling? “I once tweeted that the best thing about releasing music is that you no longer have to worry about it getting deleted from your hard drive. That was a very funny joke, but like all good humour there’s some truth in it. Releasing a record for me is more like a feeling of relief that it’s finally out and I can move on to other things. The fulfilling bit is definitely the creative process, although that’s also frustrating a lot of the time.”

How do you balance music production with other work and interests? “Well, I am very lucky that I have any time to make music. But I think the key is to spend enough time doing other things in between making music that you forget how the track you were making sounds, and you can then listen back to it like you’ve never heard it before. If those other things are things you’re getting paid for, then all the better.”

Most of the track titles on your new EP appear to be football references, and in general your music has alluded to the sport quite a lot. Why do you choose to work football into your music? “I think it’s just that I spend quite a lot of time watching and playing football, so when it comes round to picking track names I’ve got a lot of football related stuff knocking around my head. And I like a lot of the language around it. I think ‘twisted blood’ is a nice turn of phrase for example, even if you don’t know it’s a reference to Giggsy. Also ‘the yips’ is a great term, just as a nice sounding word and also what it means, and I don’t really know anything about golf.”

Would you say the air of cynicism and sarcasm in your work is a reflection of your personality or more of an aesthetic choice? “As a half-Jewish Englishman, sarcasm and cynicism run through my blood. I hope I don’t come across as too cynical though. I would say that I’m actually an optimist. But optimism isn’t as funny.”

Your NTS shows are very eclectic—how do you go about preparing for a new mix? “I trawl through the internet every month until I’ve got 2 hours of music that I love, then I work out a way to fit it all together. It’s time consuming, and most times when my show’s getting closer I wonder what the hell I’m doing and I wanna pack it all in, but ultimately I think it’s worthwhile. It also means that I have to find a lot of good music, which is no bad thing.”

What are some of your other creative outlets? Are there any specific photographers or visual artists whose work you’ve enjoyed lately? “I enjoy taking photos and putting them on Instagram, yep. I can’t claim to know much about photography though and I don’t really know what I’m doing, so I don’t take it too seriously. I did go to an exhibition at the Tate the other week and saw some really amazing photos by someone I wasn’t aware of before. Roy DeCarava was his name.”

In a 2012 interview you mentioned a desire for “a simple life.” Five years later, are you closer to achieving that goal? “Hah. Well, my life isn’t very different to how it was five years ago, so I guess not. But in the grand scheme of things, I suppose I do have a pretty simple life. My grandad fought in World War II for example, and I imagine that was a lot more complicated than what I’ve got going on. But like most privileged western types, I do sometimes fantasise about giving everything up to go live in a shack on a beach with no internet and some little pelican as my companion or something. Although I’ve been getting a terrible heat rash on my face recently, so maybe it’s not such a good idea.”


Squu – Thebeuateofwulvesrgrfrchelsea
Cross Record – Lemon
Mars89 – Cruise
RB – Drum & Bass
Protect-U – Distance
DJ Kassir – kisul’kin mix
Mix-O-Rap – Spitting Game
TBZ – Track 4
Rum & Black – Nightmare Man
Diverse Artz – Africa
Dot Rotten – Wonder Boy
Shit & Shine – Jreemteem
Shut Up And Dance – My C-Lab Crashed And Did This
Ghost Kwini – The City Street / Drowning Street
XYZ – Recovery

Lukid: Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, Twitter

Order Twisted Blood EP here.

Taylor Trostle