With releases on Kerri Chandler’s much admired Madtech imprint and the Plastic People-born 2nd Drop Records, brooding house/techno producer Lakosa has always managed to catch our ears with unique creations that often transcend the dance-floor environment.
In both his collaborative efforts (of which the list is many) or on his own, Lakosa has a unique ability to lift those deeper sounds into something quite angelic. So it wasn’t so much of a surprise to see the London-via-Birmingham producer shape-shift slightly last year with a four piece live band featuring iO Sounds and Josh Barry called LORE; making infectious twisted electronic soul.
Keeping busy over the last year with both that project and setting up an Art Council funded studio in East London, Lakosa is now making his welcome return to the world of electronic music with the brand new collaborative Dusk EP out next week on 2020 Vision. Teaming back up with Rick Grant, the new release follows their previous Static/Temptations EP on London-based imprint Tender Hooks that brought some spectacular dusty house and smokey lo-fi techno to our ears.
After premiering our favourite cut off the new EP last week and ahead of its release next week, we touched base with the producer to gain a little more insight into his work. Alongside the interview Lakosa has provided an hour-long mix of sounds he’s digging at the moment that indicate the direction he’d like to move in the next year.
Lakosa & Rick Grants Dusk EP is out 15th June on 2020 Vision with remixes from Ejeca & Whitesquare.
Hey Stef. How are you? What have you been up to recently?
I.m in a good place at the moment thanks. I’ve been off the radar with the releases recently but I’m back with a couple of EP’s on 2020vision this summer. Also, for the last 12 months I’ve been working on a side project (LORE) with iO Sounds and Josh Barry.
Collaborations bring out the best of me and my music. I enjoy the process of working with people; I’m constantly learning new techniques, which allows me to approach music with a different mindset.
When you’re making music do you tend to approach it with a specific audience/environment in mind?
When I first started producing I had a clear direction for my music, but over time my sound and taste has evolved – so now I feel its time to create something for myself.
What influence has growing up in Birmingham and living in London had on your sound?
Birmingham was a mix between minimal and bass heavy music. This definitely influenced me a lot a few years back. These days, London influences me in a completely different way, it’s less about the music and more about the people I’m around.
We’ve heard that you were deeply inspired by your dad and the music he’s put out. Could you tell us a bit about this?
He’s a massive inspiration to me along with my whole family and friends. He has definitely inspired me to want to achieve something in music – seeing him tour and release on labels such as LTJ Bukem’s Good Looking and Fabio’s Creative Source has set the bar for me – I will prevail one day!
We know you’re a big fan of hip hop – do you find that seeping into your music at all?
Hip Hop is a big part of me. What producers such as Pete Rock, J dilla, Showbiz and Premo achieved in that era amazes me. I definitely look up to these guys, which makes me want to create a record that last.
Tell us how your upcoming Dusk EP release with Rick Grant came about?
Collaborating with Rick is always a pleasure – we are on the same page and I’m always happy with the results. We wrote these tunes about a year and a half ago, we have been sleeping on them until the right home for them came about. I’m glad we did as 2020vision was always on the list for me.
How did you first get involved with 2020Vision?
This came about very naturally. Kazim who runs Somethinksounds and oversees the LORE project does A&R at 2020, once he heard the music he said he had the perfect home for it. Since then label manager Bobby Pleasure has shown full support in myself – I’m excited for the future!
Any favourite piece of gear (hardware or software) that you used for the new EP?
Keeping it very simple at the moment Native Instrument’s Maschine is my weapon of choice.
Any favourite studio tricks that you use in a lot of your productions?
It’s all about Rick Ruben and stripping things back to its raw elements.
We heard you recently set up a studio in London called Ten 87 Studios? How did it come about and who’ve you got in there at the mo?
This time last year myself and iO Sounds secured funding from the Art Council to develop a warehouse space in East London to house songwriters and producers. It’s been a year of grafting but I’m happy with what we have achieved in a short space of time.
What’s the longest stretch of time you’ve spent in a studio session?
I recently did 14 days straight with iO Sounds producing with Abraham Blue – it was strenuous but I enjoy the company of both these guys.
Craziest show you’ve played to date, and why?
I played at a festival out in Croatia, which was very special. I shared a tour bus with fellow DJ’s and girlfriends to the festival – as you can imagine this got slightly out of hand! After a 3 or 4 hour journey I was off the bus and heading straight to play my set.. Nonetheless, I managed to hold it together and played one of the most enjoyable sets to date.
Any new artists you’re loving at the moment?
Finally, could you tell us a little bit about the mix you’ve made for us?
I really enjoyed putting this mix together; it was recorded from my studio using 1210’s and a mixer. It’s a decent representation of the direction and feeling I want to pursue over the next 12 months.
Florian Kupfer – SAD EDIT 001
Leon Vynehall – Time
Palm Trax – Sumo Acid Crew
Joy O & Boddika – TMTT
Beat Spacek – ‘I Wanna Know’ (Seven Davis Jr Remix)
Lakosa & Rick Grant – Cascade
Mr G – Waxheadz EP
Fabio Monesi – Parsol Dance LP
Paranoid London – Paranoid London LP
Palms Trax – Late Jam (Willie Burns’ Remix)
Route 8 – Hemiatrophy
Omar S – Annoying Mumbling Alkaholik
Pender Street Steppers – Steppers Temple Walk