The fledgling Birmingham duo, LFM & Mali (aka Luke and Liam) might be reaping a lot of salutes from the biz with their own genre-defying dancefloor dynamism but it seems that it's what the boys do beyond the decks that is making an even greater impact. The mastermind(s) behind one of the UK's most bubbling club programs, Seedy Sonics, the boys have built a platform that sees major names link with flourishing talent helping to affirm Birmingham's thriving reputation as an epicentre for first class electronic music. Together, they've forged forwards regularly appearing at the aforementioned event but also at a slew of party hot spots, including the Midlands' infamous 02:31 party; whom they'll be joining in Room Two a week Friday. Currently in Ibiza - at one of those hotspots we mentioned - Luke and Liam very kindly put together a mix that they describe as "a snapshot of what you could expect from us playing a peak time set at one of our Seedy Sonics events". They also answered a few probing questions so we could introduce them officially before they join us on Friday 19th June.
Luke (LFM): I’ve been working on a new project called MADE Birmingham. It’s a metropolitan festival taking place in the heart of Birmingham’s creative quarter this July; a placed we have termed the Digbeth Triangle. After being nominated for Best Metropolitan Festival at the UK Festival Awards 2014, we are really determined to build upon the success of our debut year. This year we’ve put together a hugely diverse line up, developed six new concept stages and will be utilising never before used spaces for the MADE My Night after party.
Liam (Mali): I've been working towards my Sound Engineering and Music Production degree and have been getting my head down in the studio working on music.
You’re due to play at FABRICLIVE next month. What can we expect?
For us, fabric is an institution where we have enjoyed some incredible sets and nights from some of our favourite DJs and bands, so it’s a huge honour for us to have been invited to come and play in Room Two! People can expect a well delivered warm up set, which should hopefully set the tone for the rest of the night.
Tell us a bit more about yourselves and how you made your first contact with music? What kind of music were you brought up on?
Liam: I grew up in Leeds and as a hobby I used to MC with a small crew. I followed UK hip hop religiously, the likes of Skinnyman, Klashnekoff, Jehst, Braintax, Rodney P and Task Force etc. After I moved down to Birmingham, I discovered the Custard Factory and The Rainbow and found a love for electronic music, anything from house and bass to techno right through to drum & bass. I think that shines through in our sets, we don't like to pigeonhole our sound as we both love such a wide variety of music.
Luke: My first real entrance into dance music was through drum & bass. My mates and I used to listen to d&b tape packs at school on our walkmans, running the headphones under our jumpers down to our hands so that the teacher didn’t know that we were listening to anything. Garage was the next music I came into contact with and started to develop a passion for. Moving to Birmingham was when I was first really exposed to house and techno.
And then how did you move to the place you are now – in the world of electronic music?
Liam: We began by running a small event so that we had a platform to showcase our DJ skills and play the music that we wanted to support. In a short space of time we'd built up the brand to be a reputable event and moved into booking the DJs that we are inspired by. We've had some incredible experiences since we started, from DJing at the top of a Mountain at Snowbombing, to warming up the main stage at Global Gathering last year as well as a string of sold out Seedy Sonics events in Birmingham. At the end of the day we are just grateful to be doing something we love and feel passionate about.
Who or what have been your greatest inspirations and how have they inspired you?
Liam: My greatest inspiration is my mum as she has managed to put up with my dad for nearly 30 years and raise 3 children who've all turned out OK! But musically I would have to give props to the founding fathers of techno: Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May and Juan Atkins as they laid the foundations which have gone on to spawn countless new and exciting genres. I also have to mention Eminem and Jehst here as my two favourite rappers who inspired me to believe in myself.
Luke : For me, it's Andy C. His hat and his 3 deck wizardry will always be an inspiration! Every time GQ tells you it’s time to turn over the page for the next chapter, you know it’s going to be an inspiring few hours.
And what about how you execute your DJ sets? Do you adapt to the vibe of the line up or do you just go with what feels right on the night?
Luke: We throw all our favourite and most exciting tunes into the pot and always try to play to the crowd. I feel like it's our duty as DJs to entertain and educate the customers at the same time. It's also really fun getting experimental with 3 deck mixes to create unique mixes of recognisable tunes combined with music that people may not have necessarily heard before.