Passing The Torch
Neil Landstrumm Speaks To Luke Vibert

Personally, I'm not convinced about using the word ‘veteran’ in reference to artists who have simply been around for a while now. Whilst on the one hand it nods towards the significance of their musical output and the fact that its storied the beloved electronic music realm we love so much, but, on the other it can also come across as a euphemism for just being, well… old.

With the pair of artists I'm referencing here, I think it's pretty much obvious that above everything else, they're certified dons; irrespective of their age. Both due to take to the Room Two stage next month, Luke Vibert and Neil Landstrumm are set to do their own things under the Planet Mu banner. As artists they’ve both consistently kept up their game releasing for near on 20 years and yet they’ve both seen fresh albums released over the last 12 months at the hands, in some way or another, of team Hypercolour (Vibert's latest and joyfully acidic offering, Ridmik, will be rightfully creating fresh waves this summer).

It's safe to say that Vibert and Landstrumm really are leaders in their respective fields and they’ve very much set their own high reaching bars to which they’re still working to to this day. So, with two people that we have so much admiration for coming together on the same lineup, we just had to take the opportunity to find out what would come out of a conversation between them so we handed over the interview reigns to Landstrumm to talk about pretty much everything he could think of….

“fabric asked me to think up a few questions for Luke Vibert for kind of a Planet Mu, artist-to-artist interview for our upcoming label takeover of Room two on the 20th June” Landstrumm offers. “Now Luke is a grand master producer from our own UK electronic scene and one of whom I have a great deal of respect for, so rather than ask him the same old rubbish stuff I thought I'd task him some questions of random things I really wanted to know…”

Whats your favourite childhood toy or childhood obsession? Have you left childhood behind?
Hmm… wasn't that obsessed with toys… possibly my Stretch Armstrong... Mainly loved music and followed the pop charts pretty obsessively for a few years! Definitely still a big kid now of course.

Music is often thought of as a reflection of abstract thought processes. Do numbers or letters work better for you inside your head ?
Letters out of those two choices, but neither really… more feelings than thoughts I think.

Do you feel inside or outside the UK electronic music scene now and what are your current musings on the state-of-play in 2014? If you consider yourself an outsider is it by design and intention or by natural consequence ?
I suppose I've always felt outside any kind of specific scene, but definitely feel part of a larger electronic dance music movement… probably because of DJing more than making music though. Never tried to be an outsider… quite the opposite really… I enjoy it when I'm accepted!

What animal or fish commands the most respect from you and why?
Hmm… hard one… don't really care much for most animals, so I'll go for dogs, just cause they're pretty sweet natured and loyal.

Crossing land masses can be tricky. Would you rather cross a swamp or a desert?
Swamp I suppose… it sounds more funky somehow..!

Have you lived outside the UK at any point in your life and do you think this influenced and fed into your music at all?
I travel lots and as my family live in France I'm there loads, which has influenced my lifestyle a bit but not my music at all.

Do you see yourself completely stopping writing and producing music in your life and if so for what reasons?
Oh God no... please... perish the thought!

Under what circumstances would you take a human life?
I can't imagine any, but possibly in self defense or to protect a friend or family member?!

If you hadn't gone into music and found success what do you think or what would have liked to be doing as a career now?
I'd still be making as much music in my spare time as my record shop job would allow!

What’s your view on the Scottish Independence question and does being from Cornwall make you feel different to the rest of the UK?
Well, if I was Scottish I'd probably want independence, but I really hope they don't choose it. They make us seem much more interesting than we are on our own. I think the Cornish do feel more Celtic than English, but personally I feel both equally [honestly!]

Is there any piece of music equipment / hardware you have sold and later regretted?
No, just records… I got rid of most of my breakbeat hardcore rave 12"s in '92 thinking I never wanted to hear any again, only to slowly but expensively start to buy it all back a few years later, which I'm currently still doing!

What haven’t you achieved with your music, performance or touring that you are still hungry for?
Not sure… my brain doesn't really work like that, although of course it would be lovely to sell bollock-loads more records!

Have you ever been in a car crash and if so can you describe it?
Nope, thank fuck…

If you had met Gregory Cylvester Coleman before he died what would you have said to him or wanted to know?
I would've offered maximum respect for the Amen break, and heartfelt sympathy for him never getting any money out of it…

What was your favourite period in your career when you felt everything was right?
Earlier on, when I was much cockier!

Have you ever felt betrayed by a record label or producer and if so, why?
Quite a lot, yes… been ripped-off by labels a few times, but wouldn't wanna name names.

Do you have any memorable ‘zombie-driver’ stories after gigs from the hotel to the airport?
Not sure… don't drive personally, so don't pay attention.

Do you enjoy the ‘remix’ job or is it just a pain in the arse you’d rather not do?
I enjoy it much more when I'm getting paid well!

You are a master of acid tracks. The TB-303, yes or no in 2014. Has it all been done before or what else can be squeezed from the fruit of acid music?
Thanks! Well, I don't personally have any other synths that sound anything like it, so I'll probably use it until it breaks or I die…

Do you have a theory why there is always a ‘predatory bully in a football top’ in the ball pits of soft-play centres?
No, sorry!

Do you have a personally meaningful piece of music that you have retreated too and enjoyed over the years to remind you of why you got into creating music and producing?
Um… don't think so… although I do occasionally check out some old piece or other, and am usually fairly pleasantly surprised!

Are you a gambler and what would you risk everything for and why?
Had a real gambling problem in my teens and have managed not to gamble since.

Thank for your time and effort man.
Nice one… cheers Neil, Luke x

Luke Vibert's new album Ridmik is out now on Hypercolour.


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