UK-born, Berlin-based DJ and producer Lucas Hunter aka Luca Lozano aka Planetluke.com most certainly is a “jack of all trades” as he loves to define himself, but certainly not a master of none – as evidenced by the impeccable output he gets to release under the Klasse Recordings pennant along with longtime pal and associate Mr. Ho.
Constantly switching hats between music production, label management and his work as an in-demand designer, the versatile gentleman steers his ship at fast pace with unfazed readiness, quietly delivering some top-notch collaborations along Sex Tags honcho Fett Burger whilst his impressive art catalogue was recently being honoured with a debut solo exhibition in Berlin.
Lucas found a gap in his busy timetable and laid down a belter of a fiery club-focused mix for us. We took the chance to find out more about all label-related ideas and process, current mood and projects as well as his epic label designs and personal graffiti backdrop.
Interviewed by Baptiste Girou
"Starting a label that was multi-faceted seemed like a nice way to express myself and let my friends do the same."
Please tell us more about the mix and selection. How and when did you record it?
The mix features a lot of tracks that I’m playing out these days, I didn’t over think the selection and tried to let it play out organically…as with most of my sets its starts out with some old deep house, ventures through acid and ends up with some early 90s tekno. I ripped a bunch of records and stitched them together on Ableton, editing bits here and there.
You run the excellent Klasse Recordings along with Mr. Ho – as well as Zodiac 44 with Johanna Knutsson. What prompted you to set up the label in the first place?
It just seemed like the right thing to do, I’d been involved in DJing and production for a while and was surrounded by a nice bunch of people. I like to create and starting a label that was multi-faceted seemed like a nice way to express myself and let my friends do the same.
"Klasse, Zodiac and Grafiti Tapes are basically labels enabling the interaction of my friends, it's a small family."
What’s the ethos?
Klasse, Zodiac and Grafiti Tapes are basically labels enabling the interaction of my friends, it’s a small family. There’s no overriding ethos to it, I control most aspects so its a definite reflection of my taste and abilities. I’m happiest when I’m working on projects so most of all its a way to keep me busy.
What’s cooking at the moment?
Our last WRECKS record just came out, which was me and Mr. Ho on the controls. Each label has something in the pipeline and there’s a bunch of stuff almost ready to go, but I’m not a fan of spoiling the surprise… so when its out you’ll hear about it.
"Working with someone else is fun, that's pretty much it… I'm all about having fun."
Be it with Mr. Ho or DJ Fett Burger, you enjoy working together with other producers. Creative-wise, is it necessary for you to create that type of emulation?
Working with someone else is fun, that’s pretty much it… I’m all about having fun. It’s nice to have the balance and be able to do both, work together with people and work on your own.
Under your artist name Planet Luke, you take care all of the Klasse Rec. visuals and collaborate with other outlets including Hypercolour, Basic Rhythm and more. How did you come to design and graphic art?
I studied Graphic Design but left the course after a year, it felt too restrictive and governed by rules. I was learning how to fulfill briefs and follow the needs of clients and it became very boring, I’ve been doing my own thing since then… on and off. I’m happy with where it is now, mainly doing flyer and label artwork design.
"I've been painting since 1993, it's been an unhealthy interest that has enabled me to travel Europe before DJing and get arrested in various towns."
You recently had your first solo exhibition in Berlin – quite a special moment I guess. How was it?
It was great, I got totally hammered. SJ Tequila got naked and played Jimmy Sommerville records. I sold a bunch of stuff and the place was packed out, I was in bed by 12pm too… that was a bonus.
I particularly like the concept behind the Grafiti Tapes collection. Can you tell us more about it? What’s been the trigger?
I’ve been painting since 1993, it’s been an unhealthy interest that has enabled me to travel Europe before DJing and get arrested in various towns. I don’t paint that much anymore but am still very much interested in what is going on.
I had a hard time with waiting on the pressing times with vinyl the last years and doing tapes was a nice and quick way of producing some physical product. The concept is simple, each tape involves the music and artwork from a particular artist….I’ve been able to work with some greats and I hope the series does justice to the artists.
"I'm still interested in releasing digital music but was always striving to find a way to make it more interesting as it was always a bit of an anti-climax."
You also recently launched the KFAX series, which questions the nature of our urban surroundings via tasteful riso-printed zines + music in digital form. How did the idea first emerge?
I’ve been wanting to do zines for a few years now, the first one came around after talking with Nehuen (the artist involved in KFAX1). I’m still interested in releasing digital music but was always striving to find a way to make it more interesting as it was always a bit of an anti-climax.
Putting a digital download alongside some printed matter is a nice way of bulking it out and being able to do something cooler than a zipped folder of files. KFAX isn’t confined to one idea, we’re working on some stuff that is very different to the first edition.
What’s your perspective on the mutation of the city landscapes? Loads of clubs and great artistic places are closing their doors because of the growingly invasive “gentrification” at work everywhere.
I try not to get bitter about these things, the world turns as it always does… places become expensive and over-saturated just as new places are discovered and developed. There’s too much to be concerned with, I’m happy to concentrate on my journey to the studio and back home to my wife and sofa and take each day as it comes.
"Its nice to realise at times of turmoil that music is one of the constant things in life, something that adapts to the ups and downs… you have to respect that."
What convinced you to start producing your own sound?
I can’t condense down it to one word or sentence really, making music has always been something I have done. Its nice to realise at times of turmoil that music is one of the constant things in life, something that adapts to the ups and downs… you have to respect that.
What kind of teenager were you? Which musicians and bands were you listening to?
I was in a terrible skate-punk band, we did cover versions of Bob Marley songs. Other than that I was really into Fugazi and Ninjaman.
"I was in a terrible skate-punk band, we did cover versions of Bob Marley songs."
What’s your fav hip-hop release?
Impossible to answer this question, but I have to give a shout out to Tommy Wright III. I’m also listening a lot to an album from the Legend Lady J at the moment… oh and Project Pat is one of my all time favourites.
Your fav UK hardcore record?
Baby D played a big part in my teenage years.
What’s your schedule reading for the next couple of months?
I’m off to Canada for a small tour at the end of the month, Australia and Asia again… wicked tings.
Photography by Anastazja Moser.Luca LozanoKlasse WrecksBreakbeatElectroHouse