Born in 1980 and raised in the Detroit area, Luke Hess has harnessed a deep appreciation for electronic music and the expression of the underground movement. His background in mathematics and engineering has given him a scientific approach to the dance floor, using frequencies, tones, and soundscapes to transform surroundings and mood. In 2003 he recorded his first promotional mix CD release for UR/Submerge. Since then, his faith based music production has landed him a seat with FXHE and Planet-e in Detroit. His debut album was released in early May 2009 by Denmark based label Echocord. In 2010 he began his own interpretation of Detroit techno with his new Detroit project and record label – DeepLabs. With 13 years of DJ experience, he is regarded as a perfectionist in his Live sets and behind the decks layering his tracks in a very detailed and hypnotic manner. Luke has played at notable venues and events such as Culture Box (Copenhagen), Panorama Bar (Berlin), Unit (Tokyo), Detroit Electronic Music Festival (Detroit), Fabric (London), The End Up (San Francisco), Golden Pudel (Hamburg), Sirup (Zagreb), Weekend Club (Berlin), Cubic Club (Madrid), and The Bunker (NYC). Luke’s continued hard work behind the decks and in the studio combined with his unyielding interest in technology and sound will no doubt stimulate the boundaries of electronic music.

Tell me little bit about yourself, and the music you create?

I grew up in the Detroit Metro Area. My source of musical inspiration was found here in Michigan.
I would describe my music as soulful, analog, raw, danceable, deep, Detroit techno.. with a pinch of dub. ;)

Where did your interest in music begin?

My dad encouraged my brother and I with music at an early age with piano lessons, choir, & playing records like Yellow, the Cars, and Pink Floyd.
When I was 13-14 years old my brother was always bringing weird music home: Plastikman Sheet One, Bjork, Robert Armani, etc.
But things really changed when I was a sophomore in high school and my cousin invited me to a warehouse party in Detroit.
It was 1996. I remember staring at the DJ trying to figure out what he was doing. The DJ was DBX.
After this night I was really interested to find out what type of music was being played and where I could find it.

You’ve been for many years in this business. Many things have changed since your 1st release What can you tell about those times and present days?

I’ve been DJing for many years yes. However, my first release was in 2007, so I haven’t been producing for very long.
I was interested and inspired by underground electronic music because it was an escape from main stream music and culture..
Underground Dance music culture was a place to experiment with new sounds and build a strong community.
Now it seems that more artists and DJ’s get involved for superficial reasons.
I think it’s important to stick to your first love, stay with your passion, and carve your own unique musical path.
It’s important to inspire people to be who they were meant to be, passing on knowledge, and build a strong community.

Who is your inspiration or influence in creating music?

I have musical influences, nature influences, and spiritual influences.
Musical influences are Rob Hood, Basic Channel, Omar S, Scientist, Carl Craig, etc.
Natural influences are field recordings from various outdoor adventures.
Spiritual influences are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

What are key tasks for Music producer?

In my opinion they key task of a music producer is to develop their skills enough to capture musically exactly what they are experiencing and feeling.
Production and music creation is a never ending learning experience and an artist can always continue to grow.
I don’t believe that an artist’s best work is in their first years of making music. A classic can come at any time in someone’s musical career.
Once a producer can accurately capture his/her inspiration and translate it into music, then it’s time to tell the story and inspire others to do the same.

What projects are you working now and when will we see your new releases realized?

DeepLabs releases and growing the label, new FXHE release, new Ornaments release, new Finale Sessions release and projects, & continued work with Echocord.
Remix of Monty Luke Futura on Planet-e, Completing several other Remixes.

Tell me your plans for the future, upcoming releases or tours?

Besides the upcoming projects I already mentioned..
My focus now is building the foundation of DeepLabs and building a strong community around it with other like-minded artists and individuals.
I have a tour coming up in October and November: Amsterdam, Munich, Berlin, Australia (Melbourne/Sydney), & hopefully more!

Describe your show, visual and musically?

When I DJ I like to keep things exciting by mixing new timeless dance music with older classic Detroit techno & other older cuts.
Keep people guessing & dancing!
When I play live I get a bit more experimental, but I also keep the dance floor in mind. My live shows are more personal since it all my own material.
However, I’m not interested in playing music that can’t move a dance floor or give someone a feeling they’ll never forget.
Visually… the darker the room, the better. :)

What’s your claim to fame?

I don’t consider myself famous..
But whatever success and amazing experiences I’ve had so far I give thanks to the Lord; He is my strength!

Do you have any interests besides music in your life?

My day job is in electrical engineering so I do enjoy applying that knowledge to music and tinkering with synth projects and electronics.
I’m also an active person and love to explore, travel, wakeboard, snowboard, back-pack, camp, etc. – anything outdoors!
I love reading, researching, and studying too..

How does music affect you and the world around you?

I think music is all around us, it just comes in different forms. Music is an essential part of life; I can’t imagine a life without music.
Music is the best way I know how to share and translate my love, hope, and inspiration with the world.

What is the best festival you played so far and why?

Movement Festival in Detroit.
This festival is the best way to educate people about Detroit music since they can see the city and hear so much local talent.

What is the difference between your music production and others artist?

Every artist has a different and unique way of approaching their art.
I have different experiences and influences than other artists. I also collect analog gear and take many field recordings.
The ways I create sounds and put them together and the inspiration behind my music is the reason why my music unique.

How you feel about selling music online and how you feel about illegal music downloads?

Though DeepLabs is a vinyl only label for now, but I believe selling music online is a great way to expose the music.
However, Illegal downloading shows an ignorance and lack of respect for the industry.
If you like an artist, how does stealing their music show them respect?
If one day all music is free it will become harder and harder for artists to make a living creating music.

What can you advise for those electronic music lovers all around the world who want to start a career in music industry or just play records around?

Anything is possible.
My personal advice is to build a foundation from something that is unique, special, and personal to you.
Be a leader, not a follower and know your history.
Build a strong community where you are at.
There are many ways to become “successful”, everyone has a different definition of what success is..
But in my opinion, true lasting success is about making a positive difference in the world..
This comes through love, integrity, following your heart, and working hard.

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