To celebrate the arrival of their Hannover EP release on 21st September, we caught up with the German and South African duo known as LADS
Great to meet you guys, what’s good and what’s bad with you both right now?
Gary and Luc: Hey! Thank you for having us! We’ve been followers of Sweet Musique for some time now so we’re really stoked to be here. We’ve just recovered from playing a rad festival in Bremen, Germany named Moyn Moyn so life is good right about now.
Describe each other to us in a few sentences…
Gary: Well, I’m the good looking one. The poster child for LADS. Luc stands behind the DJ booth and doubles as security. Haha! No, we’re both creatives driven towards the same goal. We’re kind of the same people, except I am a lot shorter than Luc. We’re both clowns who like to joke around and have a love for electronic music.
Tell us about your respective routes into dance music in Germany and South Africa – what got you started, what DJs, parties, and labels?
Luc: Initially, we both had our own projects. I released under the name Luc Angenehm in Germany. I was very inspired by Stimming at the time and would spend hours listening to his music and was inspired to get into production. I had success releasing on labels such as Traum, Save Us Records, Subjekt and more.
Gary: I grew up on house and electronic music thanks to my older brother Ricky. I then played in jazz and blues bands as a drummer but wanted to be in control of the full musical spectrum, hence my start in production. I gigged quite frequently in South Africa and released on labels such as Atal, Traum, and House Afrika.
How did you first meet? What made you want to work together?
Gary: We met on Tinder. Luc saw my picture and immediately swiped right. Haha nah, we actually started communicating on Facebook. I had heard one of Luc’s tracks at a gig in Pretoria, South Africa and I found it really interesting. So I sent him a message telling him that I really liked the track and we then started sending each other track ideas to work on and remix.
It was at this time we found that our sound and approach to making music was similar and it felt natural to combine our strengths into one project. LADS is an amalgamation of our project names, Luc Angenehm and Deep Suite.
Do you both bring different things to the partnership or is it a case of opposites attract?
Luc: Both of us are into the same music. We love groove and we love music that makes people dance. We both also love really technical and intelligent music. We each have our strengths. Gary comes up with a lot of ideas and grooves and has a knack for smaller technicalities and mix downs. My strengths lie in automation and creating variety in a track along with the arrangement. Whilst our personalities are both very similar, we add our own unique flavour and strengths to each production.
Who does what in the studio, do you have set skills or do you both do everything; how does this work?
Gary: We don’t really have a set way of doing things. Sometimes one of us will come up with an idea and get the track 90% of the way done with the other just adding polish and mixing. Sometimes we bounce a project up and down like a ping-pong ball. Sometimes, one of us will do drums and the other the synths. It really varies from project to project. Since we both have the same vision for our music, we have a good workflow in our productions.
And when you DJ, what’s the approach, is it always different or do you have a set style?
Luc: We prepare for every gig. We usually decide on our opening track and closing track. This gives us a start and destination point for our set. This, of course, is dependant on the crowd and vibe. We have a wide selection of music that fits our style, so midway through a set, we’ll keep a certain vibe going if the people are feeling it. The most important aspect is that we feed off of each other.
Tell us about your latest ‘Hannover’ EP, what inspired it, what influenced it?
Gary: Of course the lovely city of Hannover. However, for the most part, unless we’re working on an album and there’s a particular message to convey, most of our music is based on the emotions that we’re feeling at the time. Influences are cool, but they can be limiting.
How do you begin when making a track, is one bit – the bass, the keys – more important than the other, say?
Luc: For me, I start with a catchy synth or groove. Gary usually either starts with percussion elements or building tension with synths.