The Balance of Luke Fair

Constantly re-editing tracks to customize his sets, Luke Fair's ongoing desire to make every set stand out from the others is very evident. His sets include everything from groovy house and techno to funky progressive and electro.

Luke Fair has carved quite a reputation for himself as a producer and passionately experimental DJ, making him the perfect choice to follow others such as James Holden, Chris Fortier, Phil K, Paolo Mojo, Desyn Masiello, Anthony Pappa and Jimmy Van M. Fair's music can be described as groovy, funky, housy and techy all at the same time.

He has created a signature style for himself by creating and re-editing versions of songs for his own sets. In the studio, his genre-crossing productions run the gamut from Dub House to melodic Progressive. His music has landed on every major radio show across the world, including BBC's Radio 1 Essential Mix and Proton Radio, and his edits have graced the decks with DJs from Digweed to Morillo.

Luke's skills have won the praise of some of the industry's biggest players. He was chosen by Danny Howells and Deep Dish as their 'future hero' in DJ Mag's Top 100 issue and most recently Luke was selected by none other than DJ Sasha to open for him in every US city on the Involver CD release tour. He has also toured extensively with John Digweed, who was one of the first to take notice of Luke's work and signed him to his Bedrock label in early 2002.

There's no better feeling than finding a hidden gem that passed under the radar. I knew roughly what I wanted to do before, but it changed and morphed as I found new music.
Beat Factor: Hello! Thanks for taking your time to answer some questions. How have you been lately? How was Miami?

Luke Fair: Miami was pretty good. A little quieter this year than usual, and the weather was much cooler with lots of rain. The Balance release party and the Sasha / John Digweed boat cruise were the highlights for me. The only problem with Miami is that it's so expensive. Seeing your bank balance really hurts once you get home. I think I paid $38 for two vodka tonics. Every time I come back from there I tell myself that next year I'm going to pass, or just go for 2 days. But I always end up going for the whole thing.

Beat Factor: With the new Balance on the pipeline, things seem to become hotter. How the mix compilation was received by the audience so far?

Luke Fair: So far it's been pretty well received, from what I've seen. You're never going to please everyone but the majority of reviews and feedback has been positive. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and that I was able to clear pretty much everything I asked for.

Beat Factor: Do you consider that the sound from this CD is very different than the one from the Bedrock compilation, Original Series?

Luke Fair: Yeah it's definitely much different. The Original Series cd was more reflective of a peak time set in a club, with the records I was playing then. I also tried to find a lot more upfront and unreleased music. With the Balance CD I tried to go through an entire club set over two CDs, from warm up to peak time to closing. I also spent a lot more time searching for music that wouldn't sound dated in two years time. Almost everything is previously released. I didn't want to limit myself to music that was coming out in the next little while. I wanted to use every resource I had to find the best songs for each part of the CD. I put a lot more time into the programming and editing to make it flow as best as I could.

Beat Factor: How was it for you to continue what James Holden, Chris Fortier, Jimmy Van M and others DJs did with the Balance series?

Luke Fair: I definitely felt a lot of pressure. All the past releases have been excellent, and the DJs have been really creative with their mixes. I wanted to make sure I made something that I was really happy with and put as much time into it as I could. I didn't want to finish it and have any regrets.

Beat Factor: Musically speaking, you were pretty lazy in the last few months. Your last full release was two years ago, and since then only a few remixes were out. How things are going on the production point?

Luke Fair: Production now is going great. I got so much inspiration while working on the Balance CD. I listened to so much music because I was searching for tunes 3-4 hours a day for 3 months. There were so many small things that I heard here and there while I was hunting that I couldn't wait to start producing after I was done. As soon as the CD was submitted, I hit the studio full time. I've finished two tracks already, and want to get two more done by September for an EP.

Beat Factor: What are your favorite parts from the Balance compilation?

Luke Fair: I guess it really depends on my mood. There's lots of sequences on each CD that I'm really happy with. I haven't given it too many listens since I've finished so it's hard to say specifically.

Beat Factor: You have released an EP a few years back under the alias Luke Wan. What's the story of that name? Are you going to use it anymore?

Luke Fair: I used that name on Yoshitoshi as I was already recording under my real name for Bedrock. Deep Dish came up with the name. They love Star Wars so that's the story.

Features Archive


The Balance of Luke Fair

April 24, 2007 at 5:26 PM CEST


Beat Factor

Beat Factor: What do you think people expected form your latest mix CD and what did they get?

Luke Fair: I'm sure some people were expecting a 160 minute peak time club set, but I didn't want to do that. There are so many tracks that I find and have that are far too deep to play in a club. It has nothing to do with the quality of the records, but just the time of the night that I usually play. Things have to be a bit more up-tempo. For many years I was a warm-up DJ, so that's a big part of my past and I still absolutely love playing to a club at the start of the night. These days you can download peak time live sets from everywhere so I wanted to make something different. It's basically a mix of a club night from start to finish, including the warm-up and closing which I rarely get to do.

Beat Factor: Let's go a few years back.. How did you begin the assault on the international dance music scene? Did you follow some typical steps?

Luke Fair: I started off playing locally in Toronto, and it just sort of grew from there. I made a bootleg of a U2 tune that I eventually sent out to Digweed and he wrote me back two weeks later. The fact he actually listened to it was pretty unbelievable. He asked if I had anymore stuff and I told him yes, which a lie was of course! I then made two tracks in a couple weeks that eventually came out on Bedrock as my first release. After that the out of town gigs started picking up and I signed with Deep Dish's Bullitt Bookings agency.

Beat Factor: Do you have a hero? Please make out this case if so.

Luke Fair: Definitely John Digweed. He's easily one of the hardest working people in the business. He's been doing a weekly radio show for years, has one of the biggest underground labels in the business, a legendary long-running club night and a gigs every single week. His sound has remained so consistent over the years as well. On top of that, he still has time to look out for new artists and help them grow.

Beat Factor: How about a favourite quote or something that inspires you?

Luke Fair: Deep Dish's Yoshiesque 1 is a CD I go back to constantly for inspiration. To me, that is a perfectly done mix. I still get shivers when I listen to it.

Beat Factor: Speaking about inspiration, what inspired you when you chose the tracks for the Balance compilation?

Luke Fair: Most of the inspiration for the CD was just really based on the music I was finding. I spent 4 straight months hunting tunes for the Balance CD. I went through the back stock of almost all major online record stores and mp3 stores. There's no better feeling than finding a hidden gem that passed under the radar. I knew roughly what I wanted to do before, but it changed and morphed as I found new music.

Beat Factor: How much time do you spend listening to music on a normal day?

Luke Fair: I spend a few hours each day at least. And that's just for searching. I don't listen to very many live sets or mixes.

Beat Factor: With a pretty busy schedule, you probably stay short time in your hometown in Canada. How do you still keep in touch with the people from there?

Luke Fair: Email, messenger and phone.

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