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Luke Solomon: Throwing Caution To The Wind

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Agreed in regards to the internet. Where everything is everywhere people often come across things that aren’t right from them.  This lack of filtration can lead to strange backlashes. Just look at the insane comments people leave on online…

As we were saying earlier it’s important not to be defined by other people. Many people only seem to have opinions on the internet. A perfect example being I went  to see Lil’ Louis at Fabric talking about his new film and he made a great comment. The question he asked was “What was the first ever house record?” and that was the build up to the film so he was asking people in the room and nobody wanted to say anything  – except me in the corner with my hand up because I’m old and opinionated – and he said “If you were on facebook now and hiding behind an anonymous screen you’d be absolutely annihilating me! But you put yourself in a human situation and you’re too scared to voice your opinion.” I’m faced with that constantly where people are terrified to say something to an artist but will happily destroy them when they’re not there. Fortunately that’s never happened to me as I’ve never mixed in those circles but I’ve been privy to it happening to people and it’s an awful thing.

Direct honesty in some respects is good but it has to be done in the right way. It needs to be constructive and the problem is we see so much negativity on the internet. There is the one record I put on my last radio show which is this mad record which speeds up and slows down. It slows down to about 108 bpm and then speeds up to about 150 bpm and then turns back in. It’s kinda gimmicky but I love the fact that we don’t have to be so serious and can throw caution to the wind sometimes and someone wrote “What is this shit? Don’t ever play it again.” That was their comment. Naturally my first thought was that I’m not going to pay any attention to this comment and then secondly that there is so much actual shit out there that they could go find or better still go and find something they love and leave a positive comment on that. That’s what we’re forgetting – it’s like raising a child you need to reward people when they’re doing things right rather than condemn them when they do something that you don’t like. That’s how you encourage art and culture to blossom. I don’t see why people need to be so negative all the time when there is so much music out there that they apparently love which they can shout about. Why waste your time on things you don’t like?

Well the NME 0/10 album score culture that came to fruition in the early noughties certainly has to take some of the blame for that.

I find myself arguing with myself though as you look at someone like Lester Bangs who was one of the original journalists who that had an opinion in such a cutting way but  at least he had this wealth of knowledge behind him that could justify his opinion and do it in such a creative way that it wasn’t like he was attacking the music. He would just tell you what he did and didn’t like about the music and why.

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Well no music is perfectly designed with an individual listener in mind other than potentially the artist themselves.

Exactly. We have lost a lot of intelligent and witty commentary on music. I refuse to comment on things I don’t know about so as to have a justifiable opinion. When people say “I don’t like Coldplay” and you ask why and they respond with “They’re just shit” I mean what is that?

It’s funny you should mention Coldplay as since they’re last Jon Hopkins produced single came out a lot of people have been falling over themselves to say they like it.

That’s a perfect example of another conversation I had yesterday.  The cult of someone like Moodymann or Theo Parish wherein certain people buy everything they do and worship them without question whilst declaring everything else crap. That’s not how you build a community and spread love. As a hippie and as fluffy as it sounds I’m big on having friendly relationships with my fellow artists. With Frankie Knuckles dying it was nice to see that in his passing a positive could come out of it as people came together. I’ve been in touch with people that I grew up with that I’ve not seen for 25 years dancing in fields to celebrate the life of this man whose work touched and affected all of us. Watching videos of people on the terraces at the football chanting “Frankie Knuckles!” was amazing. It’s like wow and incredible to have changed things in such a massive way.

We were talking about criticism just now and I thought it was interesting you that you should mention it considering I’ve not seen anyone criticize you’re work anywhere near as harshly as you have!

[Laughs] I’m my greatest critic.

With your album ‘The Difference Engine’ you said it “didn’t realize your ambitions.” Was this something you realized directly afterwards or after  reflecting for some time? I’m interested to know as I bought and enjoyed that album…

Well thanks! I’m my greatest critic and refuse to look beackwards at music I’ve made as I know I can always do better so therefore everything I do is still part of the learning process.

The artist’s dilemma. With so many different ways to express yourself it’s impossible to know whether or not you are creating something to the best of your ability.

Yeah. It’s that whole Carlos Castonada concept of you never being a complete person until that point where you die and only when you’ve lived your entire life do you truly know what you are. If you think or assume you know everything and that you are already the best that you could ever be at something then there is something drastically wrong with you! Your ego is out of control.

Continued on page 3

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