With their new project Nouveau Yorican, Gina Turner and Laidback Luke have created as close to a 'new sound' as you're likely to find in modern-day house music. 'Chiuso' is original, frighteningly catchy and set to cause serious damage over the festive period, so we caught up with the both of them to give us the lowdown...
You obviously get on very well as producers, but how about DJing? Do your styles differ?
Laidback Luke: Yes, our DJ styles differ a lot! I think it's safe to say my style is a lot more big room/overground orientated. I love my house big and chunky! We have DJed together at WMC once, but really no plans to do it in the future. Our styles and the way we mix are just so different!
Gina Turner: Yes our styles are so different but we complement one another, just in the studio or on the same line up, not necessarily behind the decks for a back to back. Luke is more big room and I'm a bit more funky and tech housey.
Can you tell me about some of the DJ experiences you have had lately that we're off the hook?
GT: I find it funny how I'm a bit of a chameleon gig wise. I really enjoyed supporting the Made to Play US tour this year with Riva Starr, Jesse Rose, Zombie Disco Squad etc, which were smaller and more intimate and I get to play weirder stuff. But then I just did four dates supporting Tiesto in huge stadiums and sold out arenas of 10,000 people. I find this to be interesting and it also explains the style of what I play. I call it maximal tech house (minimal with splashes of big room and harder stuff). I think it's so important to be an all around DJ these days and not to pigeonhole yourself by only sticking to one genre!
LL: My profile is insane nowadays. I get so much support around the globe! It's hard to pinpoint an exact gig. It's just really amazing to see over a decade of hard work finally paying off.
Do you find that touring is exhausting?
GT: I do find it exhausting but I find my grounding by doing yoga in almost every city I go to. It keeps me centered in my mind and body.
LL: Yes, it's very exhausting. But I do get used to it. I'm not a traveler by nature, so for me it was my whole life switching upside down. Now my home is wherever I lay my carry-on luggage. I love love love DJing though and testing out new productions on the road. To be able to touch so many people and see that they like what I do is what keeps me going.
You’re both individual promoters too - what parties are you putting on?
GT: I used to throw a crazy afterhours in Los Angeles called MAJOR, it would be thrown in a warehouse in downtown LA and we had quite some legendary guests. Diplo and Switch rang me up on the night we were throwing a resident DJs only night and asked if they could "debut these tracks they just finished in the studio", we now know they were their Major Lazer tracks. Spawned from a mutual love for all things house and techno, MAJOR residents Acid Girls, Staccato and Thee Mike B have consistently spun the genre's best, dropping everything from essential classics to bleeding-edge freshness into the wee small hours of the morning. MAJOR's guests and collaborations have included masters; DJ Falcon, Dada Life, DJ Sneak, Derrick Carter, Worthy from DirtyBird, Scottie B, J.Rocc from Stones Throw, Michna from Ghostly and a lovely surprise performance from Major Lazer, in addition to young pioneers Eli Escobar, Lazaro Casanova and Pharrell Arot. That afterhours is on hiatus at the moment and so is my monthly promoter hat, but I do tend to throw a party named after my radio show Below the Bassline every once in a while.
LL: I have my own Super You&Me events. It's basically me putting the fun back into the electronic dance scene. Plus I get to dress up as a superhero every time! I've always been a big comic fan. It's so much fun and thanks to the outfits, the crowd should come dressed up as well, it's like living up to a party again!
Tell us about some of the people that you have both collaborated with in the past.
GT: I've done collaborations with Zoo Brazil, Dan Oh, and of course Luke in the past. And some of my upcoming collaborations include; Style of Eye, Junior Sanchez, Alexander Technique, Sandro Silva, Diplo, and Sonic, just to name a few. I also have been lending my vocal stylings a bit more here and there and there are plans to do a signing duet with ‘trouble and bass’ front man Drop the Lime. I did also start a track with Switch for his new solid groove album, but I'm not too sure what’s happening with that at the moment. But Luke is my favourite person to collaborate with by far! ;-)
LL: There's a bunch of them! Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, A-trak, Steve Aoki, Diplo, Lee Mortimer, Tom Stephan…shit I'm probably forgetting a lot of them now, sorry! It's all about the right chemistry during the studio process. This is what makes the session fun and gives an amazing result in the end! I have that same connection with Gina!
What is 'hyperdrivehousestepandghettojacktrancebass'? Is this Dutch?
LL: Ha! I forgot I once said this! That kind of sums up my sound indeed ha! In Dutch this would be 'hieperrijdenhuisstapuntghettosjaaktrancebas', Dutch people will laugh as I literally translated it in Dutch.
I heard you invented a new genre of dance 'Latin inspired shuffle tech house'. Please explain…
LL: I'm not sure if we invented that. Isn't that what all the minimal guys are playing nowadays?
GT: Good answer Luke! Nouveau has a special twist though.
Explain what Nouveau Yorican means…what’s the idea behind this?
LL: To me it's the Latinification of New York meets Amsterdam. Gina representing New York and me Amsterdam; together we bring something new and classy.
Is there a historical connection between Amsterdam and New York? Is this what you are highlighting?
LL: Yes, there actually is. New York used to be New Amsterdam before we sold it to the British. Killer move, well done fellow Dutch countrymen! We're not really trying to highlighting this, but we do really like the New York roots that are running through us. I've been raised on all the Strictly Rhythm catalogue and have a massive weakness for the earlier Masters At Work and Kenlou stuff. Not to mention Todd Terry and Armand van Helden to name a few. These guys have always done Latin inspired stuff.
How come you have collaborated together on this project?
LL: I really like the influence Gina has on me musically. She really knows how to inspire people and get people motivated on the things she has passion for. And such a passionate and honest human she is! I feed off of her being a walking exclamation mark so to say. Having hooked me up with some amazing underground music I decided to work with her on tracks. As I felt it would be so much fun, and it was!
GT: It’s been an honour to work with Luke and so inspiring as well.
You have already released a track called Boriqua which has an old school flavor…where did this influence come from?
LL: Definitely from old hip house. Gina can explain more about the sample. A lot of it is her influence. A lot of times I'm the one that's good in arranging the track and making it sound fat as fuck!
GT: I am absolutely obsessed with Latin and 90's jacking hip house. So when I came to the studio with Luke I brought tracks like; "two without hats- try yazz" and "rare arts -boriqua posse", and said "lets make a track like this” the rest was history. My influence once again came from growing up with these sounds in NY.
Your new track is called 'Chuiso'. The track has that rolling, techy groove that’s become very fashionable in the last year or so, but it’s also got a little bit extra. Why do you think it stands among so many ‘similar’ tracks?
GT: I just wanted to give the genre of bachata a new twist; it's one of my favorite Latin genres as the guitar has so much passion without even saying anything, it says so much!
LL: It's always hard to pinpoint that little bit extra. I think you can just hear the fun and passion we have when we make tracks like these. The guitar is obviously very catchy in here and so is Gina's voice! In Nouveau Yorican I can put back my techno roots again, which were very fashionable to me like 13 years ago!
Will there be further Nouveau Yorican tracks? Or an album?
LL: Yes, there will be more Nouveau Yorican tracks. We're currently making new ones and always coming up with new ideas. An album? Never thought of it! Could be interesting, but I really like the non-pressure way we're going with Nouveau flow at this moment.
Chiuso is out 8th December on Defected - click to listen & pre-order