Laidback Luke and Gina Turner talk 'Nouveau Yorican'
Laidback Luke and Gina Turner get together to talk about their modern interpretation of Latin-inspired New York house; 'Nouveau Yorican'.
Date published: 9th Dec 2010
Nouveau Yorican – a project formed of Gina Turner and Laidback Luke – is the duo’s modern interpretation of Latin-inspired New York house.
Mixing the vibes of the past Dutch and New York underground scenes with current dancefloor sensibilities, this latest track finds that elusive spark of magic that elevates a merely good track to the upper echelons of class. ‘Chiuso’ embeds its simple, yet devastatingly effective hook deep into your consciousness while its techy, driving beats and relentless groove urge you to the dancefloor with irresistible force. Destined for legendary club status, this should only be avoided if you have a severe allergy to true house music anthems.
Ok, introductions first. What are your names, and where do you come from?
G: My name is Gina Turner and I am from New York! (Singing the Alicia Keys chorus)
L: My name is Laidback Luke and I come from the Netherlands.
Do your DJ styles differ? Have you ever DJ’d together before?
L: 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 to be big and chunky! We have DJed together at WMC once yes, but really no plans to do it in the future. Our styles and the way we mix are just so different!
G: Yes our styles are so different but we compliment 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.
Both of you are DJs. Can you tell me about some of the DJ experiences you have had lately that were off the scale?
G: 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-round DJ these days and not to pigeon hole yourself by only sticking to one genre!
L: 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 being payed off.
Do you find that touring is exhausting?
G: 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.
L: Yes, it's very exhausting! But I did get used to it. I'm not a traveller 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?
G: 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 and a while.
L: 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!
Luke - You had a special mentor. Tell me who it was and what you think of his work. Gina - did you ever have a mentor?
L: One of my special mentors from the start is Dobre, from Chocolate Puma. He recognised my talent and schooled me in house music and production. I got my first record deal through him! I've always found his work and talent mindblowing. Massive respect!
G: I got my start in radio, so my mentors were more radio based. But in terms of DJing I'd have to say my number one influence and mentor would be New York City and my love affair with house music.
Tell me about some of the people that you have both collaborated with in the past.
G: I've done collaborations with Zoo Brazil, Dan Oh, and of course Luke in the past. And some of my future collaborations include Style of Eye, Junior Sanchez, Alexander Technique, Sandro Silva, Diplo, and SonicC, just to name a few. I also have been lending my vocal styling’s 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 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!
L: 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 'hyperdrivehousestep&ghettojacktrancebass'? Is this dutch?! Please translate!
L: (Laughs) I forgot I once said this! That kind of sums up my sound indeed, ha! In Dutch this would be 'hieperrijdenhuisstap&ghettosjaaktrancebas', Dutch people will laugh as I literally translated it in Dutch, ha.
Gina: New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Scunthorpe, which is the odd one out for you?
G: I grew up in NY, went to school in Boston, and made Los Angeles my stomping ground for years, but New York is always number one in my heart! New Amsterdam!
I heard you invented a new genre of dance; 'Latin inspired shuffle tech house'. Explain?
L: I'm not sure if we invented that. Isn't that what all the minimal guys are playing nowadays?
G: Good answer Luke! Nouveau has a special twist though.
You have a new record and band... Explain what 'Nouveau Yorican' means, what’s the idea behind this?
L: To me it's the Latinofication of New York meets Amsterdam. Gina being New York and me being Amsterdam. Together we bring something new and classy.
Is there a historical connection between Amsterdam and New York? Is this what you are highlighting?
L: 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 ha ha. We're not 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?
L: 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!
G: (Smiles and blushes) it’s been an honor to work with Luke and so inspiring as well!
You have already released a track called 'Boriqua’, which has an old school flavour. Where did this influence come from?
L: 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!
G: 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 "let's 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 out among so many ‘similar’ tracks?
G: I just wanted to give the genre of bachata a new twist, as it's one of my favorite Latin genres as the guitar has so much passion. Without even saying anything, it says so much!
L: 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!
‘Chiuso’ is coming out on Defected. What made this particular label a good home for your latest collaboration?
L: I think Defected is THE label when it comes to a constant output of quality records. Not to mention the roster that releases on it, like my grandfathers in house music: Chocolate Puma. Defected has a proper professional team/machine behind it that's unseen of in this industry. We are lucky Defected picked this one up! Definitely excited and happy!
Will there be further Nouveau Yorican tracks? Are you planning an album?
L: 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.
Where can we listen to you on the radio and who else do you get on your shows?
G: I have a radio show on Scion A/V and it's also an iTunes podcast. I've had many eclectic guests, such as; Bart B More, Jamie Jones, Douster, Solo, Worthy, Teki latex, Tom Flynn, Oliver Twizt, just to name a few. I also play a Dj set myself on there as well.
L: I have a weekly residency on Paris Radio FG where I hand in a DJ mix every week. Apart from quite a few tracks I play from the talent I pick up from my forum. I'm not aloud to hand in mixes of other people than myself.
Where can we see you playing in the near future especially New Years Eve?
G: I will be in LA as well for New Years, still confirming a bunch of things so just stay tuned to MySpace for DJ dates or to twitter to see what else I'm up to.
L: I'm all around the globe! Please keep an eye on my DJ Dates on my website or go and download my app! For New Year's Eve I'll be performing at the Together as One festival in LA. It's huge, they expect 40,000 people. I'm very excited!