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| Luke&Flex talk influences, the Irish rave scene, why Flex wears a mask and Play Hard, their new EP out now on Onhcet Repbulik Xtreme!
| Lyktum expands on his new album ‘Home’ – talking about his love of storytelling, creating new harmonies and the concept behind his musical works.
| Pan talks getting caught short crossing the Sahara, acid eyeballs and tells us Trance is the Answer, plus shares his thoughts on his latest release 'Beyond the Horizon' - all from a beach in Spain!
| Miss C chats about living with the KLF, DJing in a huge cat’s mouth, training her brain and the upcoming super-duper Superfreq Grande party at LDN East this Saturday, 16th September!
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| Shyisma talks parties, UFO's, and Shotokan Karate ahead of his upcoming album 'Particles' on Iono-Music!
| SOME1 talks family, acid, stage fright and wolves - ahead of his upcoming album release ‘Voyager’ on Iono-Music in February 2023!
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| Turning the world into a fairy tale with Ivy Orth ahead of Tribal Village’s 10th Birthday Anniversary Presents: The World Lounge Project
| The Psy-Sisters chat about music, achievements, aspirations and the 10-Year Anniversary Party - 18/12/22!
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| PAN expands on many things including his new album 'Hyperbolic Oxymoron' due for release on the 14th April 2022 on PsyWorld Records!
| Psibindi talks all things music including her new collaborative EP 'Sentient Rays' on Aphid Records, her band Sentience Machine and 10 years of Psy-Sisters!
| N-Kore talks Jean-Michel Jarre, unfinished tracks and fatherhood!
| Celebrating International Women’s Day and Ten Years of Psy-Sisters with Amaluna
| A Catch Up with John Phantasm ahead of his upcoming set at the Tribal Village 4 Day Outdoor Event in Kent 6-9 May 2022!
| 'The Maestro that is Tristan talks barn owls, Shazamming and keeping it Psychedelic ahead of his upcoming performance at the Tribal Village 4 Day Event in Kent 6-9 May 2022!
| DJ talk with Psyrenzo ahead of his debut set at Tribal Village, the Steelyard this Friday 14th January 2022!
| TENZO aka Overdrive talks freely about launching his new act which will be showcased at Tribal Village, Steelyard on 14 January 2022!
| A long overdue catch up with JourneyOM ahead of his next Tribal Village party this Friday 14th January 2022 at the Steelyard, London!
| Goa based party animal and artist extraordinaire Nirmal talks punk concerts, metal sculptures, flying and rippin' it up on a High Tide!
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Luke&Flex talk influences, the Irish rave scene, why Flex wears a mask and Play Hard, their new EP out now on Onhcet Repbulik Xtreme!
Reported by Jessica Alici
Submitted 27-11-23 12:09
LUKE&FLEX aka Luke McMahon and Larry Mcgarr have been taking the techno scene by storm and cooking up some serious tough beats in the studio. With releases on killer labels like IAMT, Keep On Techno and Pure Dope Digital, we thought we best find out more about this Irish duo – just as their mind-bending stormer of an EP ‘Play Hard’ comes out on Onhcet Republik Xtreme!
What’s your earliest memory of music?
Larry: My earliest memory of music was at home. Being the youngest of seven kids in the early 80s, my brothers and sisters always had music blasting, from a wide range of genres to match their personalities. From Boy George, David Bowie, Chris de Berg, Stiff Little Fingers and AC/DC. But the most prominent common artists that really stuck with me was Kate Bush and Kraftwerk.
When did you discover electronic dance music and what’s been your journey to date?
Luke: I discovered electronic music about 6 years ago in the club scene, through college parties, and I instantly fell in love with the whole idea. The journey has been overall a great experience and started with me just listening to Techno in a club before actually producing and performing it myself.
When and how did you start DJing?
Larry: It was the early 90s in a little village outside Cork city. I had heard music mix tapes from DJs like Carl Cox, Slipmat, DJ Dag etc. and was amazed at the blending of tracks to make one continuous sound. I was a bit experimental, I gathered 2 tape decks and cut headphone leads together, with a HiFi for sound output. That was the day I realised you have to change tempos to mix tracks! There was no internet in those days, but after weeks of asking the right people at the right places my journey began, and I eventually bought a pair of cheap Gemini turntables with a Kam mixer.
When and how did you start producing?
Luke: I started producing about 3 years ago when my friend introduced me to Fruity Loops. I was instantly hooked, absolutely loved it!
What made you decide to work together and what are the pros and cons of working as a double act?
Luke: It was more of a natural development. Flex and I shared common aspirations and goals for music and it just evolved from there. There are so many great things about working together, for example, in terms of production. When producing we’ll always be showing each other little tips and tricks, working together on how we could improve each track. As they say, two heads are better than one! That’s just one of the many great things about working together. The downside?... I don’t really recall any bad experiences working together, and I guess if one person is not feeling motivated then the other is always there for a push.
What is your studio set up? And what are some of your favourite synths and favourite plug-ins?
Larry: Our studio is fairly basic, we have being using Fruity Loops for a long time and we are happy with what we are putting out with FL21. We have discussions about switching to Ableton but we still haven't made that change yet. As for hardware, we use a simple midi keyboard MPK mini and an AKAI FIRE as a midi controller. Most of the work is done internally on the DAW. We use SERUM as our go to plugin and DIVA to get nice leads.
What has been one of your biggest achievements in life?
Larry: There have been so many, but as we are on the subject of music; I would say my biggest achievement would have to be the start of our own label called ITM Recordings (Irish Techno Mafia)!
ITM Recordings has its first release coming out in December with 2 tracks from an artist that we highly respect named COUTTS, accompanied by a remix from Luke&Flex!
What is the rave scene and techno scene in Ireland like?
Luke: The rave scene in Ireland today feels like it is missing something. If you compare Ireland to the likes of London or Berlin it does not even come close to the excitement you will experience in those regions. Saying that, Ireland does host some incredible events and festivals which did make me fall deeply in love with the rave scene. My favourite festival would have to be Life Festival, which hosts both local and international talent over a 3-day period.
Do you feel the underground rave scene generally has changed over the years, if so, how?
Larry: I feel the underground scene has changed in Ireland over the years due to the closure of many great clubs. The main scene is festivals now not forest parties, and the music has changed to more high energy. Techno has raised its tempo too, but the original style is always lurking in the background and is timeless for the connoisseurs.
What are your other passions in life?
Larry: Apart from DJing and Production we both enjoy taking part in Thai boxing and the gym.
Tell us about your Techno Takeover events?
Luke: Techno Takeover Events are a growing success; each event seems to get better and better! Just in October we had Latex Zebra and Gordon Coutts headlining our show, representing Keep on Techno Records. It was a memorable night and we are excited for what will become of our 2024 Techno Takeover Events.
Larry – I see you often perform in a mask, how did this come about?
Larry: It's a funny story actually, I had the idea of wearing the mask to hide my identity at first; because of certain cliques in my local city, but it wasn't long before people knew who it was. After that it just stuck as part of our act, and if I'm behind the decks anywhere you can expect me to be wearing a balaclava!
You have lots of cool releases due out imminently; including one on Onhcet Republik Xtreme called ‘[b]Play Hard’ EP. Tell us about it, the tracks themselves, their names and how they came into fruition?[/b]
Larry: Yes we have a few releases this month, including the ‘Play Hard’ EP on Onhcet Republic! The EP consists of 2 tracks, we are progressing styles from our normal peak time style to a slightly more high-energy approach. The release is actually the style we are playing at our gigs these days; the styles have progressed along with our parties, the crowd are looking for more high energy bouncy techno and our tracks coincide with whatever people are looking for, while keeping the techno roots. We thought the name of the EP suited it well. The second track ‘Go’ is a straight up banger that really digs deep on the kick. We felt like adding more atmosphere to this track and also prominent stabs, and we just had to throw in a vocal to bring the track together. Overall; we are happy with this release and very happy to release with Onhcet Republik Xtreme.
What are your hopes, dreams and plans for the future?
Luke: We just hope that people enjoy our music as much as we do. We want to continue to strive to reach all the top music labels so our productions will be released on the biggest platforms.
What else in upcoming on the horizon in terms of releases and gigs?
Larry: We have a lot of releases upcoming, after our success with a release on IAMT sub label Faraway. We just had a release out on Pure Dope Digital called ‘Techno Takeover’ named after our monthly event in Cork city. We have a 3 track EP coming out on Irish label Sonar Bliss, and we have a big respect for the label owner Haindo and what the label is doing for the Irish Techno scene. We have 3 tracks coming out on Lets Techno Records, and of course our resident label Keep on Techno we have a remix coming in December for DKLUB and a 3track EP early next year. We keep busy but are very grateful for the respect from these labels and the work they do. Our own label ITM Recordings will have its first release in December, and every month thereafter – which is really exciting. As for gigs, we are busy running our monthly night in Cork city and that's not stopping!
To buy a copy of Luke&Flex’s new EP on Onhcet Republic Xtreme click here:
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All images are courtesy of Luke&Flex. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By Jessica Alici:
Mindbenderz talk ‘Lord of the Rings’ and fishing, as well as the creation of their new album ‘Celestial Gateway’!
Iono-Music artists One Function, Eliyahu, Invisible Reality and Dual Vision talk Robert Miles, kids, dogs and vinyl, while we chat about their current releases!
Lyktum expands on his new album ‘Home’ – talking about his love of storytelling, creating new harmonies and the concept behind his musical works.
Pan talks getting caught short crossing the Sahara, acid eyeballs and tells us Trance is the Answer, plus shares his thoughts on his latest release 'Beyond the Horizon' - all from a beach in Spain!
Miss C chats about living with the KLF, DJing in a huge cat’s mouth, training her brain and the upcoming super-duper Superfreq Grande party at LDN East this Saturday, 16th September!
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.