If you're familiar with the Brooklyn underground scene, especially the infamous Resolute parties, then you probably know about the Romanian techno craze. If not, don't stress, you will get acquainted soon enough. The country known for Dracula's hub, Transylvania, is now home to a new influx of minimal and dark tech-house artists. With us this week is Luca Madalin-Alexandru, more commonly know in the scene as Luca M, an artist whose attention to detail has made him one to watch moving forward.
Luca M has been making strides with authentic tech-house originating from Romania and is traveling all over Europe leaving behind his dark and groovy basslines. His music can be found on labels such as Knee Deep in Sound, Terminal M and Deeperfect, and has been featured in DJ sets by the likes of Marco Carola, Richie Hawtin, Joseph Capriati, Solomun, Hot Since 82, Joris Voorn and Paco Osuna. With years of hard work under his belt, Luca M is ready to bring his sound to the US and reveal to us what tech-house really is!
What is your origin story?
I'm a simple man born and raised in the east of Romania. I followed an academic path, graduated in Economics but as you know I am pursuing a career in the dance music scene…the music is in my blood! I can't say that it's in my DNA because I'm literally the only one from my entire family (as I know so far) with musical skills.
What is your background in music, when did you become a producer/DJ?
I started listening to electronic music back in the 2000's. I grew up playing music by Mastiksoul, Fedde Le Grand, Tom Novy, Bob Sinclar, etc. Not quite my style these days, but at that time their music simply rocked! I loved making mashups, DJ sets, broadcasting my own online radio channel and stuff like that. Later in 2009 I started making my own beats and that was the first step in my career. Obviously, booking requests started to come so the next step was playing as a DJ - I know, 90% first started playing as a DJ and then being a producer, but in my case it was the opposite.
Who first exposed you to electronic music? Have you had any role models?
The mighty Internet offered me the best way to listen to electronic music. As I was under aged, I didn't have the opportunity to attend parties. My parents were kind of restrictive and overprotective -now I realize how important that aspect was because they managed to keep me away from a bad entourage. In the underground dance music scene, I always loved Carl Cox, Joris Voorn, Solomun, Steve Lawler, Marco Carola, Richie Hawtin, and believe it or not, they play my music regularly! I don't know how to describe this feeling, it's just awesome!
What is a memorable moment for you as a DJ?
Maybe my first gig outside Romania, in 2011 at Mint Club in Leeds (UK), or the first time I played on another continent in Mexico in 2013. There was a big crowd and some huge artists in the line-up with Coyu, Fedde Le Grand, Ambivalent, etc. In addition, I love those moments when you finish playing and the crowd asks you to play a couple more tracks. If I could describe this feeling in one word, it would be: Goosebumps!
What goes into your production/sets? What is your process?
I don't follow any pattern when producing a track. Usually the most important part (in my opinion) is a groovy bass line, some nice tops and if it sounds dope, it will be easy-peasy blending together with a nice vocal or synth/melody. As a producer, I have good days and bad days too. It depends a lot on my mood. If I am in a good mood, inspiration will come for sure. If not, I'll try to do something else like playing PS4, cycling, etc.
What do you want to evoke from the crowd?
The crowd is as important as the DJ. One can’t exist without another. Respect the crowd and they will do the same for you. During my gigs I want to give them the right level of energy through my music.
What are your goals for the near future?
I want to keep improving my skills as a DJ and a producer, this is what I like to do and I will never stop, to answer straight to the point, I just want to make good beats, the rest will come naturally.
Check out his exclusive mix for Magnetic Magazine right here: