Artist Spotlight: Luke the Knife
On November 17, Lotus keys player and guitarist Luke Miller released his first mix, “Million Dollar Disco,” on SoundCloud under his DJ persona Luke the Knife. With a strong 70s disco backbone, the mixes of Luke the Knife will have you digging through closets and secondhand stores looking for the perfect 70s outfit to wear when he debuts in your town. Luke has remixed a number of songs which he has layered with his own flourishes to create mixes that bring 70s disco together with indie, funk and new age electronic in a most satisfying way. Remixed tracks include The Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed and Painless,” Neon Indian’s “Polish Girl,” Stevie Wonder’s “Boogie on Reggae Woman,” and The Greyboy Allstars’ “V-Neck Sweater.”
Turn any one of the six LtK mixes currently posted on SoundCloud and just try to stop yourself from dancing. I doubt you will succeed. At approximately forty minutes each, the mixes keep it fresh, changing it up expertly so as to never leave you with the feeling that the mix has gotten stale or repetitive. I am the first skeptic to call out DJ music as uncreative, monotonous, and sometimes (as I find is the case with Skrillex) downright painful to the ears. However, Luke Miller proves with his new project that DJ’ing can in fact be fresh, funky, and musical. Electronic music doesn’t have to be painful and it doesn’t have to sound like a whirring robot being crushed by a powerful black hole. Luke the Knife has brought music out of a desolate electronic land filled with the repetitive machinery noise of boring button-pushers who fail to push the envelope and refuse to incorporate a variety of music genres in their creations. This is what DJ’ing should be. And I am loving every second of it.
I impatiently await Luke the Knife’s debut on the East Coast. Until then, however, I look forward to hearing about his upcoming shows from West Coast friends. LtK will have his debut performance in Denver, CO this Friday December 14th at Bar Standard, and will play again on Wednesday December 19th at Cervantes’ Other Side. Doors open on the 14th at 8:00 PM and the show is free (so show up early!). His show at Cervantes’ will be a live set, with Chuck Morris (percussionist for Lotus) on drums, and will include a performance by Beard-o-Bees (DJ project of Lotus bassist and sampler player Jesse Miller). Beard-o-Bees, with a more electronic sound than Luke the Knife, is another DJ/live electronic project that stands out in the sea of today’s electronic creations, and is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. Doors open on the 19th at 9:00 PM and tickets can be purchased here.
The most current LtK mix, “Diet Coke & Mentos,” was posted on SoundCloud on December 8, and can be found along with his other mixes and song edits below.