From his first release, Accelerator (as Traveller pres. Quest) to Ride (with Danny Bonnici), Luke Chable stamped his authority on the global progressive scene back at the start of the Millennium. His timeless remix of PQM’s “You Are Sleeping” or his classic track Melburn put out by John Digweed on Bedrock Records, cut to the fact that it’s been a roller coaster ride since for the musician in question.
As it goes, the old guard of electronic dance music such as Deep Dish, Sasha, Eric Prydz, Danny Howells have all championed his musicality from the time of his coming into the industry. Australian progressive house master Luke Chable is now poised to drop a fresh release in March, which called for a sit down with the Melbourne music maker to give us all the news on his music work, and to uncover what makes him such a mutable musician. Writer Priya Sen was on hand to find out more.
Hi Luke, its great to have you on the pages of Decoded Magazine. Hows the Vocalizr project going?
Amazing! We’ve now got over 3,500 vocalists doing real recording jobs for over 7,000 producers worldwide. So far we’ve paid out over $130k USD to artists for work they’ve completed on the site, so any singers or producers out there should definitely head over to the website and check out the talent!
We also see a big drive to crack down on drug misuse at Australian festivals. To the point where Mike Baird in NSW declared ‘enough is enough’. How affected by this is the Melbourne scene?
Melbourne isn’t affected by NSW policy at all, however we do have an issue Australia-wide with festivals being targeted by authorities with calls for them to be shutdown because misuse, instead of focusing on making them safer.
We hear Melbourne was the epicentre of progressive house, a little like Berlin is for Techno. Pretty much everyone who came from that area has gone on to be successful. Was it inspiring or pressurising have so much talent in such a confined area?
I wouldn’t say Melbourne was the epicentre, but we did have a hotbed of talent and a close-knit crew that worked together over the years that probably helped our collective music along. It was inspiring more than anything. I only felt pressure when I moved overseas and started touring!
We’ve lost count on how many releases you have now plus the remix work, plus the touring for nearly two decades, it would be interesting to know what steps you take to keep the excitement of being a musician alive?
At last count it was well over 300 releases! I love music, and especially electronic music. I started making electronic music when I was 9 and have basically never stopped… As for the excitement, the possibilities with electronic are endless, and hearing just a new awesome sound on a synth get’s me excited! It’s hard work (just like anything), but it’s the music that keeps me going.
What’s the latest on Phil K and your collaborative project Lostep? Anything new coming?
Phil and I have some plans to get back together and make some new Lostep music, but I’ve been so busy with my Luke Chable stuff I just haven’t had time. This one’s on the back burner for now – it definitely will happen.
We understand in recent years, you’ve dabbed with the more commercial sounds of dance music, was that a conscious decision and do you enjoy it as much as your underground side?
I love all different types of electronic music. There’s a line that I wouldn’t cross, but I’ve never been an ‘underground only’ person. If a record is great, then it’s great. Doesn’t matter which end of the spectrum it came from!
What’s happening with Trojan? Any new releases planned?
Trojan hasn’t released anything for about 10 years, and there’s currently no roadmap for any releases in the near future. My label manager wanted me to reboot it, but I’ve got other plans. Mainly with my new imprint Electric Garden.
The excellent “Comet EP” on Toolroom recently was followed up swiftly by the classic – “Opium” with The New Division folks on Mesmeric. Are you at a happy place with the outcome of these works?
The Comet EP has amazingly reached over 1.3 million plays on Spotify – something I could’ve never dreamed of! As for Opium with The New Division, we just cracked the Top 40 UK Club chart at number 4, which is my first ever entry into that chart! Fair to say I’m incredibly happy with how they’ve all gone. And there’s so much more music to come, I can’t wait.
Can you tell us about “Mesmerized – Chable Edition, Vol 1 & 2” on Mesmeric? Some great collaborations going on there with the likes of Shilloh, Biologik, Guitro to name a few…
The compilations were compiled by the label manager & owner Julien Roby, and they are basically a collection of tracks that I’ve released on Mesmeric over the years – so they were literally years in the making! My contribution (other than the back catalogue of music) was the artwork, which I always love doing for my own releases.
We wrote a while back that Progressive House had changed, partly down to how it was marketed by online stores and partly from misinformed fans. You’d set up a petition to get Beatport to re label progressive house and had wide spread industry support. How did that pan out in the end, or are you still in talks?
Progressive House never changed, the name was just annexed by everything that isn’t Progressive House. Partly Beatport was to blame by not creating a genre for Big Room House – which was actually what the producers and DJs of that genre called it. The problem has since spiralled out of control and now most genres are littered with things that are clearly not meant to be there, but instead are there because it’s the cool buzz word of the hour.
Talking of Beatport, and its umbrella company SFX, what do you think will happen now?
I’m staying out of this question!
Hahaha, fair enough. Thank you for taking time out to chat with us Decoded, finally, what’s exciting you for 2016?
I’ve got a number of releases lined up, starting with Opium that was just released on Monday. Next up is a remix of Paul Thomas and Jerome Isma Ae’s ‘Tomorrow’ on ZeroThree, followed by a number of new singles!