CS Exclusive • Sondrio
Sondrio is an artist we've sort of "grown up with". Since the start of our site and his own foray into production we've traded tracks and words, and it's been a pleasure to witness his infinitely tasteful style and endlessly well–read musical knowledge. 2016 has been already been big one for the Sydney–based, Canberra–bred producer, and we've got a feeling this is just the beginning.
Amidst a lull in his release schedule we had the chance to catch up with Luke to chat about a few things, including what's going on in the Sydney scene right now, Pete Tong championing his work, favourite travel tunes and more. Plus, he's put together a brilliant mixtape prepped to keep us grooving. Dial in below!
Ouer - Move Over
Mona Lazette - Pressure Pressure (Art of Tones Remix)
RUFUS - Be With You (Sondrio Remix)
12 Stories - Bright Lights (Walker & Royce Remix)
Shadow Child - Work
Odd Mob - This Game (DCUP Remix)
Fjaak - Don’t Leave Me
Dale Howard - Waiting Game
Friend Within - The Label
Demuir - Here’s To Friday
Francis Inferno Orchestra - Harmony
Tell us a bit about the mix you’ve put together here.
I switch between recording mixes live and using Ableton depending on how I’m feeling- For this one I’ve been energised by some recent nights out that made me want to record it live. I’ve been getting back to Canberra once a month to play some shows and the tracklist reflects what’s been working for me there.
So you're based in Sydney, and from Canberra. What is it that makes these places special to you?
When I did my stint in the US last year I missed a connecting flight from LA to upstate New York and spent the night in Detroit. It’s insane how much Detroit made me think of Canberra, a place ostracized by the rest of the country that has the most incredible energy for those who look below the surface. I think it comes down to the integration of industry and open space- In Detroit’s case it was cars, for Canberra it’s politics (Parliament House is there and most people work for the Government).
Sydney is like Disneyland, It’s incredibly diverse. Every suburb has it’s own vibe and coupled with the beaches, parks and the city there’s always something to do or see. Living here definitely changes you- I’ve felt consistently creative and love that very Australian mix of leisure and work.
The Sydney lockout laws have been a hot topic in recent months. How have you seen this affect the scene overall?
For those who are unaware, we have lockout laws in Sydney that mean you can’t buy alcohol after 10pm from a bottle shop, you can’t get into any venue from 1:30am (besides the Casino?) and drinks can’t be served after 3am.
It’s completely devastated the city psychologically. The fact that your night has a time limit means people are just not going out at all. Another part to that is set out so well in this NY Times article - you can have Netflix on the TV and fine dining delivered to your doorstep instead, and that “no risk” attitude to weekends is just as bad as the laws.
The underground scene in the city is really strong considering all that, and a lot of nights have long established relationships with venues, but Sydney has definitely lost it’s “world class” feeling. I feel really sorry for the guys who are turning 18 and want to get into the scene because it shouldn’t be as difficult as it is. Kings Cross (which was the main clubbing spot) is now completely dead now bar a couple of venues.
Alright let’s talk about your recent remix for RÜFÜS’ Be With You, a big moment for you of late and great story. How did that all come about?
I got booked for a few shows when Rufus’ 2nd album “Bloom” came out this year. I decided to bootleg “Be With You” which is my favourite track from the album, but it was quite hard to edit. I took a few parts that had the vocal quite isolated and got to work. After playing it out and seeing how well it was going down I thought I might as well put it out and see how it goes, so I hit you guys up and we did the premiere.
A few weeks later I checked my email and had a message from the producer of Pete Tong’s show saying that Pete loved the track and wanted a copy to play on there. A week or so after the show aired I got a call from Sweat It Out saying they wanted to sign the remix, so they sent me the parts and I started rebuilding the samples I took. It took another week of editing to get the parts sounding like my bootleg, but it was great to go in again and do it properly from that original idea.
To be recognised by Pete, Rufus, and Sweat It Out was a pretty special moment.
We hear you’ve got some new originals lined up, any bits you can tease us with on those?
I’ve got quite a bit of music written, but I’m n the process of getting vocals on a few tracks before they are done. Getting those collaborations going is always a process, but I think it’s important to work with the right people and not just settle for the first thing you get back. There’s one track in particular that’s nailing this evolution of the Jackin’ house sound I’ve been trying to piece together.
What is one of your favourite sets you’ve seen or played so far this year?
Playing after Motez at Mr Wolf in Canberra this year was incredible- I played from 2-5am to a rammed club and got to cover a lot of ground for a crowd that was totally up for it. I also got to see Kyle Hall play at the Opera House, definitely the best clubbing moment of the year so far.
Top inspirations, musical or otherwise, past or present.
Fatboy Slim has been my main inspiration for getting into all of this- he changed the game and paved the way for so much of what has happened now.
Flying Lotus is my main source of musical inspiration- when I listen to him it reminds me to focus on the music and nothing else.
Chef’s Table has given me a good dose of inspiration - seeing some of the things the greatest Chef’s in the world have had to overcome, all within an industry that doesn’t value you until you are well into your 30’s puts your problems in perspective.
I also got the Fantastic Man book this year, which has interviews from the first decade of the magazine. It’s totally changed how I perceive myself.
Music is a big part of our travel experience. What do you turn to when you’re on the go?
The main thing for travel is that I want to be locked into one feeling for extended periods of time- my rotation is usually podcasts, a dj mix, or listening to an album in full. My go to’s would be the RA Exchange podcast, DJ Caspa’s “Upfront & Personal” mix series and Andy Cato’s “Time & Places” album.
Lastly, what plans do you have on deck for the rest of 2016?
This year has been all about music so I’m hoping to get a lot more out before the end of the year, starting with original material. I also want the visual element of Sondrio to play a bigger part in what I do, so I’ll be working on a few things to get that happening. It’s really about bringing all the pieces of the puzzle together.