After a quick festive break, we’re kicking off the new year in some serious style here at Bokah, with #010 in our mix series brought to you from Alex Fox a.k.a. Luvian; the incredibly talented young producer who spent last year making quite a mark on the downtempo electronic scene. He’s set aside the intricately woven, melodic grooves and warming synths that usually consume his deep rolling sonic aesthetic, for a hip-hop tempo backdrop hosting a laid-back 45 minutes of lavish, rich jazz, in a mix unlike any other we’ve presented so far.
In a sub genre that may have been considered to be becoming over saturated of late, Luvian has managed to set himself aside from other recent self-start-up producers. He’s spent the last two years putting out lush, progressive beats created with such refined skill, using clever samples and organic field recording to breath life and soul into his tracks. Starting off releasing on his own Wolf Blood imprint, he was snatched up last year by Super Recordings for a full blown re-release of the superb ‘Valley Girl’, setting him on track for big things in the near future.
Since we had him as a Featured Artist and put his Bon Iver remix out in our Free Download series last summer, it’s been pretty quiet in the Luvian camp as he’s been busy preparing new music with a new sound in preparation for a big 2014. Perhaps this mix is a taste of what’s to come; with an eclectic mix of jazz, lounge, hip-hip, and soul, Luvian blends a hypnotic mixture of bluesy beats, curating a highly instrumental collection of gorgeous chilled out tunes. Turn the lights downs and sit back in your armchair with a cigar and a whiskey for this one. Download the mix below, and read our chat with Alex about the creative process behind it and his upcoming plans for 2014.
Columbia Night – All In
Around 7 – Runaway
Tall Black Guy – Welcome To Detroit Interlude
Mndsgn – Kikhabits
Ta-Ku – Make You Wanna
Wun Two – Positivity (Feat. Melodiesinfonie)
Dr. Drumah – Flying High
Bugseed – Thinking Of You
Biof – Pushing Buttons
Flo Filz x Pawcut – Komptis
Madlib – Static Invazion
J.Rocc – Stay Fresh
Daisy Cutta – Snakelegz
The Boomjacks – Them Changes
Vanilla – Travels
B.DURAZZO – Cascades
Evolve One – Six Finger Discount
Ill Sugi – Song Of September
Alex, cheers for doing the mix for us! It’s very distinct from the sounds we’ve heard previously in our Bokah Mix Series, and something different from what you normally produce – can you tell us a bit about the creative process behind putting it together and the song selection?
No Problem! Recently I’ve been getting into crate digging and sampling lots of obscure old records. There is just so much out there buried away waiting to be unearthed. I wanted this mix to showcase and highlight a massive source of inspiration and influence for me. I listen to a lot of beat music and I’m always searching for new artists and tracks. There is constantly new and exciting producers emerging all the time in that scene. Not only did I want to showcase my own tastes, I wanted to share with people artists and music that they may not have come across before. I think a mix should be a gateway to a new area of sound, and hopefully this is just that.
We hear you’ve been back in the studio recently working on a new EP; when can we expect to hear some of your new tunes? Is the soundscape of the mix a reflection of your recent studio sessions?
Yeah I’ve been fairly quiet on the material recently. I’ve been in the studio a lot working on my new EP and a lot of new material. I’m just finishing up the last bits on it now, so hopefully people will be able to hear my new stuff very soon. I think the soundscape of my new stuff is very organic sounding, so yeah in a way, this mix reflects that warm vibe that I’m drawn to.
You’ve got an incredibly distinctive, chilled vibe rooted deep in your music. What were your influences growing up that led to the development of this downtempo, melody driven music?
I think a massive influence on the melodic aspect of my music is the fact that I play the guitar. I can mess about on the piano, but I find it really helpful to come up with interesting melodies on the guitar first. I’m massively into certain areas of classical music also. I think my sound is just a culmination of everything that I listen to really, and I try to experiment with taking sounds and resampling them. I think that gives my tracks that chilled vibe, because a lot of the textures are soft and mellow. As I’ve said, I’m a huge fan of beat music and I take a lot of inspiration from artists such as Teebs, Bonobo, Lapalux, Shlohmo etc. I think a big part of my sound is in the percussion. I love the offbeat rhythms some of these producers conjure up and I try to emulate that. I’ve tried to experiment on my new EP with different feels, everything still has a chilled vibe at it’s core, but some of the tracks are more driven.
The Bon Iver remix seemed to be a massive success for you, have you got any more similar remix work lined up?
Thanks, the remix received quite a lot of love. I’m working on a couple of remixes at the moment, one which should be finished shortly that I’m hoping to squeeze out before the new EP. I’ve got so much material waiting, so hopefully this year is going to be a busy one.
You’re infectious track ‘Valley Girl’ was released on the highly regarded Super Recordings a while back, how did you end up working with them? Are you planning on working with them again in the future?
My manager was good friends with the owner of Super and showed him some of my stuff. I think I was travelling back home from uni and got a call. It happened fairly quickly and we got introduced and talked about doing an official release. We sorted the video and artwork within a few weeks and that was it. Really happy to be on there alongside some great artists. Maybe, who knows; they released a really great EP from a vocalist called Fabienne, who lives pretty near me it turns out!
We caught your live set last summer at Gottwood, which was the perfect way to finish off the night on the Eton Messy stage – have you got any plans to continue the live sets in 2014? Where can people catch you in the upcoming months?
Yeah I really enjoyed playing that set, it was great to close the night off, and I’m definitely looking to play a lot this year. I’m hopefully planning some dates around the release of my EP and really going to work on my live show this year and experiment with different things. As of yet, until my EP is done, no dates are set in stone but there will definitely be opportunities this year, which I’m really excited to get into and see the reaction…
And finally, because we always ask, what track can you not get enough of at the moment?
I’m on a massive deep house thing at the moment and I’m loving Maricopa’s – ‘Soul Lite‘. It’s a release on a new label called Fools & Fables Recordings. It’s an 8 minute deep groover, that’s perfect to just stick on and get lost.