Who are you and what do you do? How long have you been a working musician?
My name is Luke Solomon. I am a DJ, producer, father, and dedicated spud enthusiast.
What is your educational background? Are there any schools, courses, or books you recommend?
I went to 12 different schools before the age of 16. I then went to 6th form. Dropped out. Lost my mind. Eventually went to University and did nothing music related. I am self-taught and a firm believer of shadowing someone experienced that you look up to in order to learn. I also sometimes dip into YouTube for an instant fix. Especially if I need to get my head around something quick fast.
What hardware are you using?
I have a multitude of hardware and I make a real effort to use it all for different occasions, and sometimes all together. I am not one for using specific instruments for specific genres.
I have recently finished an EP under the guise of Mother Rose with Andy Neal working on what I can only describe as electronic blues. I used the 808, the juno, nord, Maschine, various live drum setups, and assorted guitars through Blackstar head and amp. We recorded bass straight through my API lunchbox. We also used empty bean cans filled with coins recorded through vintage Telefunkens. It really depends on who I work with.
On another project I have been working on with Martin Radford and Richard Walters, we have been recording the Yamaha Silent Cello through a portable Fender practice amp and have discovered all kinds of crazy whale noises. I am an avid collector of oddities and I always find a place for them in the music I make. I still have the Beloved’s 303 on a long term loan. I adore it, and I am still looking for new ways to manipulate the sound.
What software are you using?
I have them all but I have always stuck by Cubase. I am now running 6.5.1. Better the devil you know if you know what I mean. I also run a series of UAD cards which I absolutely adore, alongside SoundToys and various Waves plugs. Cubase have really turned the newest version into a mean beast that allows you to manipulate and do some good stuff. The soft synths are still a little weak though.
What would be your dream setup?
Can you describe your creative process? Is there a particular routine or schedule you stick to?
Drums are always my initial starting point once I have a song in my head. I then get a basic musical idea in. I then call in the experts and get them to refine my musical madness with their proper skills. Vocals are always the final addition. I tend to mix as I go along, but then I always have a final mixing and arranging session.
Where do you shop for and discover music?
I love trawling YouTube, then taking my discoveries to Discogs and iTunes and Amazon so I can buy the real thing. I have some close close friends out of the industry whose tastes I respect. I always look to them to turn me on to something new. I use What People Play a lot for current dance stuff…and I get sent an awful lot of promos which is very fortunate. I take the time to trawl through stuff to find gems. It can be a mind numbing experience in this digital world, but you always end up with something. I’m extremely bored of hearing a lot of pro DJs complaining that they get sent too much. You really don’t know how lucky you are.
Any highlights from your latest musical discoveries?
Yes. We have signed a few of them to Classic, just you wait and see. The legendary DJ Parrot is also about to return with some absolutely amazing music…I think it is coming on vinyl soon…
What’s brewing in your studio?
A track titled Paint it Black, under the guise of Mother Rose, which is myself and Andy Neal. We recorded the vocals through a kids’ MTV microphone off a video game into a San Amp guitar pedal and then into an API mic pre. And ended up with this crazy distortion on the vocals….
Any production tips & tricks you’d like to share?
There are a million, but ultimately it’s all about following your own path and to never be scared to think outside of the box. You always know when a song is complete. It’s a gut feeling. If you don’t have that gut feeling, keep on chipping away until you reach it. No matter how far down the line you are. I have been known to add overdubs to songs once the song has been mixed and mastered just because I wasn’t happy. Anything goes….