Artist Profile: Lukid

Broken, beat-laden electronica
Clash magazine - Electric Selection - Lukid

You’ll be forgiven, just this once, if you’re not familiar with Lukid. The modest producer doesn’t exactly make a song and dance about his work, but has already released three excellent albums of broken, beat-laden electronica that cover a whole world of ideas.

His latest album, ‘It’s Lonely At The Top’, continues the journey, but  whereas 2010’s ‘Chord’ was underpinned by a sense of skewed glitch-hop, his new record veers even further away from any sense of musical linearity, with each track possessing its own distinct mood, be it industrial, ambient, hypnotic and rhythmical… The list goes on.

“It’s just another chapter in the heroic Lukid story,” says Lukid (Luke Blair) of his new album. “I’d say it’s definitely a progression from my previous albums, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I? Let me say this: it is by far the album that I am proudest of.”

That’s a good start. But Blair has every reason to be proud. It’s an even broader and more sonically engulfing record than any of his (already wide-ranging) previous releases. In fact, the steps taken from the gentle beats of his 2008 debut ‘Onandon’ and where he is today are vast.

“I’ve changed a lot since then as a person, and with that my music,” he says. “I’m no longer the innocent young go-getter, wandering wide-eyed into the heady  world of underground electronic music. Now I am old, jaded and extremely bitter, and I’d say I care less about impressing people, so this album was more of a ‘Whateverrrr, I’ll do what a want!’ record.”

‘Lonely At The Top’ may initially seem somewhat of a closed shop; its sprawling, colourful twists and plateaus may appear disconnected, but after a few listens it wraps itself delightfully around your brain and the narrative falls into place. And when that happens, the weird, gritty urban lushness of ‘Southpaw’ and the rolling, dancefloor-refusing pulse of ‘Riquelme’ will sound beautiful.

Tracks like ‘This Dog Can Swim’ hit at something approaching an Autechre and Actress hybrid, the latter of which happens to be head of Lukid’s record label, Werk Discs - clearly a natural home for Blair’s forward-thinking music. “I sent [Werk] a demo because I was a huge fan of the Actress record ‘No Tricks’,” explains Blair. “It’s a pleasure to be on his label.”

If all this hasn’t quite painted a clear picture of Lukid, let me put it this way: you know how electronica kind of stopped doing anything new a few years ago? Well, ‘Lonely At The Top’ is where it should have gone.

Lukid Essentials
‘IT’S LONELY AT THE TOP’ (WERK DISCS)
‘CHORD’ (WERK DISCS)
‘BBQ/GENIE’ (THRILLER)

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