On The Rise: Luca Eck

“A futuristic yet nostalgic high-energy fusion of pop and techno that is textured, emotional and dreamy.

Luca Eck is one of the most promising sound talents rising from a new generation of Berlin-based artists. Aiming to create a blend between the emotional appeal of popular music and the dark sounds of industrial techno that is so prevalent in the German capital, the youngstar’s hard-work and commitment have already landed him behind the decks at some of Berlin’s finest establishments such as Griessmuehle, as well as notorious livestreams such as ARTE Concert’s United We Stream programme and HÖR. Now, the young talent features on a brand new six-track VA called “Planet OSF” headed by Beirut producer and DJ, Nur Jaber, via her very own Berlin-based OSF imprint. Showcasing an array of international producers, Luca delivers his emotional cut “When The Rain Washed It All Away”, featuring a series of perfectly weighted kick drums and subtle undertones for a melodic, club-friendly affair.

From a young age, Luca began writing and producing electronic pop music and later transitioned into techno in 2017. Over the past few years, Luca has developed and honed his sound that can be best described as uncompromisingly hard, yet deeply emotional, whereby bright melodies hover above dystopian soundscapes and warping digital textures, a style rooted as much in nostalgia as it is futuristic. These tracks are mixed into high-octane sets, taking the listener through an ever-ascending journey to brutal climaxes. What Luca thrives upon is establishing a deep and meaningful connection with the crowd, fearless of taking unexpected turns in order to create a memorable atmosphere. We caught up with Luca.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got into music?

Music has pretty much always been a part of my life. When I was six years old, I started playing the double bass. I tried out a few instruments but the sound of the double bass just deeply resonated with me. I am extremely grateful to my parents for all the care, financial support and musical education they were able to provide me with. I know this is an immense privilege, massively impacting how I make music today. When I was eleven years old, I started listening to electronic music – mainly Eurodance, EDM and Dubstep – and wondered how this strange new music I discovered was made. This early fascination ultimately led me to buy a small MIDI Controller and Magix Music Maker and I started messing around with sample packs and VSTs. My music taste has very much evolved over the years: when I was 14-15 years old I got into Techno, mainly through discovering Pan-Pot. I started playing Techno at small open-air raves and antifa fundraising parties, whilst still producing electronic pop music. At some point, I wondered what would happen if I were to fuse these two sonic worlds, which is the main objective behind the music I make today: An emotional blend of industrial techno and experimental pop music.

To someone who’s just discovered you, how would you describe your sound?

A futuristic yet nostalgic high-energy fusion of pop and techno that is textured, emotional and dreamy. I like to combine the warmth of analog synthesis with the texture and sharpness of field recordings and sampling. I take a lot of influence from the sound worlds of experimental artists like Arca or Jon Hopkins and the harmonic/melodic side of Indie and Neo-Classical artists like Haley Heynderickx, RY X or Nils Frahm.

You’ve already played at some highly respected establishments, what’s been your favourite venue and do you have a memorable performance that sticks out?

One of my favourites been a gig in Tel Aviv for the amazing queer party DURCH I am a resident at. I really like Nico* and the rest of the DURCH crew, they have supported me from a very early point on and it was just a great atmosphere surrounding the gig, it felt like playing for my family. My most memorable performance was my debut on the Griessmuehle main floor at HARD TRADE together with i.e. Wallis, Viscerale, Opium Hum, Alada and Chlär. Griessmuehle was my favourite club and it was such an honour to play there. It was a really special night, so many of my friends and their friends came and the whole floor was packed even though I had the opening slot. At one point, people were waving their lighters in the air to “I Thought You Were Real” by LAVEN – one of my all-time favourite records – which really was a magical moment for me. My third favourite would be NEONE Ravemark together with Nene H in Prague, the last gig I had before lockdown. They are lovely promoters, the warehouse was packed and the crowd was amazing. I was booked for 2h, but the organiser kept on coming to me, asking if I could play longer and I ended up closing from 4-8am. Thinking of this makes me realise how much I miss playing!

As a producer, can you tell us more about your work with Tightill and how you find production for varying genres (production methods etc). Which do you enjoy the most?

I have produced two Happy Hardcore-influenced tracks for German rap artist Tightill which are gonna be released this Summer! It was really exciting to work on this project, the tracks practically evolved from two voice messages he sent me over Instagram. Starting from somebody else’s vocal idea for a chorus was a completely new way for me to approach a production. It kickstarted my inspirational process by providing me with a harmonic, rhythmic and melodic framework and it was a lot of fun working with him. Through the collaboration with Tightill, I have learned a lot about arrangement that has also impacted the way I approach my own work and I would recommend any producer to try themselves out in different genres. It can really help to free your mind of conventional schemes and add a unique touch to everything you produce. In the future, I definitely want to produce more for other artists and  also try to blur the lines between genres in my own work more. I personally find music that transcends the limitations and expectations of a certain genre the most enticing.

Where do you see yourself this time next year? And do you have any ambitions in the coming years you can speak about?

I’m really looking forward to touring again once the pandemic is contained, restrictions are lifted and it is safe for everyone! I miss playing and travelling, although the pandemic made me realise that I don’t want to become a DJ who is hustling to six gigs every week. As much as I love DJing, I also love a good night of sleep and quality time with the people close to me. I would much rather play three times a month or whatever I need to make ends meet. In the long run, I think my focus is going to be on the production side of things. I have collaborative EPs with two amazing artists in the making that I am very excited about. At the same time, I am in the process of conceptualising my debut solo EP, which I am planning to release mid-2022. I’m really excited for what opportunities might come up in the future and looking forward to the post-COVID rebirth of nightlife.

On one hand, most of my ambitions for the coming years revolve around clubs and festivals I would like to play (i.e. MELT!, Säule, Revier Südost, Warehouse Elementenstraat), labels I would like to release on and artists I dream of collaborating with. On the other hand, I really want to give my music more purpose and give something back to the community. Historically, Techno has always been a mode of resistance and I think a lot of that is getting lost in its commercialisation. Even if I ever get to play the festivals I dream of playing, I’d still always want to play at or co-organise free parties, fundraising events and demonstrations. In light of the immense privilege I and many other artists in this industry have grown up with, I think it is very important to make knowledge a community asset and the scene more accessible in general.  I am currently in the process of co-planning a free, multi-genre production course for FLINTA*, as soon as the situation allows for a safe and comfortable environment to do so. It is my responsibility to work on redistributing my privileges and definitely want to dedicate more time and resources to that in the future. 

Quickfire Question: Who?

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

My biggest dream would be to work with Arca, but I also really like the voice and productions of Art School Girlfriend and would love to work on a mutual project with her in the future.

Who is your favourite DJ?

Paula Temple.

Who was the last DJ you saw live?

Clouds and Randomer at an Ismus open-air last summer.

Who has released the best track of 2021 so far?

Anetha’s Free Britney – a fresh, forward-thinking and boundary-pushing track, with an important message

Who would you most like to see live?

Tough question! I would love to see Rival Consoles live, but there are maaany others.

Who inspires you?

Creative thinkers from all genres!

Who would you most like to do a B2B with?

I think me and Nur Jaber b2b would set dancefloors on fire!!

Who has the best discography?

I own every single release of LAVEN, I love her work.

Who has taught you the most?

I am really grateful for my double bass and piano teachers, who really set my musical foundation.

Who is the best selector?

I think Ellen Allien is an amazing selector and brings such a diverse array of styles into a coherent mix like few others are able to!

“Planet OSF” is out now on OSF and is available to listen and buy here. Vinyl drops July 23rd.

Follow Luca Eck on Instagram and Soundcloud.

More Stories
008: Sharad Sood