GET FAMILIAR: Luca Durán
Luca Durán follows a series of stellar EPs with his first solo album, released via his own Akoya Circles imprint. The uncategorizable Swiss-Colombian producer embarks on a wide-ranging electronic journey throughout ‘Libertas’, a diverse sonic exploration of the concepts of freedom and independence, two hallmarks of his already diverse studio work.
This debut album comes from a period of creative metamorphosis, during which Duran’s musical output evolved from the dextrous house, techno & electro of earlier releases under his original production moniker Look Like. Beginning with the Circunvalar EP in summer 2019, when Duran began releasing solely under his own name, his style has now grown beyond the traditional dancefloor genres of electronic music to encompass influences from post-punk and IDM. This has carried through all his recent work, including the recent EP for TraTraTrax, the sub-label of Colombia’s Insurgentes collective, on which Duran explicitly reconnected with the iconography of his family’s homeland.
How did music first enter your life?
I grew up in Geneva‘s squatter scene in the 90’s. A house runned by artists, free spirits and cultural engaged people. Music was always around. Walking through the floors of the house, the music went from Dub, Rock to Classical and so on. Having a colombian background, there were always salsa and cumbia playing at home.
What made you move to Amsterdam?
In 2019, I spent some weeks in Amsterdam as my girlfriend was visiting a further education school, - we really enjoyed the city and the country. After coming back to Zürich, some friends offered us to stay at their place for a year, the decision was a no brainer and we moved back.
As a younger musician, who did you look up to coming up?
I think rather than specific musicians it’s more their creativity, sounds, rhythms, or emotions that are triggered by their music that inspired me.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Trying to combine the studio work, the label and the studies. Beside of that I'm a huge fan of swimming, as soon as i‘ve some time, I go to the pool and do lanes. It has something meditating and hypnotic. It helps me to have a healthy balance and be focused on what I do.
How has lockdown affected your creativity?
During the first lockdown, I got a studio place at the Volkshotel. A spot where I could escape physically, mentally while having a daily routine. Being surrounded by so many creative people and musicians was really inspiring. I was able to explore the concepts of liberty and autonomy, that‘s where I recorded the album „Libertas“.
You have a very unique sound so for the gear nerds out there, can you let us know what you’re working with?
I‘m trying to combine the best from all worlds. Mixing analog, digital and audio (sampled, field recordings). There are so many interesting ways to make music, it would be a pity to only focus on one of them. Speaking about gear, at the moment I‘m using some weird plugins, my euroracks and the OB6. I also enjoy to write music on the go, so I’m adapting to my environment and circumstances.
We see you visited the Willem II Studios. How was that experience? Did you use any of the recordings made on that day for this project?
Yes, what a magical place! After arriving there I got introduced to the studio and equipment by the engineer and had a total freedom using the machines. Noodling with the Arp 2500 was an amazing experience. I think it‘s the only place where it is accessible to musicians outside of an institution. The recordings from there were not used on the album but for another project that will come out next year.
What is the Zurich scene like these days?
Zurich has a great cultural and music scene at the moment. Lots of creative minds and spots that makes it a great place for living. Many old structures are now being runned by younger people, I feel a great dynamic.
What record(s) would you hear growing up that made you want to make music?
Growing up as a kid in the french part of Switzerland and France made me dig a lot of french music. Albums like Mauvais Oeil from Lunatic, Dj Mehdi’s early work or Laurent Garnier were surely influential to me.
How did this album come around?
The process started in November 2019, while visiting my family and doing some shows in Colombia. One day after arriving, the country erupted into a series of heavy protests and riots all across the country. It was the first time that I experienced a whole nation standing up for their rights and for peace. Contesting inequality, violence, corruption and so on. This triggered in me a lots of thoughts, creative energy and the question of: What is liberty, and what does it mean to be free as a human.
What do you hope people will experience from listening to your music?
Feeling free but with a touch of nostalgia.
You rented a studio space in the Volkskrant building where numerous Dutch producers have their studio. Did you collaborate with any of these artists, and if so who?
Yes, after finalizing the writing and production part, I met Anton Pieete who had his studio there. He helped me with the mixdown of the album. Beside of that, I made some music with Robert Bergman, Cinnaman and Dominik who runs the label South of North. During that year in Amsterdam, I had the chance to spend many musical moments with lovely people.They probably influenced my work in a subconscious way. Big shouts to: Maurits, James, the Order crew, Marco and Lennard.
What was the reason behind releasing music under your own name?
After producing music for many years under the alias „Look Like“, the time felt right to continue the journey under my given name.
What does the future hold for you?
Right now I‘m working on a new live show. There are different musical projects in the making and otherwise I hope great things.
Photography by Star Of Persia
Word by Passion Dzenga