I first met Luke McMillan or to most, The DJ Producer, at a rave in the revered and to some elusive Berghain club in Berlin on September 11th 2009.

Prior to our initial meet’n’greet, I had enjoyed a considerable amount of his productions since the early 00’s. This particular and specific take on Hardcore Techno, UK Hardcore and in some cases, inter-fused with old school Hip Hop, was put together in a context that was nothing like I had ever heard before. This particular sound was something that significantly changed the idea of Hardcore Techno and as I was amidst of a transitional phase in my own life at the same time, both musically and personally, it all made perfect sense to embrace this sound and move on. Being fed up with conventional Techno and House for quite some time already this sound, spearheaded by a number of UK-based and European artists was a revelation and relief, which just sparked my enthusiasm about and love for electronic music again.

Even though I had name checked The DJ Producer, since the early internet days by checking old mixes of his from raves and events, I never have had the opportunity to see him live, so when I received the news about The DJ Producer performing at the event mentioned above, which was hosted by the party collective and label owners Leisure System, I convinced a friend of mine that “Operation Destruction” at Berghain was due.

Leisure System 1 Year

As said as done and we headed off to Berlin in an ancient Ford Fiesta 1.3 and to this day it still stands as a miracle that we were able to fulfill the trip in a car that surely had seen better days. Even a flat tire after a one hour drive, and as a result thereof, being towed to the nearest workshop and struggling with a considerable delay, couldn’t stop us from reaching our final destination around 7 in the evening. After checking into our rental flat we had some much needed and well-deserved rest before heading to Maria Am Ufer, where Adam X was having his monthly party with the mighty Surgeon on the bill. After hanging out for an hour and a half, we went to a fairly quiet Berghain and in perfect time to catch the beginning of Joey Beltram’s set, who played a kind of Techno, that was aesthetically much in the vein of his “Places” album on Tresor from 1995.

Although Joey did a very good job it he wasn’t the focal point for us of that night. As soon as the performing artists changed places, so did the music, mood and intensity within the second and by that, I do really mean by the snap of a finger. Not to this day and ever since have I heard such brutality being unleashed in what, to many people, stands as the ultimate Techno mecca in the world. Modern Hardcore Techno presented at ferocious speed and ditto transitions between each track and furthermore delivered by a person, who was a 1:1 carbon copy of the music he presented. Think Derrick May at his peak and you have the same equation: A real-time artistic embodiment of the music you live and breathe for.

On the night, Luke and I only had a brief chat and an exchange of music-related anecdotes, but we definitely established a mutual connection at that point, something that cannot really be explained in words and thus, we stayed in contact afterwards through the usual social media platforms.
Ever since meeting this unstoppable man from the southwestern part of the UK, I always had the wish to bring him to Denmark one day and at last the time was just right, when Click Festival 2014 took place north of Copenhagen.

The interview you can read below is the result of socializing, having a laugh for most of a day back in May last year and may I say it, challenging my measly two-finger blind typing techniques to the fullest. Luke McMillan’s average word-per-minute count is no joke and is as intense as the bpm’s of his music.

So who is Luke McMillan really? For starters he began listening to early US Hip Hop and Electro back in the 80’s and did the full route of graffiti and breakdancing. A life-changing event took place when he attended a rave back in 1990, where another prominent figure on the scene, Frankie Bones played and this event marked a transitional phase, which in Luke’s own words goes as follows: “I entered as a B-Boy and came out a raver” Ever since then, he pursued a career as a DJ and thanks to talent and dedication he soon was able to do this on a professional level. In the mid 90’s he released his first records on DJ Edge’s Edge Records and Brooklyn’s Industrial Strength Trance Records, run by Lenny Dee. Through their mutual fascination for extreme sounds, he befriended Julian Cobb aka Hellfish and released a slew of landmark records on Cobb’s Deathchant label. This particular take on UK Hardcore break beats, french Hardcore and other brain-shattering forms of relentless music, set a new standard, which inspired a lot of contemporary and upcoming artists worldwide. Just before the new millennium Luke set up his own Rebelscum label with the aid of friend Simon Underground and a new chapter in the history annals was about to be written.

I feel like it’s pretty concise to describe The DJ Producer as a full-on and energetic person, who is both truly outspoken, gentle, very positive and at the same time, passionate and fueled by a hunger to always push and destroy boundaries in any way possible. He speaks in volumes and with utmost passion about the music and scene he has dedicated his life to.

BS: Ok, I’m probably going to start off with a few standard questions here, but please tell us how it all started for The DJ Producer?

TDJP: Alright, to try and compress it without being too compressed. I guess first point of interest was starting as a bedroom mixer back in 1987, right after the big break dancing thing and it soon became quite evident that I couldn’t break dance because I nearly killed myself doing a backspin thing that went horribly wrong (laughs). So that wasn’t a good start but beyond that what was the music. The part of this thing with the music really intrigued me and the first record that I really claimed myself as being music for myself was Malcolm Mclaren’s ‘Buffalo Gals’, shortly preceeded by Herbie Hancock’s ‘Rockit’ and those were the two records, which was clearly music with these noises in them and that noise turned out to be scratching. I didn’t even know what it was as I was living really deep in the country away from the big city. I come from a small town called Bath in the southwest of England. It’s a very small city, I think it’s England’s second smallest city, but it is a city surrounded by countryside and fields. So there wasn’t a lot of exposure to urban culture in 1987 living where I was. A few pirate tapes when we were breakdancing but I was really obsessed with the music, so I think music always has been important with me but the dj’ing, after seeing a few videos, just totally transfixed me and my record collecting habit existed anyway. This now gave me a reason to buy music for me that I discovered for me and getting two beaten up turntables by hassling my parents, I could take records and play them in my own way. I was kind of just learning from the music I was hearing. So that was really the setting up of me being a DJ, I did it for myself as my hobby. I didn’t care if anyone was into it because I was into it.

Discovering Rave culture:

Fast-forwarding a little bit, once I got to college in 1989 I was still DJ’ing, listening to De La Soul and Hip Hop from this era. Getting to college I met some guys I never met before from another town and they had friends, who lived in London and they told me about these big things called raves going on,in and around London on the Orbital mainly. Being a staunch Hip Hop guy I really didn’t have any interest in hippies and fields, I just wanted beats, turntables and all that. They said “No, you really should really come because it’s a life-changing experience. We know your up for a laugh and the party, and if you hate it you never have to to do it again” I was like, alright, just for going to London sake and seeing the big thing I’ll go there. This event was Energy in 1990, I went in as a B-Boy and I saw the scale of the thing and said “This is alright, there’s a lot of people here”. What totally intrigued me though was actually the music coming out of the speakers because everything I was hearing was being controlled by a DJ, and I stood there and said “I can do that and better than this!” And so I did. That was in 1990 and so then I had a reason to do what I did. There was a movement to be part of and I could be part of that and that actually snowballed really quickly because in the area where I was, kind of close to Glastonbury, has heritage with festivals and stuff. They all want to party, so I learned new music really quickly at college and before I noticed it, we were doing small parties in the local town hall. Then we started going to illegal parties and people wanted to meet the DJ because there weren’t really many DJ’s in that area around where I was, so I did that. I cut my teeth performing at these illegal raves in between 1990 and 1992 and thus, I was getting a name being a part of the big hedonism and rave explosion in the UK, even in the illegal state. Shortly followed by that was the off-shot of one of one of the guys doing the illegal party, were a couple of guys doing other parties. As I played at some of their parties, they came to my with a proposal. “We have this really incredible idea, it’s going to shock the world and we would like you to come with us”. I was like “Yeah, that sounds amazing” but at the time I just thought maybe it was drug speech. 6 months later they started the Universe organization (legendary UK rave promoter unit), I did these small club nights in Bath in order to promote the thing that was coming and I kind of gained residency by default from doing that. Being in the right place at the right time gained me a breakthrough for wider recognition.

The birth of The DJ Producer:

In 1992, DJ Tanith from Berlin came over for the third Universe event ‘Mind, Body & Soul’ on a large scale. I had some knowledge about the Mayday scene and what was in a predominantly break beat bass UK rave scenario, Universe were trying to make a change by bringing in some European Techno influences into the rave. As I had some inclination about that music, I said “Just to make the German guy feel comfortable, I’m going to play Techno as well because everyone is playing break beats. Even if this is going to be my last gig and you’ll never hear from me again!” So I actually did that and overnight it completely made my name. Everyone went bananas, the promoter was losing his mind and when the cassette from that night, yeah THE cassette mind you, this is how long ago it was, I believe it sold in the region of 25.000 units. For a cassette, that was almost instantly the stuff of legend, this was the start of The DJ Producer and after that I turned professional. So I’ve dj’ed since then but since that whole ride, I was intrigued with the energy end of Techno and at the end of 1993, ‘The Big Love Party” I think, I played some of the very first Gabber records in my set. Stuff like Bald Terror ‘Rotterdam’ on Paul Elstak’s Rotterdam Records and similar music to this and people just seemed to be responding to it. They were into me playing the Techno, but the fact that I was playing the more severe, hard, abstract versions of it and people being really into it, yeah… I wasn’t to sure about it to begin with, being so classically trained within break beat things and classic Detroit Techno. “Ok, it’s a bit of a shift but it seems to really be working well in the raves and I just love working in the raves, so I’m just going to go with it”. I went with it and then pretty much became one of the first DJ’s in the UK to fully wave the flag for Hardcore Techno.

Meeting Gordon Matthewman and doing his first record:

As I really got into the swing of that, having a big residency in the Southwest, which were getting a lot of London DJ’s down. One of these DJ’s were Gordon Matthewman aka DJ Edge, I was playing a lot of the stuff on his label at the time and we were really talking on that particular night and I just said off the cuff ‘Yeah, It would be REALLY nice to come to London one day and make a record!’. He said “That would be GREAT, you TOTALLY should!”. That totally took me by surprise and the fact that he had said that, I was like “Then I GOT to do it!”. Then I went to London in 1994 with Gordon and we spent a week there, resulting in the first record I ever did which was Edge Records #13. It’s quite a pointing record for me in two reasons, due to the two tracks being on there. One track is really hedonistic, uptempo fast trance and the other was an early replication of what was Dutch Hardcore with the kick drums but I put break beats all over them. All of a sudden, I knew that was what I wanted my music to be like. I had no engineering skills and I didn’t knew the studio but Gordon knew what to do. All I could go to London with was a pad full of ideas. I didn’t knew anything about sequencing and all that but I wrote everything down. I wrote the samples down, how everything was going to sound and I took with me the records I wanted to sample. I could hear it in my head and listening to the record now, I’m still really, really proud because it was a template for what I was going to do in the following years and now as well.

Deathchant mission with Hellfish and Bastard Sonz Of Rave on Planet Mu:

A few years later I met the guy from Deathchant Records in Helter Skelter and this gave the both of us to really make our own filthy noise that our early records pointed at. Borrowing machinery and learning ourselves how to use it, me alongside Hellfish of Deathchant Records just started versing each other with new tracks. He’d do a track and I’d got blown away, so then I’d had to one and all this time we’re doing them and they’re sounded that good, so he’d just release them.

BS: In other words, you were challenging one another? (It’s hard to interrupt an enthusiastic Luke McMillan, trust me)

TDJP: It kind was for a bit for sure, well not really a challenge, just like “Oh, you can do that now. I need to go back and reexamine what can I do”. He was integrating Hip Hop samples early, for me very poignant because, there you go. The Hip Hop samples was what got us to this point, now toying with almost 200 bpm. Divisible by a half is 100 bpm and that was the tempo I was first playing my music at. So Hellfish, even though I didn’t know him from an earlier stage, had a very parallel upbringing. He was a loner at school, doing turntables and listening to Hip Hop. So we were kind of similar and it was like “Ok, let’s just sample the old records we know”. From that, we took maybe notes from Bloody Fist Records and the fact that he (Mark Newlands) was sampling Hip Hop records, we thought “Yeah, we can do this but do it OUR way!”. There’s a slew of 15 records like that on Deathchant and from those records, things really spiraled. From those releases and doing some collaborations together, we caught the interest of Mike Paradinas of Planet Mu and he came knocking. We then signed one album, which then turned into two and that all sent our interpretation of Hardcore Techno, what we had done in the raves and playing to the Hardcore and Gabber community into a completely different segment of people with other preferences. All of a sudden we saw ourselves doing these crazy big gigs in France that were like half experimental, half full-scale Hardcore rave events. Those releases really did a lot for us and made us realize that “Ok mate, maybe we actually have got our own thing”. It took a long time to realize it because we were so wrapped up in just wanting to better each other but from doing so, we really aquired some skills.

BS: You got ready for war you can say?

TDJP: Yeah for sure, yeah-yeah, this is it. By the time we got to 1999 my friend Simon Underground, who had been doing a distribution thing in London for years. I met him in 1993 playing at clubs in London like Knowledge, he had a tiny record store, just a small crate of records really. A strange guy and there’s me “Yeah, dig your records!”. He remembers me even from back then but yeah, because he was in the UK doing these Live Evil events, that YOU know about, I did a couple of those and I think the chain of events after doing Live Evil were… We talked about doing a label and I wasn’t really too sure about it but around the time we did our first gig at Thunderdome together. No!, it wasn’t even Thunderdome, as we actually did a gig before Thunderdome via Akira and Drokz (legendary dutch Terror producers – a branch of Hardcore and Gabber music), who knew some guys. I don’t even remember where it was but Simon knew these guys before me and so we went to Holland. This was my first time in Holland and we went to this really dingy club and I was playing Deathchant records. Nobody in the crowd, but Akira and Drokz, really knew these tracks and they were losing their minds because they heard me, the creator of some of these records, playing them. That was kind of cool but also a little scary due to the scary crowd. After the end of that mission I talked to Simon, he was like “We REALLY should do a label” and I said “Maybe we should”. Just to sci-fi up the Deathchant’s, which has had its pummeling beats, some distorted broken-ness with a a Hip Hop edge, “so maybe it’s time to do something a bit futuristic” and so 1999 was the year when Rebelscum was born. The idea was conceived at a tram station somewhere in Holland and both Simon and I were like “Yeah, that’s a really good idea”.

The beginning of Rebelscum and why ugly is a good thing:

From doing Rebelscum really added an extra thing to it. Simon was distributing the label and also knew one of the guys, who was working at ID & T (the organization responsible for the Thunderdome raves in Holland), which resulted in our first gig at Thunderdome. This was our entrance, or introduction to Holland and it turned out that a lot of the young people, who were in the crowd for that edition of Thunderdome, listening to us and going “Wow, this is something a bit different”, later would go on to become producers themselves, Simon and I wasn’t aware of that, as all we wanted, was to fit in. We knew we didn’t play Dutch music like the Dutch, played a bit stranger and so, we just went on a mission that seemed to had influenced a lot of people afterwards.
It’s really nice to have done something that has resonated so well with people all the way through. I would’ve always have done it for my own sake, in the same way as being that kid with records and turntables, but all of these ideas in my head have all panned out, brought outside influences in and taken me to different countries. These things are incredible to me, really, and all for being as noisy and obnoxious as possible. Almost to the point where the more obnoxious I was, the more people loved it. HOW is that possible???

BS: Makes you wonder, huh?

TDJP: It makes you fucking wonder, dude, I really don’t know! (laughs). To the uninitiated it can be kind of offensive but those that know, they feel the Funk inside of it and I try to put as much of that in there as possible. I’m not out there to dark people out here, it’s a rave man and hey, Hands-in-the-air crew come on! That’s where I come from, back to those raves in 1991. So like they say, those early life experiences have resonated even up to now and it’s all still relevant. I don’t dwell on the past but have a lot of it and theres many, many faces and stages of it, but being a DJ, even with the sci-fi elements in my music, I always have the owerwhelming lust and want to find what I’ve never heard before. That’s just been my driving force throughout and even if you don’t want to hear it, I want to hear it. So come with me, it might get rid of the place but we have to try it, because if we don’t we won’t know. Yeah, just inquisitive minds and wanting to mix it up. You can grab one genre and play it to death but I want to take little pieces from all of it, mutate it and turn it into a massive dance floor frenzy. Does that sound reasonable?? (laughs)

BS: Speaking of being obnoxious, do you personally see that there’s been a development in, not the acceptance, but people becoming more and more used to harsher sounds?

TDJP: For sure! It was never going to happen overnight and I remember having conversations with well-known and high profile Happy Hardcore DJ’s, who shall remain nameless and me playing my music, and them saying to me “The fuck are you playing that shit for? How do you expect to have any career on the back of that?”. Well, who’s working now motherfucker! Oh well, that’s another story but this is the crazy thing and like I already said. It was never going to happen overnight but as time is the great healer, slow and steady wins the race. Harder sounds are slowly leaking into different aspects of other music, even forms of minimal Techno having more harsh sounds to them now and thus, being more acceptable. Dare I say it actually, even Dubstep really massively helped the almost disfigured and mutated become almost mainstream in a very short space of time. Just because we’re riding the high bpm’s and that’s the problem with my music as people hear it and think “Fuck, that’s fast!”. Yeah, it is for sure but that’s not the key part of it. At least Dubstep has a kind of palatable vibe “Ok, I can dance to this tempo but this music is ugly as sin!” That’s a good thing though but it has become, (gasps and spells out the beloved three-letter word) yeah, an E-D-M thing and beyond acceptable. I’m not ever going to burst anyone’s bubble because within music genres, they have peaks and troughs. When they say “Oh yeah, the bubble bursts, it’s all over!” No, that shit just goes back underground, which every genre does whatever it is. Like Drum’n’Bass went back underground after Dubstep did the big explosion, these things ebb and flow.

“I believe that we haven’t had our time yet and I’ll never say “We WILL have our time!”, but I want for our music and scene to exist alongside of the rest and not type us all as hate-loving Nazi fuckheads.”

I believe that we haven’t had our time yet and I’ll never say “We WILL have our time!”, but I want for our music and scene to exist alongside of the rest and not type us all as hate-loving Nazi fuckheads. Those are old mentalities from when the music initially was scary because now, ugly is a cool thing. My music draws on influences like dark Drum’n’Bass, Breakcore and it’s main body is Hardcore Techno at all speeds. 140 to 240 bpm, I don’t care it just depends on the party. Writing in different levels of ugliness in different places, it’s a big, ugly world out there now and even being able to play the kind of music freely that we can, even in Holland to a degree where they had it so staunch and straight for a long time. The same as in the UK actually, with Drum’n’Bass and people saying “That’s never going to change in any shape or form”, but then you look at the Hardcore Drum’n’Bass scene in mainland Europe and how that Crossbreed kind of music got thrown into that. However, that’s two scenes that run parallel but what I do draws on both of them and more, so there’s a lot of ugliness for me to draw on, palatable ugliness. People are becoming more inquisitive as well, I think. They’ve heard so many things and are now like “Ok we’ve heard this, we’ve heard that”, so when they hear something they haven’t heard it’s a shock value that goes quite deep.
Which is quite a good thing and you know, we’re not doing it for shocks sake. This is totally for music sake. It is a form of music. Some people might disagree with me but for it to exist for so long… It’s 22 years of music in its own right outside of other genres and ugly existed for a long time. Now the internet helps people get aware of things a lot more and things wild fire through the Internet. In the early ‘cutting our teeth’ days the Internet was record shops and just dosing yourself in those places but now people can listen to these things free on a daily basis via different channels from all over the world.

I went to Japan a month ago and I didn’t think I was going to Japan to play hardcore in any shape or form but I went there and I was signing Deathchant records – Ugly is everywhere!, which is beautiful to me. I don’t want to be accepted by the world, Punk never was. This feels more like Punk to me than anything else to be fair and what we’re doing has the same DIY approach as Punk. As long as the music stays as fucking Rock and Punk as possible and we stay true to it, you can’t water this shit down. “Okay I’ll do a soft core version of it”, it just doesn’t work at all and it’s not visceral. So it’s nice that we are getting acknowledged, I’ll go as far as to say that and I don’t want to blow any trumpet for anything but yeah we exist and we seem to be co-existing in more places now.

That’s why I fully believe in my own genre because it has so many influences and with this being its main backbone I do feel with time it can appeal to a lot of people because even if you don’t get all of it, I’m sure something in it will make you go wow, that really is something. I do feel that with a lot of people, even if they’re not versed in the music, bits of what you are doing here is quite incredible. Despite it been ugly, there’s still a musicality in it and I’m not going to deny the fact that I cherish it continues to blossom.

BS: From your point of view, what are the ups and downs of the big raves of today?

TDJP: Well, I guess (pauses). It’s like life isn’t it, there’s ups and downs in everything. The music’s hard, life’s hard, so there are lots of parallels to crazy shit but just from doing the free parties in a hedonistic state back in 1990 to dealing with some of the biggest organizers on the planet, it’s like seeing both sides of the coin. Once you see a lot of the industry, being a part of the industry, on the other side of the fence and not on the dance floor anymore… This is a thing that means you have to be in control in order to navigate through it on a professional level and just accept it for what it is. I do like the control element and I do like to be free and totally running amuck but there has to be a control element in the background. These are like necessary evils, then again you can talk about the music industry, dealing with sales of records and now also the digital era.

“As soon as I start trying to do a thing, FOR a thing, it goes DRASTICALLY fucking wrong, so purity counts for a fucking shitlot!”

Yeah, it’s a funny thing with records because we were so underground and sometimes we’d score what we would consider a hit and make some money of it. Most of the time however, we were only recouping money to make sure we could press another record just to keep our name out there. So in effect I always viewed that, with that kind of underground status, just flying by the seat of our pants punk rock style, of anything and if that’s all we got, make it a fucking good calling card. Make your music the best calling card, be unique be you and don’t simulate or try doing something that is not you. If this is how it’s going to be and music is the key, then used it to the best of your abilities. That then is like “Ok, sometimes we win and sometimes we loose, but my name is out there. Here I am and this is what I do!”. Now we’re in the digital era of music and you know, there’s not a lot of money to be made from the music anymore, so just to have it out there is the calling card to make people know that you exist. If your music’s good enough and resonates with people making them wanting to hear that… They will come knocking! Promoters are always interested in wanting to hear the next big thing. Old fuckers like me are completely aware of that as well, (laughs) let that not be said, but I’ve always totally believed in doing my own thing. As soon as I start trying to do a thing, FOR a thing, it goes DRASTICALLY fucking wrong, so purity counts for a fucking shitlot!

To get back to your point in question though, the difference was and is that there was not a lot of money to be made in the digital realm, even less now. But you can utilize those things to, if you win lucky, score some really big gigs and unfortunately; that’s were the big money is, in performance. You HAVE to perform, you have to bring something to the table. So if you want in in, make it shine. Make people like me want to play the shit out of it, because people like me will shout the fuck about you so much. This has happened with so many friends of mine, yeah, guys like Deathmachine and Detest, who appeared on the Rebelscum label, as well as Dolphin. Some of my best friends, who I just knew would do some of the best music in the World. Here I am, representing some of the best artists in the World and playing some of the best music by my best friends and me, which is an amazing thing being able to do. This whole thing, everything changes, all elements just seem to constantly shift but the core part of it for me is performance, leaving people stunned and just wanting fucking more. Get them addicted! Yeah, using drugs as a parallel is not really a cool thing, but you know. I don’t listen to it all the time at home but I do because I make it and I’m always intrigued of what is going to come out in the other end. That’s my motivation and it’s nice to know that what I do made the guys I just mentioned, buzz of that and be like ‘Ok, I want to go there and do my own thing!’ and they’re now artists renowned in their own right. I was a little grunt in my bedroom, who had a really big idea and now I’m doing this. The intel is that anyone can do it if you believe you have something, really believe in it and just keep doing it and doing it-and doing it-and doing it ad nauseam until you MAKE people believe in it! After that time of keep doing it you’ll probably hone your craft, you will be doing it with realizing it.

So yeah, a lot of change going on in terms of the scene. The changes in regards to of what’s happening in the UK and the scene there is that it’s kind of on a downslope at the minute. The parties are sporadic but when good things happen, they still do happen but they’re quite of infrequent. There’s a few young gun organizers that are doing things, friends of mine in Scotland and hard as fuck guys are really pulling their fingers out trying to do good things, so there are kids there who want to do it. These guys are doing it and are totally into the music, so I know the passion is there; it’s just in smaller numbers, waiting for a new and extra wave to become infected but I guess it’s just the state of England and the fact that a lot of the clubs that used to be there are now no longer, which of course never helps. On the flipside, I come in Europe and I’m all over Europe like a fucking rash. I obviously played so many years in the UK and it’s my first love. I don’t want it let be forgotten and more to the point, I don’t want to play in Europe so often that the UK start to forget me. However, I’m hooked in with the guys that are mattering the most and some of these people have been doing it for years and are in fact still doing it. God bless them and the more I can support them, the better as well because there’s a need for it. IN FACT, talking about that, the next two weeks I have two consecutive weeks in London because there are, let me think… (pauses) Next week there’s that big old school thing and then… NO NO NO, let me me get this straight! OK, there’s the Bangface Boat Party one week and directly after it’s Live Evil. Ebb and flow with UK, always unreliable like a bus in the UK that doesn’t comes for ages and THEN 3 COME at the same time (laughs).

I see a healthy state and I see a healthy state from the artist side of thing, being a DJ and meeting new producers and thanks to new media services, these producers can send me tracks directly via the Internet, which makes me able to play those tracks on the same night. Then I can come back immediately and go on like “Oh my god, you just wrecked the house”, giving them positive vibes to make them go “My god, That’s what it’s about!” Back in the early days of me making music it was hard to really boil you up and it wasn’t until I met Hellfish and from there be “Fuck everyone, WE believe in it, who cares!?!” At and from that time I just said to myself “Stop caring man and just do your own thing”. So to have people encouraging you along the way means a lot.
On the other hand everyone has access to media these days and that’s how you make music now, on a computer. Back in the day when we made music, you had to buy REALLY expensive machines and when you had absolutely no money, it was a fucking nightmare. So, everyone has the possibility to do it, if they’re that way and kind. Not everyone is going to do it great, some people are going to drive them crazy, but some are also going to drive them crazy, keep doing it and they might become good at it as well. So this thing can actually happen to everyone, just look at what happened to me.

BS: Do you think that the current political climate in the UK has an effect on what people are trying to express through music, similar to that counterculture that took place in the late 80’with Acid House and raves?

TDJP: I hate them and they’re all cunts!

BS: I hate them too and it’s the same situation here. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the grass is any greener here in Denmark, despite it being a beautiful country and all.

TDJP: I’m not easily fooled (laughs). It’s the same as England, it’s a beautiful country in many ways but it will fuck you up in many ways also! The government doesn’t care for people man and they don’t support people. They support themselves and it’s a disgusting state. People rebel and that’s what happened back in the day. Acid House came from rebellion, it really did! We were in the deepest recession we had been in years and the government just slapped a newfangled council tax on us, which was just a step too far. People rioted off the back of that and that in tandem. The Acid House scene just erupted because it had a need to and we were not going to be told by the government anymore. That really was of its own thing, you know and we are the kids of that. We’ve always been rebellious but the state of the country is a bad thing and I think what I do, is quite poignant in these times as it gives people major escapism. They need to release a lot of frustration because life is hard and people have a lot of frustrations on a daily basis and since having a kid myself, it makes me VERY aware of how unequal the World is. Before I just didn’t give a fuck but now I have a kid and I give a million fucks and in fact, it has given me more drive to stick my middle fingers even higher in the air. Even in a setting like here at Click Festival, in the boundaries between art and music, what I do, although I wouldn’t talk about it, I guess there’s an art element to what I do in there. I used do graffiti and tagging when I was a kid and get in trouble with the police for that shit and when I’m making music I consider it to be like painting a picture that can suck you in. You know, the government (pauses), they don’t want you to be artistic. They want you to be a drone, to be sub-servant, they don’t want you to be creative and they don’t want you to think, be it either outlandish thoughts or to think outside the box!
ME?? I want to do ALL of those things in fucking TECHNICOLOUR (laughs).

It’s like the absolute re-action against the state of things and if the only way I can do it, is with my music, make people raise the fucking roof with me and we can make tiny rebellions all over the place together, so fucking be it. If that’s what I can do to help people alleviate shit from the lives for one hour of an evening or a weekend, I’m there man. I’m there with you, I’m screaming louder than YOU, I mean it more than YOU; it’s a war come at me bro etc. We are all in this together, let’s all react against this, TOGETHER.
My father was really in to punk music although he wasn’t really the big anarchist or anything but his anarchic thoughts and liking it loud, I fed off that for sure. When he was into that in the seventies and it was pretty grim in the UK back then… (pauses and then raises voice) ENGLAND’S BEEN QUITE GRIM FOR A LONG, LONG, LONG TIME, believe it! As a kid in the eighties my parents and us kids, we had a pretty fucking harsh upbringing, man. I don’t come from no ghetto or anything like that but edgy shit all the way through.

“ENGLAND’S BEEN QUITE GRIM FOR A LONG, LONG, LONG TIME, believe it!”

That being said, my parents probably have a lot to do with my way of thinking and living my life, as they really were living an alternative lifestyle and especially my mother, god rest her soul, was a first generation hippie. We have the Glastonbury festival in the UK, which takes place really close to my home and I’ve been going there every year since 1977 up until 1989. Since my parents were a part of the CND movement (Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament) and at that time, in it’s birthing stages, Glastonbury was pretty much on the basis for the CND movement and at festivals of the scale you have information points dotted around the site for festival goers, who has taken acid, drunk too much beer and have lost their car. They need to go somewhere in order to go “Help me, Im fucking lost”. That was my mum’s job as she was one of the people helping ran the information stalls around the festival. So me, by default, was going to festivals every year for the most of my life and this is why, I resonate very deeply with festivals and this goes for my obsession with music as well. My parents took me to a Pink Floyd concert in 1977, to see ‘Animals’ performed and this is actually one of my first waking memories, literally seeing this inflatable pig coming from behind the stage and go over my head. It will resonate with me for the rest of my life and ‘Animals’ is actually one of my favorite albums of all times as well.

So, I’ve been pretty much influenced by this all the way along and it is funny how I did actually end up in it. I could’ve just been a grunt, who was into music, but just ended up in an office job and there’s not a lot of ‘the right place at the right time’ but it’s almost filled within my soul, that I wanted these things so bad that I enforced them to happen. Once I found myself at the age of thirteen and started my own movement with Hip Hop and I’ve done all of this upbringing with my parents, and don’t let me get you wrong here. I understood about the festival things at the age of sixteen we were going like “Glastonbury Festival, we are leaving the parents”. So we went there, had our own festival and discovered ourselves, maybe even discovered at little bit of the raves there as well, I can’t be too sure on that but it all ties in, you know. Right from the age of 5 years old at that Pink Floyd concert right to here we are now, doing what I’m doing and where I am doing it, it is kind of miraculous and it does feel like I could write a book, it does feel weird.

“I was fucking right, I WAS right you fuckers!”

People are like “Oh, you’ve been doing it for so many years” but the way that music is now and what guys are doing now… As with Techno, all the years we’ve been listening to Techno. Every weekend it feels like “This just feels like the beginning”. This music constantly feels like that, the music now feels like that. Fuck me, this just feels like the beginning but I’m sure I said the same thing 10 years ago. This music is that futuristic, we’re that wrapped up in it and wrapped up in its development. We kind of haven’t noticed the development but if you listen to music from 10 years ago, you hear how it dates and that amazes me as well. We left this trail of destructive history behind us as well and if I look at myself on Discogs, it bewilders me to see my own discography. All I wanted to do with this whole thing, after realizing that I could do with the music, was just to contribute a little bit. To have something on Discogs, amazing, not seven pages! (laughs). I guess that was in me, screaming to get out as well and I never even knew it.

I wanted to do music at school but all the music I wanted to do was wrong. Trying to tell my teacher, my music teacher in 1987 “I want to make music using turntables”. They thought something was wrong with me and said (imitates indulgent music teacher) “Luke, use a turntable to play music, not to make music.” but I was like “No, you’re wrong!”.
(now whispering) I was fucking right, I WAS right you fuckers!

I was the future kid, who was not in the future but I could sort of see it and waiting for it, yeah, even now like I said, my friends are shocking me senseless and it really feels like the momentum is momentuming. There’s filth everywhere and there are new guys subscribing to it, guys who didn’t try to make this music before but then tried something and blew me and themselves away. I’m like “You need to do that more” and there seems to be even more of that coming to the fold, so it’s a crazy spiral going on. I see this vortex, that I seem to have been in my whole life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can step out at any point that I want, but I don’t want to. We’re having too much fun now! To make a quick comparison to the graffiti world, a good friend of mine, who spent all his life getting good. By the time they become good, at 40 years of age, they should be quitting by then. What’s THAT all about?? “Nah, this ain’t happening. Now I got good, I want to stay good or get better”
Every time we turn on a computer on, it’s like “Let’s learn something new, let’s try something different, let’s see where we go and where this weird shit comes from”

The Modus Operandi of a positive outlook, family life and the joy of becoming a parent:

BS: Can I please ask about your everyday life with your family

TDJP: Yeah, yeah, yeah absolutely… Just to have a bit background on me as a normal human being.

I do all of these things and I’ve done them for many years. I’ve been with my darling wife Mellony since 1991, we have been together forever and we will be together forever. We got pregnant in 2009 and we hadn’t even got married at that time, it has always been a constant joke of ours “Nah, you sort it out, no you sort it out”, it just went on and on and on. Getting stupid and then even forgetting about the marriage thing because it was always a running joke with us. We were just out there, having fun, she’s a graphic artist and she did all those things, so we were both rather clear-minded at that point. But then it kind of got to the point, where both of us were “Well, no one’s going anywhere but to be honest the grandparents aren’t getting any younger. Maybe you ought to think whether we’re going to have kid or not” By 2009, we had done every mission under the sun, every thinkable mission and in quantity, the only we didn’t do… “OK, let’s have a kid.”
We never got pregnant by accident, not once, and the one time that I meant it, she became pregnant (giggles). The first fucking time and I was like “Shit, it works” I was shitting my pants from being terrified, thinking “What the? that was too quick and too easy”.
At this time we were both kind of 40 years of age, we did all of our teenage years together and we left it a little bit late… No, we were like 38 at the time so yeah ok, let me be a little reasonable on myself (laughs) So he then comes along and it glaringly obvious that once you have a kid and you’re not married, he takes my name but he doesn’t has his mother’s name. That just bugged me out completely and I was like “So, you’re telling me that you went through the horrible shit of having to squeeze him out of your body and you don’t even get to share names? Bitch, we ARE getting married!”. I almost dragged her caveman-style to the reception thing, no big thing and we didn’t even tell the parents. I said “We are doing this, I had enough!”. We got married in 2011 I believe and now that we are married and having a little boy. Before I was making music whenever I liked and all of those things, as well as DJ’ing at the weekend and I’ve been doing these things for years, do music and fill out the weekends. But it’s really easy for me to get distracted and waste time, once I had a lot of internet, THAT makes it 10 times worse! Procrastination = Nightmares for all of us!

As soon as we have Farley, my kid Farley, named after Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, the first lord of House. Once I had him, I realized “My god, if I’m not organized with my life??”. Rule number one with a kid: Keep the kid alive, keep the baby alive and taking care of this is what we must do. So you just gear your life around it, Mellony works during the week and Farley is in nursery. I pick him up, bring him home and do the daddy thing. Mellony only works until Thursday, so if I’m away on a Friday it’s not an issue. So we do, actually and luckily, have a really perfect balance. I guess at some point that I have to restrict gigs to only two hardcore working weekends a month, when my kid gets a little older as he going to start school any minute now. Weekends are going to be really sacred for when you’re with you kid but on the other hand he’s already very well versed in daddy going away, so when daddy’s coming home he’s like “DADDY, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? and then going to nursery talking about all different countries. When I then go to the nursery they’re like “Farley been talking a lot about Japan today. Yeah, I was there last week”. They’re like “WHAT?. Yeah, it’s a long story…”

We do have a really normal life though, couldn’t be more normal really and since having him, I go to the park loads.
It’s really crazy, you know, because I was actually sure as shit that we were going to have little girl. Now I realized, having a little boy in facts reverts me into be a little kid. Now he’s 4 years old so we both hop scooters and go to the park. He’s fixated with skateboarding, which is cool because that’s his own thing. It has absolutely nothing to do with me. We get home and he loves turntables and drum machines as well, to press the buttons and make noises.

“I want him to be the things that he wants to be or at least give him the freedom and grace to try and be those things”

BS: Yeah, I heard some rumours about that.

TDJP: Yeah for sure, I have the little portable Vestax turntable. I always used to take it with me for second hand record shopping, digging for break beats and sample food. When he was born, it was always lying around in the front room and actually from around two years of age, he would gravitate towards it. So I’d give him some break beat albums and he would just sit there, slevees out and whack a record on, needle down! (mimics crackling sound of needle playing lead-in groove).
Ugh, it’s just a disgraceful sight but he could put records on before the motherfucker could walk.
That’s kind of cool and almost sounds like me, man (laughs). Oh my, this shit is so perpetuating, isn’t it? So, I’m watching this psycho very closely but I’m also very keen on letting him find his sense of self. He can be anything he wants because my parents told me the exact same thing. I am the thing I wanted to be and with any luck, I want him to be the things that he wants to be or at least give him the freedom and grace to try and be those things.
I think that’s the best I can do… I’m only just learning this daddy shit! (laughs).

Like me, my parents taking me to the festival and there’s a big festival called Boomtown but it has a big kids section to it and we go there, do camping and keep it really cool. Doing your family thing, then mommy and baby go to bed and I run off to be The DJ Producer, haha!
But that’s really good for Farley as well, so he can feel a little bit of the culture. Similar to what’s going on in the city of Bristol, where we have this thing called St. Pauls Carnival on a day in the middle of July and they just have sound systems out in the street, where the black community comes out, and there’s a lot of colours, dancing and noise. Just in order to put him in all of it to get a cultural soaking, you know and like you say, I’m a real hater of what the government promotes, I’m a real hater of mainstream television because all it does is tell lies. I just want him to see life, feel life, feel some reality and feel some humanity. These things are kind of standardly obvious but to me, it will make him a modem as a person.

In truth, this is the essence of the positive outlook that has shined through the entirety of Luke McMillan’s life and career and managed to take him so far. Not letting anyone nor anything stop him in his tracks and even the most sceptic people that he has met on his way haven’t been able to hold him down.
But as he points out too, this is only the beginning and one should never forget that. We’re here to push things forward and ultimately, isn’t that the sheer beauty of it all?

I can’t thank Luke enough for taking his time for this insightful and highly enjoyable interview, so there you go. A special thank you to everyone at Click Festival, including my extended musical family Georg, Cibo, Tobias, Nis, Toke, Christian, Gunnva, Marie and Søs plus all of the performing artists of Click 2014. Very special thanks to my late mother (Rest In Peace), without whom, I wouldn’t be doing things like these today.

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Last not least, three of my favorite mixes from The DJ Producer. Mixes that, for many reasons, hold a very special place in my heart:

The first mix is a dedication and a testament to the music of Brooklyn legend Frankie Bones and at the same time intertwining the tape splicing magic, mastered by the editing kings of 80’s New York Electro and what would later become known as Freestyle, The Latin Rascals.
This is the very starting point of Hip Hop and Electro meeting House and Techno, a mixture that would later found the basis for Hardcore, Break Beats, Jungle and Drum’n’Bass in the UK.

Next up is what I still regard as the ultimate Old School European Techno House tribute ever.
2 1/2 hours of Belgian/Dutch madness laced with nothing but exquisite classics and constructed in a manner that forces you to pay attention all the way through. High-caliber arrangement and editing of numerous tracks but still created with the deepest respect for the original work. Those of you familiar with the thing called ‘megamix’, will certainly enjoy certain segments of this mix as well as the razor-sharp structure of perfectly timed dramaturgy taking place. Everyone can bash big tunes for an hour but the artform lies within the ability to make people breathe and restitute every now and then.

THE DJ PRODUCER – THE EUROPEAN 1990 – 92 VERSION EXCURSION FOR PIRATE REVIVAL 10.05.2009 by Thedjproducer on Mixcloud

In order to fully understand what Luke McMillan means by “sci-fi” and “futuristic”, immerse yourself in this mix for Toxic Sickness Radio back from 2013. Many new discoveries have been made within the Industrial Hardcore realm over the past 2 years but the mix at display still is relevant due to the fact, that it points to the future for so many reasons. 20 tracks that covers the work of some of the best representatives of current Hardcore music and at the same time gives a very concise overview of The DJ Producer’s own music.
My own favorite entry of the mix is the Amy Winehouse referencing The Hardcore Fiend ‘Rehabilitated (Producer’s Rehab Is For Quitters Mix), which injects fierce tempo variations into a maddening opus. I’ve been all over this remix like a schoolgirl and as it finally seems to get an official vinyl release, 2015 is bound to be another great year for futuristic music.