Duke Slammer is the funk-peddling alter-ego of Norwich producer Luke Sanger. A some time veteran of the electronic scene operating under the alias Luke’s Anger, his warped techno took a back seat in 2011, making way for a project dedicated to sleazed out boogie, 80s electrofunk and squelchy skwee. Having released a string of EPs and limited 7″s on his own Bonus Round Records, the next instalment in Slammer’s adventures is the ‘Droid Boogie’ LP. Released Monday June 17th, the 8-tracker is bolstered by remix action from Eero Johannes, Datasette, Echo Park, Arkist, Virtual Flannel, Mesak and Fitzroy North.
Mr Slammer was kind enough to give us the first listen of ‘Droid Boogie’, as well as some insight on the release. Read on and stream the tracks below.
Who is Duke Slammer?
He is a Hawaiian shirt-wearing, synth-abusing, 8-bit funk playa.
Whilst there are clear influences derived from your output as Luke’s Anger, the Duke Slammer project is quite a distinct step away from that sound – what stimulated it?
In Duke Slammer I’ve basically relaxed and purposely made something a bit self-indulgent – it’s a big step away from my older stuff and I’m happy about that. Without wanting to sound jaded, I’m at a point where things like raving and nightclubs etc. are of much less interest to me than they used to be, so in turn, the music I’m creating has mirrored this shift.
Musically, there’s an abundance of influences behind the new LP. Tell us about the artists and sounds that inspired it.
Yeah there’s loads. Mainly things like early 80s funk/boogie/electro, digi-dub, C64 game music, early electronic music and musique concrete.
Then there’s newer stuff like J Dilla, Dabrye etc.. Also loving all the awesome computer funk coming out of Scandinavia at the moment AKA ‘Skweee’. I’ve been doing an infrequent podcast series covering a few of these influences on my SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/duke-slammer/sets/slamcast
The artwork and physical side of the Duke Slammer releases is clearly integral, with some very nice limited 7″ pressings and a strong visual identity. What inspires this?
I guess the original concept was as much about the product as the music itself. The sounds lend themselves well to the imagery as there is an element of nostalgia in there. That and I always wanted to release some music on a 7″ just because they’re so damn sexy!
The album comes with an extensive remix package – how did you go about picking the artists?
Most of them are producers I’ve been hammering in my recent Duke Slammer DJ sets. I’m really surprised everyone I asked actually agreed to do it and extremely chuffed with the results! Basically, I just picked who I feel are the funkiest producers out there at the moment.
How long did the album take to make? Tell us a bit about the processes and machines behind it.
It took a couple of months to make. The whole thing was made on the Teenage Engineering OP1 and an iPad! The iPad acts as a sound module when linked up to the OP1 – the app I used a fair bit was the iPolysix from Korg.
There’s a very freeform feel to the tracks, something that lends itself well to live performance. Was the live element something you aimed towards from the start of the project?
I think the ‘liveness’ of the Duke Slammer tracks is mainly because I dont use quantise very much, if at all. I didn’t think too much about performing live at the start, although I’ve done a few live shows now and they tend to be much more raw than the stuff I’ve released!
How are the live shows going? Will we be able to catch Duke Slammer getting down over the summer?
Yeah going good thanks, still experimenting with different setups, but keeping it hardware-only for the moment. Been doing some DJing too – my next DJ set is at Fire in Vauxhall on the 15th June, then playing live in Hamburg at the Golden Pudel on the 19th June, which will be a kind of album launch party too!
Take us through each of the album tracks….
Cyan Dawn – Smooth riffs and super loose cartoon beats.
Droid Boogie – Computer funk with some robot dub in there.
Pleasure Bot – Total retro future nostalgia.
Voyager Interlude – Laid back synth solo with some wobbly tape.
Hello World – This one is the ‘banger’.
Hustle – Stripped back synth funk.
Belt Drive Fantasies – Dedicated to the belt drive DJs dreaming of owning a pair of 1210s.
Memorex – The wonky finale as the tape is finally chewed up.
Duke Slammer – ‘Droid Boogie’ is released Monday June 17th on Bonus Round Records.