On Saturday 17th January we are taking over the spectacular Cross Club in Prague. We have Kuba Sojka and SLG headlining the main floor with their eclectic live shows. It’s definitely worth mentioning that Cross Club has one of the best soundsystems in Prague and it was recently included in top 25 best clubs around the world by The Guardian. To get you pumped up we bring you an interview with Lukasz Seliga aka SLG.
Hi Lukasz, how are you? For the beginning lets start with the birth of SLG. Can you introduce yourself and the project in a few words and how it all began?
Thanks, I’m doing good! My name is Łukasz Seliga, currently i live in Warsaw, but I’m from Łódź, Poland and I’m already making music for many years. I started out with playing guitar, but then I got more interested in electronic music (but I still play bass guitar in one of the tracks on my forthcoming record). SLG project started out already around 2003-2004, and I released my first record in 2005, so already 10 years ago.
What does SLG actually stand for?
Unfortunately this mysterious shortcut is pretty simple – It’s just my last name without vowels.
How does your ordinary day look like? Do you live from music or do you do something else too?
I’m fortunate to live off from making music and not to have a “normal” day job, but besides SLG I’m also doing some commercial jobs like music for TV and advertising. My ordinary day begins quite early – I wake up around 6:30-6:40, I eat a breakfast and have a coffee with my girlfriend (morning coffee is my most important ritual of the day) and then I go the studio, so nowadays I rather work in the daytime, like a regular day job so I’m in the studio from the morning until 16-18, depends how busy I am in the studio, so I try to have an organized schedule but sometimes it used to be a little different in the past :) I share a studio with few other producers including The Phantom (1/2 of Ptaki project) but I’m the only one who’s coming there in the morning so we don’t have any time-related conflicts. My studio is in Powiśle, a nice district of Warsaw, near the river. When it’s warm I get there on my bike, and when it’s cold it’s just a two train stations from my place, so I’m really happy with the location of the studio. When I’m back from the studio I’ll usually cook a dinner, and I also try to stay in shape so I run or go to the gym twice a week. And In the weekdays I also go to bed quite early. Pretty boring, don’t you think?
What is your studio like? Do you use more analog or software? What is your favourite piece of gear?
I use a healthy balance of software and hardware – I mostly use hardware synths and I use some outboard effect units too, but on the other hand I sequence and finish all my tracks in Ableton and I also use it as a sampler a lot. My favourite pieces of gear are my vintage analogue gems – Korg Polysix and Roland SH-09 synthesisers, and my Roland Space Echo tape delay/spring reverb, but when it comes to some underrated instruments – I love my hybrid digital/analog Korg DW6000 synth.
What are your working on currently and what can we expect from you in the future?
I have a new EP “Varsovia Marimba” coming soon on Step Recordings, a sublabel of Pets. It should come out in late january or early Febraury, and it’s going to be a vinyl only release.
There are also some remixes in the pipeline, including a collaboration with a polish jazzed legend Michał Urbaniak on a special 12” box set released for the 10th anniversary of record store Side One, prepared by the Warsaw-based label S1 Warsaw
Working with Pets Recording guys kinda kicked your career, is that right? Theres lots of talent right now in Poland, who are your favourites in terms of labels and producers?
Actually my career started long before Pets, and to be true, my early records on Trapez kicked of my career in the past, but I’ve totally changed my sound from that time, and I don’t really like those old records anymore. I think I make much better and more honest music right now.
When it comes to the polish scene, there’s quite a lot of interesting stuff going on. Label-wise you should check S1 Warsaw, Transatlantyk (which operates in Berlin, but is ran by the polish guy, Zambon), U Know Me Records (recently I’m listening to their forthcoming Daniel Drumz LP quite a lot) or soon a new label by Maciek Sienkiewicz – Father And Sons records. When it comes to some interesting producers – Eltron John, Chino, Naphta, Ptaki, The Phantom, Matat Professionals, Selvy, Das Komplex, Daniel Drumz, Kixnare and of course Kuba Sojka :)
Do you like Poland as a place to live and be a musician or have you thought about moving somewhere else?
I like to travel around but I enjoy living in Poland too, despite some downsides, so I’ve never planned to move somewhere else.
Now lets talk about your live show. Are you doing it from the very beginning or you were djing too? Why you prefer live set-up more?
Well, I never said that I prefer my live set-up more. Playing live and DJ’ing are two different things and I love doing both. Live show is important, because I present my own music and it’s more creative but but playing records is a whole lot of fun, and sometimes I prefer to play records over the live set, I guess it depends from the venue too. And yes, I do it from the very beginning – actually I was playing live first, and started Djing later.
Can you describe more the whole set-up and how you use it? Do you plan some changes in it?
My live setup is a hybrid software/hardware setup just like my studio, so i use a laptop loaded with Ableton Live and some midi controllers, but I always have an analog synth too, a drum machine and sometimes some guitar effect pedals too. I play some parts of my tracks and loops from Ableton but I always have an analog synth, and improvise some patterns on a drum machine on the fly. Sometimes I also bring some guitar effect pedals.
Improvisation is an important factor of my live setup so I change it from time to time, because I’m looking for a setup that allows me to be creative and spontaneous and I like to keep it fresh. Currently I use Arturia Microbrute which I really like because of its step sequencer that I use to create some patterns on the fly, so each live set is unique. Over the last few years I used a Korg Electribe SX drum machine/sampler and I was making some live beats with it, but unfortunately I sold it to buy a new Electribe Sampler – a smaller and lighter one – but it’s not out yet so temporarily I use a software solution instead – I use a second Novation Launchpad as a step sequencer for my extra drums. but I’m gonna replace it with hardware drum machine soon.
Do you follow current releases and lets say trends in electronic/club music? Can you pick up some of your favs or other gems worth mentioning?
Sure, I buy vinyl and I follow current releases, but I don’t really care about current trends, I rather try to pick up stuff that is universal and quite timeless than seasonal and related to the current trends.
Who do you personally respect on the music scene and on the other hand who do you despite?
I listen to too much music to pick up just few favourites but i respect people that make honest, beautiful music that’s timeless and I don’t really care about top-100 dj polls and all generic dance music, it’s really boring.
You are coming to Czech Republic for the first time, right? Do you know something about local scene or producers?
Actually it’s not the first time – I’ve played in Brno once, but it was 11 years ago, so quite a long time ago, before I even released my first record.
And I haven’t been there since, so I’m really looking forward to play in your beautiful city!
Last question – What was the best place you ever played and why?
I played a lot of memorable gigs, it’s really hard to pick up just one best place, because travelling and visiting different places is one of the things that I love about this job. Maybe if I really have to pick one it would be Tokyo, because It was always my dream to visit this city and it just happened – I got booked there.