Luca De-Santo may sound familiar to some, this rising star emerged back in 2015 when he rapidly gained wide recognition for his signature melodic techno sound. From holding multiple residencies and hosting his own events company in his hometown of Glasgow before venturing out to play the likes of BPM Festival, Warehouse Project and Amsterdam Dance Event. He landed two Beatport top 20 records after signing to Carl Cox’s Intec Digital. Then the pandemic hit in 2020 bringing his career to a halt, but Luca is more than excited to be releasing music again in 2022.
We were lucky enough to sit down with the inimitable talent that is Luca De-Santo to find out more about his personal journey over the past few years, and talk about his new direction and EP on Aether Recordings.
Luca thank you for joining us and congratulations on your EP with Aether Recordings – how did the release come about?
Hey, thanks very much for having me. So I was hunting for a home for my new tracks and I was struggling to be honest. My brother and fellow producer Nico Balducci (watch out for him btw) sent me a list of suggestions and Aether were on it so I passed 6 tracks over and they loved them all. They down-selected the 2 tracks on the EP and there we have it. Following this a release date was quickly confirmed, contracts signed and artwork creation began.
How did you go about making the tracks for this EP?
So given that this melodic more progressive house style is a new direction for me it took me some time to learn how to produce the style. I spent a lot of time in the lockdown watching Youtube videos and taking influence from big artists’ tracks and laying down ideas. The many differences involved in producing this style really shocked me, even down to the processing. Once I felt comfortable with sample selection, BPM range, bassline and lead styles I cracked on with the EP and the results speak for themselves.
What are your go-to plug-ins or other pieces of kit when laying down a track?
My favourite plug-ins right now are UHE Diva, UHE Hive, Serum and the old faithful Sylenth. You can honestly just get lost in these plug-ins the possibilities are endless. I support a lot of Youtuber’s preset packs for all of the aforementioned plug-ins and the sound sets are just second to none. For the external kit, I only own a TR09 drum machine and I record my 909 drums into Ableton through an aggregate device and process them once they are in.
Where do you draw inspiration from when making music?
The main inspiration is my love for main stage euphoria to be honest. Even though I spent the first portion of my career producing techno, my love for old trance and melodic music is deeply seeded in me. I own an extensive vinyl collection packed with all of my favourite trance classics from 1990 – 2005 kind of time and when making tracks I always try and picture what it would feel like hearing it on a stage at a massive festival like awakenings or the Afterlife nights at Hi in Ibiza. I like to take breaks in production to listen to similar music on Spotify and just sense-check my track to ensure it is up to the same standard.
If you could pick just three tracks which have influenced your life, what three would you pick and why?
Chicane – Saltwater is an absolute gem in my eyes. All of the elements in the track make my body tingle and when I hear it I just want to keep pushing myself forward. When I reach a milestone or a very proud moment I always listen to it and just reflect.
Alan Fitzpatrick – For an Endless Night (Jel Ford Remix) I am sure everyone has heard but if not, get on it! This influenced my music career as very early on in my music discovery journey I attended Tobacco Dock in London and Alan dropped this at the main stage with the lasers going off I remember it being a pivotal ‘WOW’ moment and I knew I wanted to make music of this type. I am changing it up slightly now, but still holding those early melodic influences.
Cristoph – Voice of Silence is the last one. The reason I choose this track is it has influenced my more recent choices instead of the past. When I first heard Cristoph I couldn’t comprehend how good the music he makes is. Voice of Silence was one of those tracks that really made me question the music I was making and I immediately wanted to go down that same road. In 2018 when it came out though I was making progress in the techno world so I didn’t want to jeopardise that. Looking back now though, this among others of his is the track that has influenced my decision to take my music in a new direction.
What has been your biggest achievement to date in your music career?
Signing to Intec and getting to shake hands with Carl Cox backstage at Awakenings hands down 110% no question about it.
Quick-fire fun round…
Gym or motorbike?
Ooooooh hard one, for the thrill motorbike.
House or Techno?
Hate this one as I love both, but if the world was ending and I had to choose a side it would be house purely for the feel-good grooves and feeling of togetherness as it is like no other.
Camelphat or Cristoph?
You are testing me here. Can’t choose as I idolise both.
Sweaty basement or festival mainstage?
Festival mainstage in a warm setting for sure.
What is in store for Luca De-Sant for the rest of 2022 and 2023?
I am working to schedule more releases but I will be giving away a few free downloads over the next 6 months so watch out for that. I am playing regularly back around my hometown again which is amazing and a couple of gigs have dropped in for down South too which I am buzzing about. I am on a journey here and I recognise I am coming back with a fresh new look, so I am happy to put the work in and level up over time.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today, hope to see you on a dancefloor soon!
Thanks a lot for having me, some challenging questions but it brought back some old memories so thank you for that! Cya!
Luca De-Santo Straight Into Orbit EP is out now on Aether Recordings…