ArtRebels have been fans of LuckyMe for years now. So it’s high time we talk to them. Co-founder of the record label, Dominic Flannigan, tells us about how LuckyMe was born, his love for Glasgow, upcoming music releases and teleportation.
It all started when…
I moved from Edinburgh to Glasgow School of Art. I came from a city where hip hop and deep house were really prominent to a city where they really weren’t. Optimo was popular so I went to a lot of techno nights and heard great live music. Then I met Mike Slott, Hudson Mohawke and my best friend Martyn Flynn.
Martyn and I wanted to start a label for all our music. He moved back to Scotland from Ireland with a view to catalogue the music we were all making – a weird hybrid of different influences.
You’ve been working with the amazing Warp Records recently – how did that come about?
We’ve known and worked with Warp since Hudson Mohawke & Rustie first signed with them in late 2008. Once TNGHT [Lunice and Hudson Mohawke collaboration] was fully formed as a record, it went straight to the head A&R and he really liked it. We went 50/50 on it. It was one of the most natural and painless collaborations we’ve ever worked on.
You’re now a record label as well as a collective of artists. How did this happen?
Well at first we were a group – like an actual group of artists making music together. Then individual projects got signed to labels and it left us looking for a space where we could grow our own projects. The label, as I said above, was originally Martyn Flyn’s idea. We wanted to cast something completely equal between the artist and label. A label for only the very cream of new music that would really cultivate the artist, getting them signed to bigger and better things.
Glasgow is your home. What’s so good about the city?
I’m living in London at present. So is Hudson Mohawke & Rustie. Martyn is based in Edinburgh, and Mike Slott is our guy in New York. This helps us cover all our bases really – it’s working out very well.
I miss Glasgow every day. We keep a tiny club night there – just 150 capacity – that gives us reason to get back there. I just think there’s something really special there. It’s remote enough to not show up on the radar of the industry. A new band can get really good before they get signed and a scene can get really developed without becoming too bloated. But at the same time, Glasgow is the most switched on, savvy and cool audience we play to. We still owe so much to Glasgow. We’re really a product of that place.
Top 3 LuckyMe nights out of all time?
Woah. Hard question. I’d pick any of our Barcelona Sonar Parties or any of our Edinburgh Festival Parties. Then I think maybe the TNGHT debut at SXSW 2012. It was a total surprise and really felt like the start of a new chapter for the label.
Do you still put on nights at LuckyMe’s original venue – a vegan rock cafe?
I’m still a huge fan of the guys at Stereo & Mono [both clubs in Glasgow] and we’d still use any of their venues in Glasgow – but right now we’re based in the basement of Nice & Sleazy’s which is a total institution for the Glasgow rock scene.
Where are your upcoming shows taking place? Any you’re particularly excited about?
Next up is our festival party in Edinburgh. Originally from the city, it’s a big deal for Martyn, Eclair Fifi & me. All our friends for years come to it. We always stack the bill on it – get a stupidly good lineup, loose loads of money by keeping the ticket price too low and break the attendance records of the clubs we use. This year we chose Liquid Room as a venue which fits 1400 so it’s about as big as we can do in Edinburgh. We had TNGHT and Machinedrum playing.
What’s your typical day like?
I wanna say up at 5. Yoga. But I don’t go to bed til late. So the reality is up late, strong coffee, emails throughout the day, scattered with keeping the sites up to date, dipping into management and A&R duties, overseeing the production of new releases. In the afternoon I do the creative work for the label, whether that be going on shoots for covers, editing films or designing our clothing. I really am so fortunate. I love what I do right now. I don’t sleep, but it’s a good place to be.
Your office is burning down – what do you save first?
The hard drives. Let the rest burn.
What is LuckyMe’s earliest memory?
Being on stage at Stereo [club in Glasgow] I think. With 75 guys in front of us waiting for the open mic and Hudson Mohawke playing a Grap Luva record. That doesn’t happen much anymore. Probably a good thing.
In your wildest dreams, where is luckyMe going to be in 5 years?
I try not to do wild dreams. Or rather doing all this has been a bit of a dream anyway. I’d like to improve every aspect of it – make albums and compete with the best. I don’t see any reason why we won’t be doing that though.
You’re holding a dinner party and can invite 5 people – who’s coming (dead or alive)?
Another hard question. No idea. I mean I might be over thinking it but man, if I could resurrect 5 people it would be to ask them the big unknown questions – not eat together. It would be like the first Bill & Ted movie where they take Napoleon & Genghis Khan bowling. It’s too much responsibility.
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