DJ Luke Una: ‘With ADHD, lifestyle can be torturous. Music stops the noise’ | Songs

‘I went insane with it,” suggests Luke Una, of dropping himself in his document collection through the pandemic. “I obsessively went into the archive. To the place the place my missus and the little ones were screaming at me for the reason that I didn’t stop participating in new music for the full lockdown.”

Along with sellotaping bread to his facial area for rants about foraging, or mocking self-advancement gurus while providing his personal stream of constructive affirmations, the DJ was zealously sharing his new music on Instagram, and he turned a lockdown hit. “I’ve usually been a bit of a peacock,” he claims. “There is a little bit of narcissism with my Insta but traditional narcissism was liking your very own reflection, not being a sociopathic bastard. So I’m additional early-proto-narcissism.”

Prior to his social media fame, Una spent several years DJing and functioning club evenings these kinds of as Electric Chair and Homoelectric in Manchester, and in 2020 he was approached by Gilles Peterson to do a radio demonstrate on Throughout the world FM. These grew to become 6-hour odysseys with Una raiding his collection and telling tales. “I was obtaining transcendental by myself,” he remembers. “I acquired really evangelical due to the fact I just fell in love yet again.”

The radio display has now led to a compilation album, Luke Una Provides É Soul Cultura, a assortment he describes as “exotic tear-jerkers, Afro-spiritual jazz, cosmic Brazilian celestial grooves, equipment avenue soul and £1 deal-bin bombs … wonky, timeless, stunning music.” Across 15 tracks it capabilities the disco funk strut of King Errisson, the French avant-prog-jazz of ​​Chêne Noir and German deep residence from Soylent Inexperienced. E-soul is a style Una and close friends arrived up with for “records that sounded great on Es” while É Cultura is a homage to the “Disco É Cultura” label located on old Brazilian records.

Bought any cosmic Brazilian celestial grooves? Luke Una on the decks. Photograph: Heather Shuker

This “very personal” compilation signifies “37 years of being up late”, embodying superior moments and negative. “They’re all lovely data but it is been a unstable journey. There were being periods like driving on the again of Hells Angels’ bikes on acid and staying taken to unlawful bars and listening to amazing flamenco in Barcelona. But it wasn’t all Spanish guitars, sunsets and pleasure. There were being some shit periods. Putting this alongside one another, there were being tracks that ended up agonizing to hear to.”

Sheffield’s DJ Parrot – who is on the comp as Crooked Man – describes Una as “a mongrel of the Sheffield and Manchester scenes”, with Una’s sensibilities similarly rooted in acquiring his thoughts blown by listening to Cabaret Voltaire on velocity and taking pleasure in early property music on ecstasy.

Following-several hours get-togethers in kitchens and basements, with people Una calls “the late evening disenfranchised”, in these cities was as thoughts-bending to him as the nightclubs, especially when he was residing in the brutalist Manchester housing estate Hulme Crescents. “It was like a unsuccessful utopia,” he recalls. “It was so rundown the council just explained you could reside there and gave you keys. I hardly ever paid out hire. It was this fucking hotbed of anything counterculture: bands, DJs, Nico from the Velvet Underground, drug sellers, drug addicts, rough fuckers. There were late night shebeen events, blues events, there had been anarchists, crusties, and it was absolutely psychological – a big affect on Manchester and British music at the time.”

The artwork for the album depicts essential locations in Una’s existence, like a 24-hour garage in Sheffield where revellers would get provides, and the city’s Castle Court docket flats – someplace Una would “fall down the backs of cracks of sofas and persons performed new music that built you go: what the fuck is this document?” But once more, joy blended with darkness. “I observed a suicide even though on acid at Castle Court docket,” he recollects. “A youthful lad experienced jumped and we identified him when we’d gone to that garage. It was a haunting, horrendous instant in my life. Then dropping my very best mate by way of suicide was soul destroying, and shedding my dad in bad conditions. There had been moments when it was not all fucking excellent. My individual addictions and consuming took me to some dark areas. I was a little bit emotional when the documents arrived due to the fact I set very little notes in the artwork for my father and very best mate.”

The cover of Luke Una Presents É Soul Cultura
The go over of Luke Una Offers É Soul Cultura. Photograph: É Soul

Una’s absolute immersion in music has ultimately specified him excellent solace, while. “I’m ADHD, and with an overactive mind lifetime can be rather torturous,” he suggests. “Your head can be likely 100 miles an hour. It is relentless. Music just stops the fucking sounds.”

And the compilation is the result of a period of intensive rejuvenation. “I really don’t feel I’ve ever savored songs as a lot as I have these last a few many years,” he claims. “At 55 I can securely say, if it hadn’t been for music I do not know exactly where I’d be. I really do not consider I would be in a really excellent location. A person said not too long ago: ‘Have you not fucking grown up but?’ And I believed, effectively, it’s a little bit late now. I have almost certainly only obtained 20 yrs remaining, and I’m continue to loving it.”

Luke Una Offers É Soul Cultura is out now, on Mr Bongo.