Get to know: Luxe
Get acquainted with Luxe, the London-based DJ/producer exploring the hybridity of club music to develop her own sound
Wielding slippery garage grooves, ruffneck breaks and the endless horizon of a good trance pad is tough to pull off in one set, let alone in a single tune — LUXE makes both look easy. First appearing in DJ Mag a year ago in the regular Emerging Artists feature, Lucy Hopson has spent the past 12 months turning dancefloors upside down with her wandering DJ sets and heady productions. “This has been a really formative year for me. It’s been such a pleasure and an honour to be invited to play so many wonderful events, parties and festivals since the reopening of clubs,” Hopson tells DJMag. “I’ve felt as though the graft has been real this year,” she laughs. “I’ve been working super hard to keep everything running smoothly, while also keeping my producing side fresh and bubbling alongside playing gigs and other ventures.”
Hopson’s hard graft is certainly paying off. Coming up in Manchester while studying for her music degree, she could often be found spinning as part of B.L.O.O.M collective, and since moving to south-east London, she’s earned a residency with revered promoters Percolate. She’s set to have her biggest summer yet in 2022, with a packed festival season that includes the award-winning Gottwood, rising star of the scene Waterworks and brand-new events like Shall Not Fade Festival and The Cause Seaside Beano.
A flautist who’s also “proficient in piano and voice”, Hopson says her classical training aids her electronic work “in a really subliminal, subtle way, in the sense that it's not really something I’m conscious of, but it just happens naturally, kind of like muscle memory”. She explains how her relative pitch (the ability to “pretty accurately” tell a note just from hearing it) plays a big part in her DJing, as does an “overarching sense of rhythm and almost how everything fits together in a natural way... I like things feeling tight, clean and like people not realising where one track ends and the next begins,” she says.
"I want to continue exploring the hybridity of club music and how my sound can develop within that, so I would say, don’t expect anything."
Naturally this flows into her production work too. Debuting on Banoffee Pies with light-footed jungle cut ‘Falcon’s Rise’ in late 2020, she’s since put out a woozy breakbeat collab with Guava on ControlFreak, squelchy dub techno via Bobby’s Needs label, and recently dropped her debut EP on HAAi and Alice Pelly’s Radical New Theory imprint. “Teneil and Alice’s support has been amazing, and continues to be!” Hopson says of the signing. “I think a lot of it for me has just been that I’m in really safe hands, and I had complete trust in them putting out his first record, which was really important to me. It’s made me believe in myself more, and I think that has definitely accelerated everything for me.”
Offering elasticated garage and chunky house rhythms and even a ghostly breaks cut, the ‘Belonging’ EP is Hopson’s most accomplished and cohesive work to date.The percussion is taut and purposeful, the structures inventive — often switching up at the drop of a hat — and running through it all are enchanting melodies that hark back to early trance and prog, twinkling retrovisions of the future that bleep and gurgle, begging for a smoky superclub full of lasers. While the tracks were produced to fit together on the EP, Hopson is wary of pigeon holing herself when we ask if we can expect more of this style.“I would say that I’m constantly exploring new and exciting avenues, and my sound is only ever growing day by day. I want to continue exploring the hybridity of club music and how my sound can develop within that, so I would say, don’t expect anything.”
What we can expect is a collaborative EP with Childsplay affiliate Tom Place (featuring a remix from Angel D’lite), plus more solo EPs, though she’s still deciding where to place them, “which is always a hard task”. Hopson’s also scored several short films that will be released soon, and reveals she's working on an album, though that won’t be out for a good while. “I’m looking to build a live set off the back of the album, which could land sooner than expected,” she adds, mentioning plans to incorporate her various instruments. “Stay tuned.”