At DJ Mag HQ we've clocked some cool broken soul stuff from EVM128 in the past, and as his new single on Studio Rockers 'Beyond' features Omar we thought it was time to find out more about the dude
Turns out that Luke Meads is originally from Bristol. “It's really laid-back, creative and cool without the bravado — and I like that,” he says about the trip-hop/drum & bass-innovating south-west city.
“It's about skating, art and good music. Bristol is much cheaper than London, less stressful and therefore more chilled. I guess what I like most about Bristol is that Bristolians don't try too hard, they're real, and that reflects in the music.”
He then tells DJ Mag about partying in Sheffield, Leeds, Brighton, Manchester and Liverpool before ending up in London — where he has made his home. “I like the madness and the hustle,” he says. “It keeps me on my toes. I live in Hackney, the best part of town!”
“Why does my music come out the way it does? I'm into experimenting, not doing what's hype but trying to embrace music from different genres,” he continues. “I started with hip-hop that was influenced by soul and boogie synths but I was always torn between that and uptempo bass/garage/broken stuff. So I tried to put it all in one pot, so to speak.”
Luke was a big fan of broken beat, and was always down at Plastic People in East London for Co-Op. “The beats were just so refreshing after the whole garage thing,” he says. “I got really into the soulful jazzy aspect of it, and the way the beats and bass were so tuff with soulful vocals.
He name-checks Seiji, Dego, Bugz in the Attic and I-G Culture, but doesn't want to be pigeonholed into any one scene. “For me, music is always evolving and as long as we keep being creative it will always thrive,” he says. “I can see why people would mention garage and broken beat as that's my rhythmic style and the neo-soul thing, cos I've worked with Amp Fiddler and Omar.”
He explains how the words to 'Beyond' were written by his pal Kermit from Black Grape (he's just done a 19-track mixtape with him), and that Omar laid them down in less than an hour. “He's a serious dude! He ain't fuckin' about!” he smirks.
He's DJing out and about with plans to go live, but DJ Mag has to ask EVM128 about his name — where did it come from? “I used to use the name Evermean, the name of the wicked witch of the east in the Diana Ross and Michael Jackson version of the Wizard of Oz — The Wiz,” he says. “When I heard the name I loved it instantly, googled it and nothing came up — so I just had to adopt it!”
Getting fed up with spelling it out or explaining it, he shortened it to EVM128 — “EVM being the abbreviation, 128 is my birthday”.