Luke Brancaccio & Gai Barone are two artists who individually have cemented their status as key players in the MH&T scene. With numerous collaborations over the years on the likes of Renaissance, Selador, Bedrock and more, Luke & Gai’s chemistry has continually developed and their artistic bond feels stronger than ever. This month, their latest collaboration, ‘All I Need’ saw release on the burgeoning Music To Die For imprint and immediately found itself at the Number 1 spot of Beatport’s Electronica releases. Following its release, we invited Luke & Gai for a chat to find out more about ‘All I Need’ and what else is in store from them, enjoy!
Hello guys, a pleasure to have you with us today. How are you both and whereabouts are you chatting to us from right now?
Luke: I’m slouched in front of a fan at my house in Hackney after a weekend of gigs (not one from the gigs though ; ) Finished playing at 8am Sunday closing the night with a three hour set at Guy J’s ‘Lost & Found’ night at the Egg Club (London).
Gai: Hey Guys, very happy to meet you, I’m great and having a few days off after a very long session in the studio… but back on the road in a few days for more shows! A lot of great things happening at the moment and we’re ready to fully enjoy them all.
We’re pleased to be speaking with you in time for your next release, ‘All I Need’ featuring Kiki Cave and arriving on Music To Die For Recordings released July 15th. The release sees you reinterpret the 1998 classic by Air. What was it that drew you to recreating ‘All I Need’?
Luke: We actually originally started working on the project for the singer and co-writer of the original, Beth Hirsch, but things got a little complicated with the release so we turned it into a cover with Kiki Cave on vocals as it fit our new sound and direction so well and have an album forthcoming on Bedrock with Kiki, so that’s worked really well. It’s taken a long time and we were fielding questions about its release – now it’s out, it’s immense to see the positive reaction from tastemakers and fans across the board. We think she has smashed it out the park; couldn’t be happier!
Gai: Same here, and I have to say we are extremely excited to have such an incredible singer like Kiki too. It’s really starting to climb the Beatport charts – as we speak it’s No.1 on the Electronica releases chart which we are so happy about.
We hear that Beth Hirsch and Air were originally onboard with the project; how did the conversation begin with Beth and what was the process like?
Luke: We actually got connected to the remix through Johnny Hudson’s company Remixology that pairs artists and producers with remix projects. It’s an amazing company that really favours the artist and helps find great projects to work on and get paid properly.
Kiki Cave puts in a stunning vocal performance across the release. How did the collaboration with Kiki come about and what was it like working together?
Luke: I’m actually getting married to Kiki Cave which is handy for needing vocals on the spot. She is an immense talent and we are very lucky to have her in our fold. Integral part of our collabs and new album project which will be properly announced very soon.
Gai: …and let me add that Kiki is an incredible inspiration for me too; we usually add some Kiki stutter vox here and there to make our instrumental tracks even more exciting, and this works every single time for us.
Could you run us through the creative process on the release and how you both generally work together on music?
Gai: Well, the process was really different for both versions: on the ‘Ode to Air’ mix, we wanted to recreate that special end of 90s feeling, taking some inspiration from Moby, Portishead and Massive Attack sounds, and on the Deep mix we simply let it flow, I used a real DX as a main synth and built the drums around it… it took a while for mixing and mastering, but it was SO WORTH IT to get an authentic sound! I’ve been asked a lot about this, so I will be doing a walkthrough of the project and how it was produced and recorded soon so keep an eye out for that.
Music To Die For has played home to music from yourselves and Kiki Cave before too, could you tell us a bit more about the label itself?
Luke: The label is run by Johnny Hudson who used to be a Head of Marketing at Universal Music; he is one of the best people to work with and really puts a 100% into every release. His knowledge of A&R and music history is insane too and he will push an artist until a tune is perfect, you may not like it at the time but he gets the best out of everyone, he’s awesome. Also I love the way custom art pieces are made for each release representing the feel and identity; this can get a little lost in dance music on labels in the digital age. We feel the label is going to be huge and we’re definitely working more together as they grow.
We hear that you two also have an album in the works? We’re excited to hear more about it, what can you tell us about that so far?
Luke: We can’t say much other than it will be coming out on Bedrock, there will be 2 or 3 singles released first with some amazing remixes from some of the biggest artists in electronic dance music currently. Ridiculously excited about this project which took us around 18 months to record and finish.
Gai: So excited about this; our new baby, it will be a brand new chapter for us as artists and as a proper team.
Although you have been collaborating for a number of years now – is it true that you haven’t actually met in person yet? Perhaps with an album on the way, an in person meetup is due!
Luke: This is true, but we are going to be DJ’ing & performing together very soon. I think ADE will be the first gig. It feels like we’ve met, we speak so much too – a lot has changed with the way people communicate and work through lockdown and we were already working that way.
Gai: True, but I chat and talk to Luke more than I usually do with my wife; it feels like we’re working in the same space together.
Thanks a lot for chatting with us today guys! Congrats on the forthcoming ‘All I Need’ and wishing you all the best going forwards. To round things off, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Luke: We have a ton of things on the horizon, more music on Music To Die For, Bedrock & Sudbeat. Thank you you guys for your support x
Gai: Thanks a lot guys for having us, we have a lot of new music to share with you!! Keep on rocking, ciao.