The Berlin-based artist Luca Eck weaves together the raw intensity of industrial techno with the audacious allure of experimental pop music. With a knack for blending genres and pushing boundaries, Luca's musical journey has taken them from being a nerdy outsider as a teenager to becoming a visionary in the underground scene. Luca shares their personal evolution, the fusion of their favorite genres, the intersection of politics and music, the challenges facing the techno scene, and the importance of safe spaces.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
Kind, Clumsy and Curious Who were you as a teenager?
For the majority of my teenage years, I was more of a nerdy outsider. I felt very alienated from the people around me, particularly regarding my sexuality and gender identity. I never quite fit in with the boys at my school and was completely unaware of alternate or nonbinary gender identities. Between 14 and 16, I tried to fit in with the popular guys, changing my style, language, and behavior to mirror theirs. Surprisingly, these attempts succeeded, and I became part of their friend groups. Even though I finally had some social capital, I really lost touch with who I am and was still very insecure about myself. The silver lining was that this period boosted my confidence, allowing me to gradually shed the layers I put on and really embrace who I am.
Funnily enough, techno was considered to be super weird at my school. It was impossible to find anyone to go clubbing with and literally no one wanted to be a DJ. I think if I was a teenager today I would have an easier time finding someone who shares my interests.
You got into techno through Pan-Pot as a 14 year old - back then, what did you feel it was giving you?
From the beginning on, my passion for electronic music was driven by an interest in the processes behind the music. Before discovering techno, I listened to everything from Eurodance and Deep House to Hardstyle. Techno really stuck with me because its soundscapes were the most puzzling and complex to me. It was the rawness and imperfection of techno that resonated with me more than any other genre I had previously listened to.
What does the blend of industrial techno and experimental pop music bring you? / How did you discover it’s genres that vibe with you, and that you wanna develop and bring out to others?
I have always been drawn to experimental pop music since the productions can be very out-there and intense. Similarly, with techno, I am more interested in harsh and noisy sounds that, for many, might be painful to listen to. Until I decided to combine them, both genres were completely separate interests of mine. Once I did that, it was a very intuitive process of identifying the specific aspects of each genre that I feel the biggest connection to and to try and bring them together into something new.
Do you believe politics and music align? / If so, what does it mean to you? / How so?
I think everything we do is political at its core, and so is music. Not all music may be explicitly political, but to me, it's impossible to separate the two. Music can provide a medium for a community to express themselves, which can in turn reflect and inspire political sentiments. That's how most movements within electronic dance music were born. Today, nightlife and the music industry are so detached from the history of these movements and instead centered solely around entertainment. Especially now, it's important to remind ourselves that politics and music are deeply entangled, and we should try to understand clubs as political spaces and foster critical awareness within nightlife.
If you could change one thing within the quickly growing techno scene - what would that be?
I am always really conflicted about techno entering the mainstream. On one hand, it of course benefits many artists, but on the other hand, we are losing a lot of the community aspects of the scene. In Berlin, techno parties are now a viable business model, and more and more events compete for a limited audience with increasingly larger line-ups and extravagant productions. The stiff competition and rising prices have made the financial risk associated with parties so big that many DIY concepts and small events have been driven out of the scene. It's paradoxical that techno attracts more people than ever, yet many spaces struggle. Unfortunately, this development also makes it harder for safer, politicized spaces to exist since so much energy needs to be spent on sustenance alone. Promoting the existence of politically aware spaces goes hand in hand with the affordability of realizing small-scale DIY events.
What’s your view on safe spaces? Do we have them? Do we need them? What’s the future for them?
I think a lot of safe(r) spaces in a nightlife context are threatened by the growing popularity and commercialization of techno. We definitely need them, but they are no longer easy to maintain. Nevertheless, there are some things any party can do to make clubbing a more inclusive experience. For example, enforcing a zero-tolerance policy against harassment and abuse through awareness teams.
Selection at the door can also be beneficial, especially for Queer or FLINTA-spaces, but many events are no longer in a financial position to do meaningful selection at the door. Ultimately, I think we should appeal to people to ask themselves - am I intruding on someone else's safe(r) space here? Be aware of the space you are taking up. Be kind, open, and respectful to the people around you.
How come you decide to live in Berlin today?/ What’s the best thing with this city?
Being born and raised in Berlin, it is first and foremost my home. As in any big city, growing up in Berlin meant having endless possibilities at your fingertips. My girlfriend and I relocated to Glasgow in 2020 and have been dividing our time between the two cities since. I really value the contrasting characteristics of these cities. Glasgow's slogan 'People make Glasgow' truly holds up; I have encountered the most caring, genuine, and open-minded individuals there. It's a welcoming place, especially for newcomers like me, something that Berlin lacks. Glasgow's vibrant club scene, diverse DIY parties, and safe spaces also add to its unique charm. On the other hand, Berlin offers a higher standard of living, superior healthcare, housing, employment opportunities, and culinary experiences.
What’s your perfect Berlin Summer day like? (Take us with you! From morning to night/ or next morning)
Berlin summers are the best! Ideally, I wake up around 09:00, grab a snack, pack my picnic essentials, and head out with friends. After enjoying a delicious brunch, we head out to Flughafensee or Krumme Lanke to channel our inner Germans and reserve the best spot with a towel. A perfect summer day would also include an open-air early-evening gig, preferably a b2b with my musical other half, Nur Jaber. Afterwards, a big dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, and if I want to go all out, I would enjoy a bottle of beer sitting by the Spree in Moabit and a late-night walk. To be honest, my ideal Berlin summer day would probably end with me being home before 23:00, cozying up in bed with my partner and watching shows. I love
Director/Photographer: Paris Seawell
Producer/Stylist: Detroit Law
Hair Artist: Ponyboy Glasgow
Make-Up Artist: MV Brown
Production Assistant: Hayley DrummondClothes: Joshua Rogers, Iga Kampa