Every minute that passes, more than 10 hours of music is uploaded to SoundCloud. Vast numbers of songs gather minimal plays, and with over 10 million users posting tracks to the site, countless artists fail to get due recognition.
If it hadn’t been for a throwaway comment, producer Eric Luttrell’s solo music could have become one of those statistics.
That wouldn’t be for a lack of talent. By the time he was ready to release songs from his new project under the moniker Luttrell, the artist had already made a name for himself in the electronic community as one half of the M Machine: a duo who first signed to Skrillex’s OWSLA label before finding a home on Mad Zoo. Writing melodically driven, amped-up electro house, the pair toured with the likes of Porter Robinson, the Glitch Mob, and Madeon. But despite selling out huge clubs, the producer still made music on the side.
“I always wrote in the Luttrell style as another creative outlet, but I was never doing anything with it,” he tells the Straight on the line from his San Francisco home. “I thought the music had some value, though. I went down to Mat Zo’s house [founder of Mad Zoo records], and we were all hanging out and listening to stuff that we were working on and passing around ideas. He said, ‘Oh man, you should totally send this to a label if you don’t know what you’re doing with it.’ At that time I was just getting my first little collection of music together, and I was thinking of releasing it for free on SoundCloud. He said, ‘Instead of that, I’ll introduce you to the Anjuna guys if you want.’ ”
Luttrell wasn’t optimistic that the meeting would prove fruitful. Creating melodic house that swung from the gritty and upbeat “Stormwatcher” to the powerfully emotive synth-string washes of “Need You”, the artist suspected his music might prove too high-energy for Above & Beyond’s world-famous deep house imprint, Anjunadeep. He needn’t have worried.
“I wasn’t expecting them to be super into it,” he recalls, “but I figured it couldn’t hurt to sit down together. My sound is definitely not the thing that I was hearing at that time from the label, so I didn’t think it was the path they were going down—but they actually really liked it. At that time I didn’t think of it as a full-blown new project; I just saw it as an easy way to write my songs and put them out. Obviously, going with Anjunadeep is a very cool thing to do. I feel pretty lucky that they’ve got behind the project so strongly.”
Backing the artist’s live performances as much as his recorded music, the label has added Luttrell to the roster for its high-profile Anjunadeep North American Tour, putting him in a lineup that includes house heavyweights like 16 Bit Lolitas, Jody Wisternoff, and Dom Donnelly.
“They’ve given me a lot of really great opportunities,” he says. “I got to play at the O2 Arena in London. I played this summer at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington. All these chances are coming, and I’m trying to take full advantage of them—anything I can get. It’s been a lot of late nights and a lot of airports, but the crowds so far have been amazing. They show up early and party the entire time, so it doesn’t matter what time you play. Everyone’s having a really nice time, so there’s super good vibes all round.”
Luttrell plays at Celebrities as part of the Anjunadeep North American Tour on Friday (December 1).
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