LB aka LABAT from Lyon (France) is an emerging artist who has released exciting House and Electro EPs on labels such as D.KO Records, Wolf Music and Mall Grab’s imprint Steel City Dance Discs. Besides of his DJ sets, the Lyon-based artist plays live sets based on old school gear which he so far performed for Boiler Room, DJ Mag and in the legendary club fabric in London.
For this edition of MIXED BY, we had a little chat about how he became a live act, his influences and his newly founded label, Poumpet Records, which will release music by himself and artists such as partypoi69 very soon.
Currently, France is without doubt one of the most important places when it comes to electronic music, especially House. How is it like to live in Lyon, one of France’s creative hubs?
Well France is the country I play in the most, and yes, I tend to think the same when it comes to the French scene even though it can be easy not to see what you have in front of you. I’m very interested in what happens in the UK for example and have been loving the scene there for many years now.
To answer your question about Lyon, I don’t think it’s the biggest hub of creativity in the country. Paris with no surprise would be the one, and that is exactly one of the reasons I don’t want to live there for now. I remember 10 years ago, everybody was talking about Berlin, and I have many friends that went there to try and make it as a DJ or even artist to make it larger. I never thought it was the best idea to go to the ” place to be “. To me, it’s better to be in a relative quiet place scene-wise, and be called to go and play i capitals and other major cities.
Being both a DJ and producer myself, I see playing live sets as the “Champions League” of being a dance music artist. How did you manage to become a House live act?
Oh really? Well, live acts are without a doubt the most complete experience if you like a producer’s music. For me, DJ sets are more fun because I really only play music I love and music for the crowd in front of me and I have time to enjoy the moment with everyone and also have time to drink (laughs).
But live sets are a completely different vibe, personally I feel like I’m in a tunnel, I should be very very focused on what I’m doing on the machines and also catch the vibes of the crowd at the same time. My first live ever was for my Boiler Room debut in Lyon back in 2016 at Groovedge record store. It was not on my mind at that moment, it was pretty much an order for the event like ‘They want a live show for the Boiler Room, you better get going and do one if you want to play’.
When I look back on this, I’m really happy that I got introduced to making live shows this way, I had to dive into something I never thought of. Before, I was looking at myself as a DJ, nothing more.
How does your typical production session look like, and do you always have your upcoming live sets in mind when producing a new track?
Well, sometimes music comes naturally, I have an idea in mind, a track that inspires me and I turn on the studio and things can work out really fast. Also, it depends on what type of music I’m doing… I have special studio moments when I’m working on my tracks for the live. I try to see what is missing in the live and work on filling the spaces and think about the overall structure.
Otherwise, I usually don’t make music if it’s not for a particular purpose (albums, remixes or EPs). Before, I was making music all the time without proper goals.
Do you have any tips for producers who are thinking about preparing their first live set?
Yes! Go out in clubs and feel how artists you like do their shows, it taught me a lot about crowd control. Mr G’s live set in Boiler Room was a big impact. Not just because he was using the same MPC as me but I saw you could make a good track and a good live without lots of effects and lots of gear. Stay simple, every element should be diamond, just a loop with 3 or 4 elements can usually be enough. Less is more.
What do you like about playing live with old school gear? Do you think that limitations foster creativity?
Yes, I totally agree with the concept of limitations. It’s really part of my creative process for a long time now, also because my first gear was a MPC2000 XL and not a really technological, fancy piece of gear. I guess it would’ve been totally different if I would’ve had a first piece of gear that was more advanced. It forced me to focus on every little element I had, and make you get rid of all the possibilities that a DAW could give to you. It’s just my way of making music, there are no proper rules!
Which artists would you collaborate with if you could choose freely?
Kanye West, Tyler the Creator, Arthur Verocai, Playboi Carti.
What are your current favourite record labels, and on which ones would you love to release your music on in the future?
I love SCDD (Steel City Dance Discs) and I am so honored to have been able to partner with my London family :) I would also love to release music on XL Recordings and Ninja Tunes. Any contacts? (laughs)
You’ve founded a new label, Poumpet Records, recently. What can we expect from it in the next weeks and months?
Poumpet Records is my auto promotional label. At least for this year it will only release my music and remixes from friends and people I like very much.
Starting on 02/02/2022 (once in a lifetime date) I will release a single every month for a whole year, with remixes along the way.