Globetrotting DJ & producer Jay Lumen has been stirring up attention for the last 10 years as a hugely sought after techno character. Whether it’s managing his own label (Footwork) or making appearances for the likes of Drumcode, Saved or 100% Pure, Lumen’s sphere of influence seems to stretch to no end on the international electronic music circuit. The Hungarian artist’s DJ credentials match up too – Jay won ‘Underground DJ Of The Year’ at the Ballantine’s Music Awards, and in 2015, he was ranked at number 26 in Resident Advisor’s ‘DJ Charted’ list.
Well actually I’m currently doing my album tour so I travel all around the world...More recently, in-between a heavy tour schedule performing everywhere from Miami to London and Amsterdam, Lumen has kept busy applying the finishing touches to his debut album out on Footwork and named ‘Lost Tales’, which contains a collection of various, previously unfinished tunes from the last 10 years. We caught up with Jay to have a chat.
Hi Jay, thanks for joining us today. What have you been up to recently?
Hi, thanks for the invitation. Well actually I’m currently doing my album tour so I travel all around the world. Plus on weekdays I'm in the studio as I have a few new ideas that I'd like to create for the next year.
North America was great as well, particularly when I played a special 8 hours set at Heart Miami...What have been some standout moments from 2016?
Well I had so many great moments throughout the year so it’s not that easy to tell you just a few. Great shows all around. For example my South America tour was fantastic and I enjoyed playing Guatemala, Panama, Argentina as well as many other places. I loved playing at the legendary Pacha Buenos Aires earlier this year.
North America was great as well, particularly when I played a special 8 hours set at Heart Miami, for example. I loved that night. But I also had a great night at Movement Festival in Detroit with the Octopus Records team.
And then Europe was great also! Spent a lot of time hanging in Ibiza, as well as Sonar, not to mention an incredible Drumcode night with Adam Beyer in Slovenia. ADE was also great at Panama in Amsterdam. You can check the set recorded by DancetrippinTV. I also had an amazing party at FABRIK in Madrid with Goa Electronic events team. As you can see I cannot collect all the great moments! :D
You’ve been a key figure in house and techno for quite some time now. Can you tell us how you first got into electronic music?
Thanks. Honestly it all began when I was child. First of all I was learning in a basic music school for 8 years and this made me certain I had to do something in the music scene. This included singing as well as learning to play the violin so my whole life was immersed in music.
I realized that I wanted to become a DJ - so today I just realized my childhood dreams!..It still felt like a hobby, much like now. That's why I was listening to various kinds of music every day. I was an "everything eater" and it's the same today as a music fan.
However, I loved the first dusty, old school techno and house sounds from 80's. It was the time when electronic music began exploding with so many experimental sounds. I tried to find as many sounds like that as possible and after a point I realised this was the sound of my life and I realized that I wanted to become a DJ - so today I just realized my childhood dreams!
Please talk us through the process behind your ‘Lost Tales’ LP? What sound were you going for? What was it you set out to accomplish in writing the new LP?
The process for my "Lost Tales" album was a little bit different to what I usually do. A few of my tracks were started and unfinished in recent years, or they were just simply ideas I stored in my mind. Plus I had a few tracks that I didn't feel worked for the EPs I was releasing and were more suitable for something else.
On this album I just tell my stories that I’ve never told before. That means you can meet my real "Lost Tales"...When I started to get a feel of the idea behind this album l started to collect these tracks on my computer and the ideas in my mind. In the early days I was thinking, "Wow! I have many good ideas. Why I didn't write or finish them before?"
So I started to work on them in my studio so intensively that I barely slept or ate. I just totally recreated the original ideas in sound and feeling. It was a very interesting inner journey to me and I loved all the moments of these months.
So on this album I just tell my stories that I’ve never told before. That means you can meet my real "Lost Tales". By the way the sound shows different colours of Techno in my opinion but honestly I didn't make a plan for that. It's just simply the picture of my inspirations in the last period.
I always had a plan to start my own label. It's like a new baby... You’ve released on a number of distinguished labels: not least Drumcode, Octopus, Saved and 100% Pure. What made you decide to kick start your own label, Footwork?
Well I'm very happy that I had the chance to release on this great labels like Adam Beyer's Drumcode, Nic Fanciulli's Saved, Green Velvet's Relief or Octopus Records, etc.
But I always had a plan to start my own label. It's like a new baby. I just tried creating the sound of it. Manage it for the future, find the path. So it's a new challenge for me. Also it's another way that I can show a little part of my own world to the people. Footwork is going very well luckily so I'm very happy.
Can you share your top 3 gigs this year, and why?
Oh my... that’s a very difficult question! :D I had tons of great gigs throughout the year and all of them were great. But if I really have to tell you 3 gigs then I think I'll have to add a bonus answer. :)
What about your top three records of the moment?
Difficult again. :D
Finally, what can we expect from Jay Lumen in the future? Are there any gigs, releases or projects that have you particularly excited?
As a DJ my album tour is in full flow. Then my 2017 schedule is shaping up to have plenty of great gigs. I'll be playing in Spain again, then back to UK, and I'll also be playing at the great Dockyard Festival in Amsterdam with many great names. My Australia tour is coming soon as well. And then another USA tour is lined up, including Heart Miami once again, before I fly back to Chile and Buenos Aires, plus other locations in South America.
As a producer my next EP is coming soon and it’s planned for 9th January on my Footwork label. Also there is a planned remix release for my "Lost Tales" album with great artists like, Harvey McKay, Roberto Capuano, Mark Reeve, Sasha Carassi, Weska, Bastinov, etc. I'm also in the studio working on plenty more tunes, so be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for more news! :)