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May 16, 2021

JOURNAL JAMS: VOL 36


"For this playlist, I decided to pull from the various music I've been presenting in my newsletter project for my label Velvet Bikini. It's called Strange Worlds and it focuses on my inspirations and pulls from the weird and the eerie; the corners of our psyches that stiffen the hairs on your arms and give you goosebumps. The newsletter goes out mostly-weekly (life gets in the way, ya know) and features tracks and films I've made, playlists, books, film, and random writings and recommendations."

BJ: Luke Cheadle...epic spot you have here! What brought you to Los Feliz?  

Luke: Cheers mate. I moved over to the East side of LA in August of 2019 after about 6 years on the West side, then to Los Feliz in November 2019. I was bored with life over in Venice and needed a change up and all the parties, events, and people I was hanging with were over this side. Just so happened that the pandemic hit a few months later, so all those things I moved for vanished in a second. I don't regret it for a second though. 

BJ: Los Feliz looks good on ya! You're originally from Aus, right? Is there a major difference living here in the states now? 

Luke: Yep, I moved over here nearly eight years ago now. The catalyst for that big move was the same as the one here: I was a little bored and stagnant with where I was at in Sydney. An opportunity arose and I took it. The biggest difference is the myriad options that are available to you over here, from the various creative industries to events, food, culture, etc. Australia is the most beautiful place on earth, but I wanted more. I wanted to explore and venture into music and art and that just wasn't a very viable career option in Australia. 

BJ: How often do you get to cook new stuff up in the studio?   

Luke: I've been really bad lately because I've been putting together my debut solo release and building out my studio, but normally, I make music every day. I try to keep a locked-in daily routine, like brushing your teeth, so making music, or writing—whatever it is—becomes second nature and part of who you are and what you do. Sometimes that's just busting out an idea on my phone, developing a phone sketch in the studio, laying down some jams, or mixing down a release or track. 

BJ: I'm really digging the ambiance of your studio. How did you come up with the look and feel of it? It's damn nice in here.  

Luke: To be honest, a lot of it was my girlfriend, Jayna—or her pushing and inspiration, at least. She moved in with me in November when my best mate moved out, which opened up a room. One of her caveats to moving in was that I create a space that was my own that I could escape to for creative pursuits and music and she helped me pick and choose and buy some things and we built it out together. What a girl huh?  

BJ: She definitely sounds like a keeper man. By chance, is there a narrowed style that you consider your music to classify under?  

Luke: Haha genre ideas and constraints are kinda weird but if I had to I would say anything from ambient to downtempo, house, techno, and more experimental electronics—all of a slightly weird bent.

BJ: You know what man, I agree with you there. Also, I've personally always been curious, but what's the creative process like when creating new sound? I'm sure it could get a bit gnarly at times.  

Luke: You can certainly get stuck in your own head but keeping a routine like I mentioned before is the best way through that. I try to be as quick as I can and let whatever comes out flow and as soon as I hit resistance or a creative block, move on. Whether that's after 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour. Forcing an idea or something creatively doesn't work for me and it usually results in a reactive way; that is, the idea gets worse. I'll then stockpile these ideas, not listen to them, before coming back with fresh ears and mind a few days later to take the ones that connect with me further. 

BJ: Is surfing still a big part of your daily routine?  

Luke: Ha, I wouldn't say daily anymore, it's just not possible in LA, especially living 30-40 minutes from the beach. I try to go a few times a week and notice my sanity wain if I'm out of the ocean for more than a week or so. It's undoubtedly part of me and something I can't ignore for too long. 

BJ: Yeah, it can for sure become a bit of a mission. So, what's getting tattooed on ya later today?  

Luke: It's a piece from Mobius, the alias of Jean Henri Gaston Giraud, who is, arguably, one of the greatest comic and graphic novel artists of all time. I couldn't tell you what it is, however, which, I think, shows his brilliance. 

BJ: Dig that! Man, having a ridiculously talented tattoo artist as your girlfriend must get tempting! Do you ever just get spontaneous ink done up?  

Luke: Ah man, you know, I think I've had five new ones just this week, three of which were blind tattoos by her apprentice and studio mates—that is to say I had no idea what they would be when walking in. I've become somewhat of a studio canvas, which I'm totally fine with. If you're in LA and want to get inked, check out @angelkissesstudio and tell them I sent you. 

BJ: Haha, yeah. I’ve actually been considering picking up the tattoo gun. Now I’m certain of the first person I’ll be giving it a go on. Last question for ya! What do you have planned for the rest of quarantine?  

Luke: More music, writing, tattoos, surfing, and trying to stay healthy. That has been a big focus this last year, less partying and more looking inward; although, I'm dying to hit a rave or a gig to hear and dance to music on a huge soundsystem. So hopefully that's on the cards this summer. 

If anyone likes the mood of the playlist and the music in it you can sign up to Luke's weekly newsletter here. He also I opens and closes the playlist with two of his own tracks.

 
 

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