Big Bad Wolf: Drop The Lime


23 Monday 23rd August 2010

Drop the Lime is Luca, the owner of record label Trouble and Bass and lead vocalist in rockabilly band Bad Lupo Grande. Stirred by the kind of raw energy that’ll have you jiving, be it the soundtrack to Marlon Brando rebels or Detroit city ravers, he’s taken apart what many thought was set in stone, with one aim. At the release of his compilation at Fabric he went from a thumping bass line to Rock N Blues.  

As I looked around me, what had been a crowd or faceless ravers, turned into a room of swinging fifties couples, arm in arm. With his set at Notting Hill Carnival upcoming, two albums released in one month, five different countries DJing, I had to ask. How do you stay awake? “Magic, magic and the moon keep me up.”   
You’ve got some awesome ‘Trouble and Bass’ t-shirts.
[Laughs] Yeah we do, we just launched a new clothing label. So, we got pretty serious about it. It’ll be in shops worldwide. We’re distributing it with a fashion label called Mishka. We do all the designs. I mean sometimes we team up with other guys like this designer Zonders who did a lot of my album art work and then we teamed up with Dust La Rock who designs for Fools Gold. He did a weird portrait t-shirt of me being a vampire.
Why a vampire?
Night stalkers

Did you start designing things like that at art school?
Well my parents were both into art, so I was always into things that were very visual. I started at a really early age, when I was 14. I’d say early on I was influenced by artists like Damien Hirst, classical artists like Mondrian, even the surrealism of Salvador Dali. Taking elements from that and putting them into modern culture. I went to a liberal art school. I did a double major. So, I did music and digital art. It included video art, installation and PhotoShop.
I’m a little confused. You grew up in Manhattan...
I grew up in Manhattan, TriBeCa, born and raised, in the playground is where I spent most of my days chilling out, maxing and relaxing all cool and all shooting some b-ball outside of school...

When a couple of guys, started making trouble in our neighbourhood. But how did you end up getting mixes of pirate radio stations from London?
My parents would go to Italy every summer. Their friends had a son. They were British, from London. He’d record stuff and play it to me. That was the first time I was really exposed to Jungle music and Garage music. It fascinated me, it blew my mind and I was in love with it because it was so different to Hip-Hop. It was sampling artists I was listening to and then taking faster beats and laying it underneath. KRS-One and Biggie took it to another context and I loved the energy of it the attitude. It was kind of like punk because of how raw it was and the sampling. Later on I’d say I was listening to Rinse and Déjà Vu FM.
You’re signature sound is 4x4 base sound, that’s coming back now.
Yeah, it’s exciting. A lot of genres are just blending and meshing with each. The line is so blurred. The electronic sub-genre has multiple sub-genres in it. The sound that I’m making is predominantly House but there are also elements of Dub-step or Drum and Bass. If you listened a Techno label twenty years ago, you would defiantly know it was a Techno label.
People like Electro-Soma or an old French House record like Lula it sounds like French Techno. But today you’ll have that and some elements of Dub-step mixed into it. Trance in Dub-step? You’re like what? It’s even crazy because a lot of new House music, breaking with the 4x4 like Benga has a classic Baltimore beat. That’s exciting, no longer looking for the label and listening for the music for the sake of music itself. 
You put in ‘Maurice – this is acid’ into your latest Fabric mix. It talks about House music during the track and there are a lot of tracks like that.
[laughs] I think if you listen to a lot of those House tunes especially with Detroit and Chicago they were creating a genre, going from fucking old disco records to playing the dub. They went from house parties to warehouse raves and they didn’t have a name yet. I think that once it was labelled as House, people were like pushing ‘this is House, this is House music, this is a movement’ and it became something bigger than just a genre, it became a phenomenon and a whole lifestyle for people. I think the energy of that back then; you don’t really have the energy of that today. I mean, I can’t think of anything that talks about the genre today.
How are you going to outdo Diplo at Notting Hill Carnival this year?
I’m going to do a Rockabilly set and do a little bit of Northern Soul. Then mix it up like I do. I think it will be nice to have some songs that are old and classic. It shares the same dance and music attitude but it’s from the 1950s.
You’ve put a Rockabilly track into the Fabric mix yourself?
Yeah I have a Rockabilly band called Bad Lupo Grande. My album that I just finished is coming out in October is all going to be Rockabilly, Surf, western style guitar with all the music that I make.

What kind of things are you singing about?
I’m singing about girls, [laughs] and painting, painting the night black.


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