Published Jan 01, 2006Gosh, it's hard to be a perfectionist. Though he doesn't label himself as such, Parisian producer and club DJ Ludovic Llorca knows the sound he's trying to create and won't stop until he gets there. In fact, sometimes he needs to be convinced that he's nailed it.
Having only released a handful of EPs with France's F-Communications, Llorca was shocked when label head Éric Morand listened to new work and requested a full-length. "I answered, It's a joke. I'm not ready for an album. I think my music is not mature enough,'" admits the modest Ludovic. "He told me I think you're ready and that the three tracks are the evidence.'"
Morand was right. Those three gorgeous songs "Indigo Blues," "Anyhow," and "Lights Behind Windows" are now all featured in their original form on Llorca's very mature debut album, Newcomer. Llorca's sound is, at once, classic yet of its time, recalling Soul II Soul as much as similarly-minded St. Germain. He merges jazz and soul with house, funk and beautifully programmed beats, creating with a warmth and natural looseness that feel well beyond his 27 years. One assumes that he's been listening to jazz since falling from the womb.
A laugh is followed by an admission. "I really only started listening to jazz five years ago. I have many friends who have listened since they were much younger, but I was not able to. I tried so many times and could not; there was something between me and jazz music until I discovered Charlie Mingus.
"You know, it is funny," he continues. "I hear so many people saying that house and electronic music is not mature music, not good or real music, but to me it is all of those, and it helped me understand other sounds. It led me to jazz music."
And now Llorca is able to share his passion for jazz while composing, recording and mixing everything on a computer he built from pieces. While he does sample on occasion including Mingus's beautiful bass during "The Novel Sound" Ludovic is far more likely to start from scratch. Guest musicians and vocalists were captured pouring their talents out whilst in Llorca's bedroom closet, and the man himself focussed for long hours on getting just the right sound. It's little wonder much of the album feels live.
"Sometimes I spent eight hours on small patterns and notes, changing only a few things, and trying to give the feeling that there was a real bass playing. Technology is only a tool; it's useless if you can hear it. What is fun is to use a computer and to make it sound like a piano or a bass; using a computer and making it sound like a computer is not."