Few people may cherish a San Francisco sunset like Luttrell. When the Bay Area artist is not producing as one half of bass experimentalists The M Machine, he's crafting melodic house and techno solo with the goal of creating "a musical equivalent to the hazy sunsets in [his] hometown," a colour-streaked image found often on his Instagram.
"The fog tends to create a perfect mist in the air as it rolls in for the night," he tells THUMP over email. "That, mixed with the Victorian architecture can create quite a surreal and dreamy vibe. I love sitting up on the hill near my apartment. There'll be cute dogs running around, people picnicking, some person laying down a nice guitar riff—all under an orange/pink/purple hue. It's always a great way to get out of the studio and clear my head."
After previous releases on Above & Beyond's deep house-leaning label Anjunadeep, Luttrell has returned to the imprint for his latest EP, Generate, out today. Consisting of four tracks with appropriately effervescent titles such as "Float," "Waking Dream," and "Daylight," the record feels meant more for moments in the open air than within the confines of a blacked-out club. Overall, the EP possesses a balmy sound that shimmers with the fuzzed-out distortion of a late-summer heat haze—where "Float" and "Daylight" linger in the air, "Generate" and "Waking Dream" balance out with grounding bass. Stream the EP in full below, and check out a brief Q&A with the producer below.
THUMP: What separates your work as Luttrell from your work as The M Machine? Do you find that your work as one influences the other? Luttrell: I've been sticking to mostly melodic house and techno with the Luttrell project so far, whereas The M Machine tends to be much more stylistically experimental. Not to say I wont go outside 118-125 BPM at some point with Luttrell, but for now, it's just a lot of fun to experiment and work within this certain range and style.
You studied abroad in Berlin and are currently based in San Francisco. As both cities have such rich underground scenes, are there any experiences that you can pinpoint as having influenced your solo music?
Yeah. I was living in Berlin for school about ten years ago; I got refused at the door at Berghain by that famous guy with the gnarly face tattoo. Maybe next time I'll make it in… I think the thing I take away most from those two cities, Berlin and San Francisco, is the general aura and soul. And that feeds a lot into the kind of music I want to create and put out into the world. The cities both have a sort of beautiful, haunting magic to them that I don't think ever leaves you. I'm sure that seeps into my music in some form.
You mentioned once that your goal with Luttrell is "to create a musical equivalent to the hazy sunsets in [your] hometown." What about this particular imagery do you find so inspiring?
I can't get enough hazy SF sunsets. The fog tends to create a perfect mist in the air as it rolls in for the night. That, mixed with the Victorian architecture, can create quite a surreal and dreamy vibe. I love sitting up on the hill near my apartment. There'll be cute dogs running around, people picnicking, some person laying down a nice guitar riff—all under an orange/pink/purple hue. It's always a great way to get out of the studio and clear my head. With all of the crazy and depressing things going on in the world right now—of which there seem to be a general fuck-ton—recognizing and really enjoying beautiful moments like the one I described is something I do not take for granted. Tell us about the Generate EP.
I really think the Generate EP is my best effort so far. I wrote the title track the night that I got home from Burning Man last year, so to me, it always makes me think of the desert at night. "Float" is a slower, little more 80s synthwave-infused chugger that seems to make people smile when I play it out. "Waking Dream" is one I actually started on the guitar and at that time it was more of a Neil Young-y, folk-type song. But I realized the bassline could sound really cool on a dance track, so I tried it out and wrote that track from start to finish in a day, which never happens! And finally, "Daylight" is a chilled out, melodic techno journey. There are actually cricket sounds in the song in the middle break which, to me, give the track a bit of a night time vibe—right before the sun comes up.