In an era saturated with recorded sound, few musical talents ever manage to become a full-blown institution in their own lifetimes, but Luke Slater has done precisely that. As one of the UK’s most consistent and resilient DJs and producers from the 1980s onwards, he has been one of the key individuals shaping the scene’s character, and has helped to guide the style through those times when its grip on the public imagination was not as firm as it is today. Slater’s persistent club appearances beginning with the ‘Troll’ parties at London’s infamous Heaven nightclub, along with accolades from respected electronic music digests (e.g. FACT magazine, Resident Advisor) and his participation in other taste-making projects (e.g. the Fabric mix CD series) all point to a level of activity that is engaging as it as diverse. His diversity of output, combined with a consistency of quality and spirit, has placed him not just at the epicenter of club techno, but also makes a strong argument for his influence upon the development of ‘intelligent dance music’ and the gradual popularization of electronic tools within the whole independent music realm.
In the true spirit of underground techno, his is a career that owes itself to real ingenuity and uncompromising personal vision than it does to skillful marketing. A full overview of Slater’s recorded output reveals him to be a master strategist who has always known the right time and social climate in which to drop a new technique, with those techniques themselves ranging from the creation of rapturous spatiality to overdriven percussive battering. These different techniques have been assigned to their own musical aliases in order to facilitate greater concentration upon one stylistic mutation at a time. For those desiring un-tethered and oneiric ambience, there is the work of Slater under the 7th Plain moniker (which has offered the initial releases on the promising new A-Ton label). For those more inclined to cyborg dialogues drifting in upon rolling tides of deep bass, there is the work of L.B. Dub Corp. And for those looking for intricacy and subtlety encased in the hardest of rhythms, there is of course his Planetary Assault Systems.