Get To Know: LoKo

Get To Know: LoKo

PROGRAM aren’t messing around are they?

Dedicated to exciting new artists with eyes fixed firmly on the floor, Ram’s sister label have amassed a highly respectable repertoire since launching late this summer. Now four releases deep, each one of them is essential in any D&B DJ’s armoury. Not least this latest double A by Bristol badman LoKo. With only a handful of previous releases under his belt we thought we’d ring him and get to know him a bit better. Turns out he’s got a great story about being signed to the label, loves his hometown Bristol and got a little bit naughty at a Skrillex gig recently….

Are you chatting from Bristol right now?

“Bristol’s the love of my life. Bristol’s where I should be living but I’m studying down in Plymouth so I’m currently down here.”

I was wondering if you took your name from the city’s legendary late 90s club?

“Er… No!”

Ha! Where did you get your name from, then?

“When I was really young I started DJing under the name Kaos but then Breakbeat Kaos started really kicking off. So I had to change it. I wanted to be called Loco but I learned there was another DJ in Bristol with that name, so I swapped the c for a k and thought ‘that’ll do!’”

Fair enough. When was the last time you went seriously loco?

“You’re not the first person to ask that this week! Frankee asked me the other day. I try to keep this under wraps… I think it was at Skrillex at Basement 45. I embarrassed myself in a really bad way!”

Ha! Can you tell me more?

“I don’t think so mate. Let’s keep it to the people who know. It doesn’t need to be public quite yet!”

I hear you. Tell me more about Bristol, I like Bristol…

“With Loadstar’s album just around the corner, it’s going to be a big look for the Bristol scene. And there are so many other amazing talented producers here who haven’t been signed yet. They will, trust me… It’s only a matter of time before the city is up there challenging London again.”

Wicked, man. Tell me about how you got signed to Program…

“Oh mate, it’s one of those insane stories! I’d finished Bassline Secret and another tune, I played them to a mate who said they had that wicked old Ram vibe. I thought ‘okay, cool, but this is Ram we’re talking about, they’re not going to be interested in little old me’. Against my better judgement I sent them to Andy via AIM and to Ram via their soundcloud. A couple of days later I signed back into AIM and there were messages from Andy saying ‘what’s going on with this tune?’ I checked my email and there he was again. It’s a snowball from there… It’s not stopped since.”

Amazing. Perfect story. Inspiration for budding producers too!

“Great isn’t it? My advice would be not to bombard people with tunes as they’ll get sick very quickly. But if you feel like you’ve got some proper solid tunes that really do work then send them to the big guys. They do spend hours listening to the new stuff they get. It was a complete fluke that I sent these tunes to Andy. Now I’m on the phone to Drum&BassArena!”

Hehe. It’s not really a fluke though is it? You sent Andy some serious bangers!

“Thanks… and yeah, I was confident they were good tunes, but I didn’t know about Program. I didn’t know a massive label like Ram would have time to listen to them!”

So is the classic Ram sound, your type of sound? Is there more to Loko that we’ve not heard?

“Definitely. Bassline Secret and Shadows are very similar tracks but there’s all sorts of stuff in the pipeline. Stuff that might make you think, oh my God this isn’t LoKo!! I like to be free in the studio, I’ll never feel bound to any particular sounds or motifs.”

What’s coming up next?

“I’m working on lots of different things at the moment. I’m exclusive to Program so my next release will be on that. No release date is set in stone but there’s loads in the pipeline.”

Sweet. Final question… You’ve called your track Bassline Secret, so tell us a secret!

“Hmmmmm…. Interesting question! Let me think. Okay; Bassline Secret uses a bass hook from a very well-known sample pack. That’s why it’s called Bassline Secret. It’s all cut up, but if you find the sample you’ll go ‘oh my God!’”


LoKo – Bassline Secret/Shadows is out now on Program. Listen and download.

Drum&BassArena Editor: Dave Jenkins has documented beats for over 15 years working with the likes of UKF, Mixmag, DJ Mag, iDJ, Bandcamp, Resident Advisor, Radio 1 Xtra and many more.
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