This has been an interesting year for the surprise electronic music releases. Back in February, Skrillex and Diplo unleashed their Jack U album out of nowhere, and earlier this month Rustie did the exact same thing. It looks like you can add Canada's Lunice to that camp, as he's just dropped his new EP, 180, via LuckyMe with practically no advanced warning (aside from a cryptic Facebook post), although given that we've not heard much in the way of original Lunice since 2014's "Can't Wait To," it's more than welcomed.
The most intriguing part of 180, though, is the fact that these tracks have been in the vault for approximately three-four years, featuring material he worked on between the release of his 2011 EP, One Hunned, and the 2012 release of the magnificent TNGHT EP. If you're a Lunice fan, these tunes should be familiar—especially the haunting "All Clear," which has crafted bombastic patches in some of your favorite DJ's mixes.
We recently caught up with Lunice to talk about the concept behind his new EP, how he ended up on the European leg of Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour, and what it's like working with rapper CJ Flemings, who ended up on a new version of "All Clear" that we're also premiering today. Lunice also has a free show going down in London tonight at the Dance Tunnel; this is not one to miss!
First up, talk to us about your 180 EP. What made you want to get these three four-year-old tracks out there?
It was around the time after my One Hunned release and the TNGHT project. I started to develop this idea of working on a song and stopping where it felt right. Then I wouldn't listen or touch the track for the next couple weeks or even months and go on tour, meet and talk with inspiring artists. I take full informative advantage when it comes to traveling. Everything, to me, matters. From how the vegetation looks like from one city to another to what brand of car seems to be dominant in whichever city I'm in and why.
I believe that all these subtle cultural differences is what helps give me a whole new perspective of my work in general. So when I go back to a track I haven't listened to for a while, I have this whole new idea of where I could go with it. I feel that feeling "content" is rarely practiced in this time and age. Everyone wants options at all times. I love to limit myself and I love imperfection.
I know I’ve heard a number of your mixes within that timeframe, and imagine you have a grip of tracks that could’ve made the cut. When you decided to put 180 together, did you know that these four tunes would make the cut?
I didn't know these four would be the chosen ones for this project. It was more like a natural selection overtime of what represents the best idea in terms of my work within that time today. Also, my work process is different from the usual "banging out tracks." I've gotten into this flow of conceptualizing 80% of the time and 20% goes to the application of these concepts. That way, I naturally put more thought in what I do so when I apply these ideas musically I spend less time running in circles trying to figure out what sound I should go for. It's a good way to avoid the "writer's block."
I remember you hinting for a bit that you had an album you were working on; it was one of the reasons why you and HudMo took a hiatus from TNGHT. Do you have any new info or plans on what that full length project will be, and when people can expect to hear it?
All I can give in terms of info is that the album's almost done and that the 180 project is a way for me to bridge my ideas for what's coming next. I'm a firm believer in incremental improvements or changes. I wouldn't want to throw people off putting the album out without much of a foundation of where I'm coming from with this.
The other big news we got recently was that you’re hitting the road with Madonna on the European leg of her Rebel Heart Tour. Can you break down how that happened?
Turns out that her son and daughter are fans and were the one's to suggest it to her. What's amazing is that they mentioned that I'm an "actual performer" which means so much to me because they didn't even have to mention that. From what I was told, Madonna went out front the first night I opened for her in Edmonton and was so into it she immediately put me on to the Europe tour after performing my set.
She worked a lot with Diplo on her project… can you see any situations where you might end up working on material with her? We have to imagine you now have some Madonna stems tucked, right?
Haha. Can't say, but considering how amazingly progressive she is, I could see it happening.
You graciously laced us with this previously-unheard version of “All Clear” with rhymes from CJ Flemings. It’s been a year since LuckyMe dropped your previous collab, “Weather Man.” Any plans for more material from the two of you?
Yup! I've got him on my album as well. He's only 19 and totally gets the logistics of putting [together] a well-branded project. I've been putting him onto a lot of what's to come with the music industry and how to stay a step ahead. Very wise for his age. He definitely reminds me of how I was at 19, too. Attentive and patient. Thing's are looking great for Anglo rappers in Montreal.
Heading into 2016, what can the people expect from you? Anything we should be on the lookout for?
What I'm the most excited for is touring the full budget of my stage that I've been consistently designing for the last three years. I've tested a smaller scale version of it last year and it turned out great, but 2016 will be the year where my full performance comes together.