New York DJ Luca Lush has been teasing fans for months that he’s about to change musical direction, and he’s come through by releasing the “Afterglow” single from the forthcoming Speed House album. When he demoed the song, he says that he was burned out on American dance music trends and was digging for inspiration.

“Temporally, that was obscure and dusty rave weapons originating in Detroit, Chicago, and New York throughout the early ‘90s, digging through YouTube and torrent sites to get a feel for the musical landscape I was born into but too young to participate in,” he says. “Spatially, I was voraciously combing through boiler rooms taking place throughout Europe (including Russia) and Asia — smaller intimate venues that had more of an emphasis on the communal nature of the dancefloor than the bombastic spectacle and commercialism of the mainstream American scene.”

Meanwhile, he became obsessed with the visuals of Miami Vice. The single is, he says, “an attempt to synthesize these disparate influences into a record that would pay homage while also presenting a novel perspective into the history of the future. Taking what earlier pioneers thought the scene would evolve into and manifesting it into today’s reality.”

The song works as a bridge between his old sound and the new Speed House direction.

“It still has nods to future bass’s sonic palette and trap’s halftime elements that fans of my old sound will love — but also incorporates more overt influences from 4-to the floor styles of euro-centric dance music, early techno and happy hardcore of the early ’90s, which are more representative of the album as a whole.”

Like everyone, Lush has been struggling with the lockdown as he rolls out new music. While he enjoys being lost in the creative process alone, he misses the live experience.

“A lot of this record was written with the idea of creating an inclusive, welcoming communal and spiritual experience in the club environment, a template for escapism,” he says. “Not having any idea when that idea can properly play out in the context in which it was meant to be consumed can quickly lead to a cascade of negative thoughts, depression and anxiety. That led to a delay in finishing the record — which was almost 80 percent complete before quarantine. There’s this perpetual anxiety that the live show will never return. But in contrast, there’s a hope that there will be a time and place to showcase this project in a live setting. That hope tends to beat out the anxiety on most days and keeps me going.”

He has enough to deal with for now. The album will drop in the next couple of months, and there will be videos released along the way. 

“Fleshing out the ancillary content to make these records come to life as best as they can in the current environment,” he says. “I’ve been spending a lot of time connecting with fans on Discord and Twitch — which I feel like has helped myself and others during a time where the majority of people are lonely and confused about the current state of affairs and what the future holds. Doing my best to contribute towards positive change in dance music and beyond.”

Luca Lush’s “Afterglow” single, from the forthcoming Speed House album, is out now. 


Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.