Rising Stars [Issue
Louque Of The Draw By
NYC-based Dustan Louque (pronounced Luke) offers a fresh perspective
on multiple styles of music, from hip-hop to trip-hop, from funk to dancehall.
His debut release So Close, an album three years in the making, is now
available on Lava Records.
Growing up in
the small town of Grand Point, LA, Louque was exposed to many types of music,
but considered himself to be an athlete. At college, he studied piano and picked
up guitar, but focused on acting, which led him to New York in 1997. There,
he enrolled in acting school, and worked thespian gigs for a year. (Acting)
helped me out creatively, Louque said in a recent phone interview, but
it got to a point where I was always doing music on the side, and I knew I could
do it if I just worked hard at it. So I quit school so I could have more time
Louque then taught himself how to manipulate home recording equipment and went
about writing songs and developing his personal musical style.
So Close is the result of those many hours spent in a Louques Brooklyn
apartment along with his two primary collaborators, Seth Gold and Donovan Guidry.
Freely bouncing between genres, but always staying intimate and mellow, So
Close is a creative and highly addictive album. The tracks are sparse and
bass-heavy with electronic beats, subtle guitar accompaniment, and frequent
piano loops. Still in Waiting leans more toward reggae, while the
poppy Kenny the Jet sounds a bit like G. Love.
The primary sound is of a singer-songwriter hanging out in the French Quarter
or chillin with Brooklyn kids on the front stoop. Another description
is Jack Johnson by way of Lee Perry. It depends on how you look at it,
Louque offered. Some people will think its singer-songwriter, some
people will think its rock. Everybody has their own name for it.
After the release of So Close and a slew of live performances, Louque
is anxious to get back into the studio, where hell lay down some new,
even more adventurous tracks. He plans on playing guitar more on the project,
since he wont be bound to the quiet apartment setting. My new stuff
has even more of a blend of Jamaican dub, New Orleans street beat, dancehall
stuff, with songwriter type of stuff in there too, he explained.
Those styles remain an inspiration for Louque, but he also enjoys the more rock-oriented,
yet experimental, sounds of My Bloody Valentine and Radiohead. For the most
part though, the singer will listen to anything he can get his hands on.
Louques varied sound ensures that audiences of many musical styles will
lend an ear to So Close.
Its still wide open, he said. One day I want to make
an American roots record, you know, maybe a few records down the line. I dont
feel like Im pinned down to one style. I feel like I can blend them and
see what happens, without getting too carried away.