Lutto Lento: "Being out of genres is my main goal"

The musical career of Lubomir Grzelak, also known as Lutto Lento, began in 2011 when he put out his first self-made cassette releases on Sangoplasmo. Today, he has a lot of successful works for such labels as FTD, Where To Now? and Transatlantyk. But that is not all. He also writes movie and theatre soundtracks and runs Dunno, an imprint, which specializes in eccentric, strange and, in a sense, ironic sound.

Lubomir is sure that the music should be free of any genre classifications. In the studio, he creates unique collages from sounds while on the dance floor, he skillfully uses 3 turntables mixing dancehall, dub, house, jungle and experimental tracks while blending it with everything from field-recordings to spoken-word records. You never know what he is going throw in the next time, but keep in mind: there is only one step from Snap to Mayhem in his set.

Lutto Lento: "Being out of genres is my main goal"

The musical career of Lubomir Grzelak, also known as Lutto Lento, began in 2011 when he put out his first self-made cassette releases on Sangoplasmo. Today, he has a lot of successful works for such labels as FTD, Where To Now? and Transatlantyk. But that is not all. He also writes movie and theatre soundtracks and runs Dunno, an imprint, which specializes in eccentric, strange and, in a sense, ironic sound.

Lubomir is sure that the music should be free of any genre classifications. In the studio, he creates unique collages from sounds while on the dance floor, he skillfully uses 3 turntables mixing dancehall, dub, house, jungle and experimental tracks while blending it with everything from field-recordings to spoken-word records. You never know what he is going throw in the next time, but keep in mind: there is only one step from Snap to Mayhem in his set.

Lutto Lento: "Being out of genres is my main goal"

The musical career of Lubomir Grzelak, also known as Lutto Lento, began in 2011 when he put out his first self-made cassette releases on Sangoplasmo. Today, he has a lot of successful works for such labels as FTD, Where To Now? and Transatlantyk. But that is not all. He also writes movie and theatre soundtracks and runs Dunno, an imprint, which specializes in eccentric, strange and, in a sense, ironic sound.

Lubomir is sure that the music should be free of any genre classifications. In the studio, he creates unique collages from sounds while on the dance floor, he skillfully uses 3 turntables mixing dancehall, dub, house, jungle and experimental tracks while blending it with everything from field-recordings to spoken-word records. You never know what he is going throw in the next time, but keep in mind: there is only one step from Snap to Mayhem in his set.

Lutto Lento: "Being out of genres is my main goal"

The musical career of Lubomir Grzelak, also known as Lutto Lento, began in 2011 when he put out his first self-made cassette releases on Sangoplasmo. Today, he has a lot of successful works for such labels as FTD, Where To Now? and Transatlantyk. But that is not all. He also writes movie and theatre soundtracks and runs Dunno, an imprint, which specializes in eccentric, strange and, in a sense, ironic sound.

Lubomir is sure that the music should be free of any genre classifications. In the studio, he creates unique collages from sounds while on the dance floor, he skillfully uses 3 turntables mixing dancehall, dub, house, jungle and experimental tracks while blending it with everything from field-recordings to spoken-word records. You never know what he is going throw in the next time, but keep in mind: there is only one step from Snap to Mayhem in his set.

Lutto Lento: "Being out of genres is my main goal"

The musical career of Lubomir Grzelak, also known as Lutto Lento, began in 2011 when he put out his first self-made cassette releases on Sangoplasmo. Today, he has a lot of successful works for such labels as FTD, Where To Now? and Transatlantyk. But that is not all. He also writes movie and theatre soundtracks and runs Dunno, an imprint, which specializes in eccentric, strange and, in a sense, ironic sound.

Lubomir is sure that the music should be free of any genre classifications. In the studio, he creates unique collages from sounds while on the dance floor, he skillfully uses 3 turntables mixing dancehall, dub, house, jungle and experimental tracks while blending it with everything from field-recordings to spoken-word records. You never know what he is going throw in the next time, but keep in mind: there is only one step from Snap to Mayhem in his set.

Lutto Lento: "Being out of genres is my main goal"

The musical career of Lubomir Grzelak, also known as Lutto Lento, began in 2011 when he put out his first self-made cassette releases on Sangoplasmo. Today, he has a lot of successful works for such labels as FTD, Where To Now? and Transatlantyk. But that is not all. He also writes movie and theatre soundtracks and runs Dunno, an imprint, which specializes in eccentric, strange and, in a sense, ironic sound.

Lubomir is sure that the music should be free of any genre classifications. In the studio, he creates unique collages from sounds while on the dance floor, he skillfully uses 3 turntables mixing dancehall, dub, house, jungle and experimental tracks while blending it with everything from field-recordings to spoken-word records. You never know what he is going throw in the next time, but keep in mind: there is only one step from Snap to Mayhem in his set.

Lutto Lento: "Being out of genres is my main goal"

The musical career of Lubomir Grzelak, also known as Lutto Lento, began in 2011 when he put out his first self-made cassette releases on Sangoplasmo. Today, he has a lot of successful works for such labels as FTD, Where To Now? and Transatlantyk. But that is not all. He also writes movie and theatre soundtracks and runs Dunno, an imprint, which specializes in eccentric, strange and, in a sense, ironic sound.

Lubomir is sure that the music should be free of any genre classifications. In the studio, he creates unique collages from sounds while on the dance floor, he skillfully uses 3 turntables mixing dancehall, dub, house, jungle and experimental tracks while blending it with everything from field-recordings to spoken-word records. You never know what he is going throw in the next time, but keep in mind: there is only one step from Snap to Mayhem in his set.

Is it true, that you are planning to move to New York? Why not Berlin or London?

          I don't have any specific plans for a moving yet. New York is a great city. I spent 3 weeks in NY last winter. I went there with the contemporary dance performance which I’ve composed music for. I also played in Elsewhere and on the Lot Radio. I like the energy of New York, so many people from different places. You can feel inspired all the time. It is not like in Warsaw, you rarely meet people of different nationality, but NY gathers people all around the globe. Berlin is a very easy place to live, not to have money and still live nice, go to parties and take drugs. NY is not so easy cause the rent is really high. Anyway, Berlin is too chilled out for me. Everyone is just having parties all the time, it’s not really my style. I used to be in London very often. There is not enough space, everything is so small there. NY is the opposite - you’ve got huge streets, really wide buildings. I can’t even imagine riding a bike on the streets of London - it’s too tiny. Everything is so tiny.

What are you doing in Warsaw these days?

          I’m fully into my music. I also do it for theatre, contemporary dance, videos, soundtracks.

Is it only music? You know, many artists struggle to make living only with their art?

          Yes, that’s true. If I move out I won’t afford music making only, the way I do now. I will need to get occupied.

Are you ready for this?

         I think yes, why not? I feel too comfortable in Warsaw right now. I need to shake things up. Even when it’s hard and I would need to go a few levels down.

Is it true, that you are planning to move to New York? Why not Berlin or London?

          I don't have any specific plans for a moving yet. New York is a great city. I spent 3 weeks in NY last winter. I went there with the contemporary dance performance which I’ve composed music for. I also played in Elsewhere and on the Lot Radio. I like the energy of New York, so many people from different places. You can feel inspired all the time. It is not like in Warsaw, you rarely meet people of different nationality, but NY gathers people all around the globe. Berlin is a very easy place to live, not to have money and still live nice, go to parties and take drugs. NY is not so easy cause the rent is really high. Anyway, Berlin is too chilled out for me. Everyone is just having parties all the time, it’s not really my style. I used to be in London very often. There is not enough space, everything is so small there. NY is the opposite - you’ve got huge streets, really wide buildings. I can’t even imagine riding a bike on the streets of London - it’s too tiny. Everything is so tiny.

What are you doing in Warsaw these days?

          I’m fully into my music. I also do it for theatre, contemporary dance, videos, soundtracks.

Is it only music? You know, many artists struggle to make living only with their art?

          Yes, that’s true. If I move out I won’t afford music making only, the way I do now. I will need to get occupied.

Are you ready for this?

         I think yes, why not? I feel too comfortable in Warsaw right now. I need to shake things up. Even when it’s hard and I would need to go a few levels down.

So it’s not like iT, say, Berlin, but comparing to other countries, it’s still pretty intense. We have things happening every weekend, really good things and sometimes it’s too much for this kind of city.

So it’s not like iT, say, Berlin, but comparing to other countries, it’s still pretty intense. We have things happening every weekend, really good things and sometimes it’s too much for this kind of city.

What’s up with the Polish electronic scene right now?

          I think we’ve got this blooming time right now. There are loads of great musicians from Poland who are currently putting out the music. These days, a lot of them are interested in techno music, like Brutaz. It’s focused on really interesting Polish techno artists. There have been more and more interesting events during the last 2 or 3 years and sometimes, it’s confusing. The situation is quite different to that of 10 years ago. You need to look for parties done by certain promo-groups that you know throw great parties.

Tell us about your label. Why did you create it, in the first place?

          It all started with the meetings and parties that we did with Filip Leh. We then thought that we should transform it into something else because we had lots of music that we wanted to play that wasn’t released at the moment. We decided to call it Dunno (pronounced as in Don’t know) because we didn’t have a straight line of what we were going to release. It’s like: “OK, let’s release this thing, and then this one.” Usually, we don’t plan a lot.

          We release everything in simple sleeves. For instance, when we released Aldona Orłowska vinyl, the cover was designed by me and the friend of mine. We don’t really release dance music and we don’t want to have a definitive structure of releasing music, we just focus on stuff that we like. By the way, we’ve recently put out Portugal duo Tropa Macaca and it’s great.

Regarding Aldona, I’m just wondering how did you find her? Was she happy with your offer?

          Yes, she was really happy about it. She is from Poland, but now she lives with her husband in Malmo, Sweden, but she still sings in Polish too. They are a great couple because he does all the music (he plays trumpet) and she does the singing. They are doing it for years. Some time ago people were posting her videos like something new, strange, and funny. It was like an internet phenomenon for a month a year ago, but nothing more than this. We thought we’d like to transform it into a proper release.

And who has made an Ibiza remix? 🔈

          No one knows.

 

What were you listening to in your childhood? Has it influenced your tastes in music?

          I think everything that you listen to has a certain influence on things you do later. I grew up listening to a lot of rap and hip-hop music. We had some extreme psychedelic rap bands in Poland in the 90s, these were the first tapes I was buying when I was 7 or something. Then I was getting deeper into experimental music and other stuff. Now I’m still much into rap music, trying to be as curious and open-minded as a kid, to search for interesting things.

When did you realize that you want to make music?

          When I was in primary school, I guess. I had been playing in two bands with my friends, something like industrial punk rock. We didn’t have a proper drum machine, just some metal plates and things which we were beating. I was the vocal guy. Then we kind of split up. But it was interesting to do something with the music. I mean I’ve never planned to live on music or just do music for my life. I guess, that a proper start was my release on British FTD label. So I just had my music on Soundcloud and the guy just wrote me that he is starting his label and he would like to put this record out and then I got the proposals from other labels. At the time, I was also starting to play DJ sets. So nothing’s planned.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you began your career with more experimental stuff and then you had a transition to dance music.

          Yes, the start was more experimental. When I learned new ways of creating music, I’ve started doing things that I really intended to. My last album is neither dance music nor experimental, I guess. I’m really interested in finding a place in-between, which is also true about my DJ sets. I try not to play really “dancy” sets.

What’s up with the Polish electronic scene right now?

          I think we’ve got this blooming time right now. There are loads of great musicians from Poland who are currently putting out the music. These days, a lot of them are interested in techno music, like Brutaz. It’s focused on really interesting Polish techno artists. There have been more and more interesting events during the last 2 or 3 years and sometimes, it’s confusing. The situation is quite different to that of 10 years ago. You need to look for parties done by certain promo-groups that you know throw great parties.

Tell us about your label. Why did you create it, in the first place?

          It all started with the meetings and parties that we did with Filip Leh. We then thought that we should transform it into something else because we had lots of music that we wanted to play that wasn’t released at the moment. We decided to call it Dunno (pronounced as in Don’t know) because we didn’t have a straight line of what we were going to release. It’s like: “OK, let’s release this thing, and then this one.” Usually, we don’t plan a lot.

          We release everything in simple sleeves. For instance, when we released Aldona Orłowska vinyl, the cover was designed by me and the friend of mine. We don’t really release dance music and we don’t want to have a definitive structure of releasing music, we just focus on stuff that we like. By the way, we’ve recently put out Portugal duo Tropa Macaca and it’s great.

Regarding Aldona, I’m just wondering how did you find her? Was she happy with your offer?

          Yes, she was really happy about it. She is from Poland, but now she lives with her husband in Malmo, Sweden, but she still sings in Polish too. They are a great couple because he does all the music (he plays trumpet) and she does the singing. They are doing it for years. Some time ago people were posting her videos like something new, strange, and funny. It was like an internet phenomenon for a month a year ago, but nothing more than this. We thought we’d like to transform it into a proper release.

And who has made an Ibiza remix? 🔈

          No one knows.

 

What were you listening to in your childhood? Has it influenced your tastes in music?

          I think everything that you listen to has a certain influence on things you do later. I grew up listening to a lot of rap and hip-hop music. We had some extreme psychedelic rap bands in Poland in the 90s, these were the first tapes I was buying when I was 7 or something. Then I was getting deeper into experimental music and other stuff. Now I’m still much into rap music, trying to be as curious and open-minded as a kid, to search for interesting things.

When did you realize that you want to make music?

          When I was in primary school, I guess. I had been playing in two bands with my friends, something like industrial punk rock. We didn’t have a proper drum machine, just some metal plates and things which we were beating. I was the vocal guy. Then we kind of split up. But it was interesting to do something with the music. I mean I’ve never planned to live on music or just do music for my life. I guess, that a proper start was my release on British FTD label. So I just had my music on Soundcloud and the guy just wrote me that he is starting his label and he would like to put this record out and then I got the proposals from other labels. At the time, I was also starting to play DJ sets. So nothing’s planned.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you began your career with more experimental stuff and then you had a transition to dance music.

          Yes, the start was more experimental. When I learned new ways of creating music, I’ve started doing things that I really intended to. My last album is neither dance music nor experimental, I guess. I’m really interested in finding a place in-between, which is also true about my DJ sets. I try not to play really “dancy” sets.

I avoid playing in very obvious places like clubs. I like to play in churches, for example, when people are sitting and listening

I avoid playing in very obvious places like clubs. I like to play in churches, for example, when people are sitting and listening

That’s how I played last time in Berlin with Gigi Masin and also I did two ‘church only’ tours with Bonnie “Prince” Billy.

I read that while making Dark Secret World album you were influenced by a wide range of inspirations: American psalms, American films, magical beliefs of Caribbean tribes. How did you find these inspirations?

          I am very much into ethnology and anthropology. I went to Jamaica last year to look for music but then I discovered that they’ve got very strong beliefs, Jamaican voodoo. I was doing my research, so it kind of inspired me even more than the music itself. Things that I’m thinking about, reading about, listening to. And this album somehow condensed thing that were on my mind through the past 3 years. I never sit on the computer and plan how to do this thing or that thing. It is not intentionally.

What is your process of making music?

          I’ve got some synthesizers and drum machine stuff. I mainly put all the stuff on the computer but also try to change the ways of creating music, so I don’t have the same simple structure. I’m using different ways all the time and I get more interesting results in the end.

          I use my hardware stuff a lot at home. So I jam, record it and then cut the stuff that I recorded and use it the same way as I use samples. I like to start a new track on a train, a plane, or whatever so a computer is the only thing you need to work in places like that.

          I also use cassettes to make music. You can catch this 20 cm loop on the tape and then put it together and it doesn’t end anytime. When you play it, say, for an hour, it sounds very clear but then, it gets really distorted. I can’t expect anything to sound a certain way, it is changing all the time.

It is difficult to put your music under one tag or genre. How do you personally define it?

That’s how I played last time in Berlin with Gigi Masin and also I did two ‘church only’ tours with Bonnie “Prince” Billy.

I read that while making Dark Secret World album you were influenced by a wide range of inspirations: American psalms, American films, magical beliefs of Caribbean tribes. How did you find these inspirations?

          I am very much into ethnology and anthropology. I went to Jamaica last year to look for music but then I discovered that they’ve got very strong beliefs, Jamaican voodoo. I was doing my research, so it kind of inspired me even more than the music itself. Things that I’m thinking about, reading about, listening to. And this album somehow condensed thing that were on my mind through the past 3 years. I never sit on the computer and plan how to do this thing or that thing. It is not intentionally.

What is your process of making music?

          I’ve got some synthesizers and drum machine stuff. I mainly put all the stuff on the computer but also try to change the ways of creating music, so I don’t have the same simple structure. I’m using different ways all the time and I get more interesting results in the end.

          I use my hardware stuff a lot at home. So I jam, record it and then cut the stuff that I recorded and use it the same way as I use samples. I like to start a new track on a train, a plane, or whatever so a computer is the only thing you need to work in places like that.

          I also use cassettes to make music. You can catch this 20 cm loop on the tape and then put it together and it doesn’t end anytime. When you play it, say, for an hour, it sounds very clear but then, it gets really distorted. I can’t expect anything to sound a certain way, it is changing all the time.

It is difficult to put your music under one tag or genre. How do you personally define it?

Yes. I think being out of genre is a bit of my goal. That’s kind of an attitude I’m trying to keep. I’m not about putting too much into a listener's’ mind. When you don't know what you are going to listen to it’s much more interesting for me.

Yes. I think being out of genre is a bit of my goal. That’s kind of an attitude I’m trying to keep. I’m not about putting too much into a listener's’ mind. When you don't know what you are going to listen to it’s much more interesting for me.

That’s how white label things work, in a way. When you take record without a cover and you don’t have any notes or image you only feel the sound. So I’m really far away from putting my work into rules and describing it.

That’s how white label things work, in a way. When you take record without a cover and you don’t have any notes or image you only feel the sound. So I’m really far away from putting my work into rules and describing it.

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Text: Tanya Voytko
Photo: Emma Knaflewska, Hanna Maciąg

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