Our Record Label of the Week series allows our writers to connect with their audience in a different manner; instead of presenting a new song they enjoyed or showcasing an artist they saw live, they attempt to explain the relevance and powerful presence of an entire label. Whether it houses a plethora of genres, or sticks to a specific theme, this series aims to provide students with a glimpse backstage – at the men and women that devote their lives to offering us the music that we care so passionately about.
“LuckyMe Family”, a phrase found in many of the Scottish label’s aural delights; be it in their mixes, their radio appearances or at their somewhat legendary parties – and it’s an apt phrase to say the least. In Edinburgh and Glasgow their ominous eye logo stickers can be found all over the urban landscape, from the tunnels of the Clockwork Orange to the Police Boxes of the Royal Mile, it’s an icon of modern urban Scottish culture yet still remains shrouded in secrecy; a symbol at the forefront of forward-thinking dance music. The label’s roster of dynamic producers have graced the top of the charts, think Azealia Banks and Kanye West, yet their ethos remains firmly rooted in their foundations, a mantra proudly displayed on the label’s website: LuckyMe Music, Art, Parties.
Formed originally as a club night in a Glaswegian vegan rock club in 2007 by Mike Slott, Dominic Sum Flannigan, Martin Flynn and Hudson Mohawke, the record label has maintained that rare, elusive balance; international renown and credibility (the label now operates out of Edinburgh, London and New York) with a unique underground, local edge. On the one hand, LuckyMe artists are mastering Kanye West tracks, on the other they’re throwing underground parties in the vaults of Edinburgh and at medieval Scottish cathedrals. The label is at the forefront of international cool, yet is still an unknown and an almost closely guarded UK secret. With LuckyMe comes a great sense of musical diversity the label has propelled pioneers of the trap sound such as Lunice and Hudson Mohawke, both of whom went on to form the now disbanded supergroup TNGHT. Similarly trap superstar Baauer and his Harlem Shake sit comfortably in the label’s roster. Yet at the same time the label supports the synth driven sounds of American Men, the Jersey Club tinged tracks of Cashmere Cat and the hypnotic house of Jacques Greene and Machinedrum. LuckyMe is also a launchpad for young Scottish talent, with the likes of Edinburgh’s Eclair Fifi, S-Type and Glasgow’s Rustie having risen through the label’s ranks to international stardom.
As clichéd as it sounds, LuckyMe is far more than a record label, doubling also as somewhat of an art collective. A team of past Glasgow School of Art graduates has propelled the label’s creative output to international heights working on a series of visual arts projects with the likes of Nike, Red Bull and even the great American pop artist Jeff Koons. In LuckyMe’s own words their signature style has come to be recognised as, “an uneasy ménage à trois of sub – culture, pop – culture and high – culture.” This style is omnipresent at their elusive underground parties thrown across the world, but don’t think this label’s forgotten its roots. Scottish parties are a regular occurrence and the label’s annual Edinburgh Fringe show is always a sell out highlight of the festival. The label also has a good sense of humour, with mystery artist DJ Yolo Bear showing this case in point, a mysterious but talented Jersey Club producer, represented by only a cartoon, Bucket hat and paisley bandana wearing bear. Recent live shows of said Yolo Bear consisted of a same day performance in New York, London and Edinburgh, continuing to keep the bear shrouded in mystery.
LuckyMe is that rare kind of label, devoted to artistry, innovation and culture above all else. Amongst their roster, they’ve reached international fame, yet still maintain an almost cult like following by those in the know. Their shows and records are a paramount of artistic delight, everything from the visuals at concerts to album artwork is meticulous and thought through, combining the aspect of the label’s art collective with their musical output. All of this makes for a highly unique record label, one that sits at the pinnacle of alternative urban culture.
Words: Charlie Jaco