Monty Luke: The ‘Ransom Note’ Mix


Whether it’s through his warm, bouncy DJ sets or his slick house productions, there’s a signature rawness and cosmic touch to everything Monty Luke puts his hands on.

With almost two decades in the game, Monty first cut his teeth as a producer on Dirtybird’s Mothership sub-label alongside Tasho, a release that’s got a reboot recently via his own Black Catalogue imprint. The impetus to start his own label came after a move to Detroit in 2008 and a subsequent position at Carl Craig’s renowned Planet E, where he helped helm the development of the label. 

He went on to launch Black Catalogue in 2011, predominantly as a platform to release his own efforts on this own terms, both under his own name and his Mandingo alias, as well as shining a light on underground artists like Sepehr, Stefan Ringer and Dave Aju. 

We invited him to take control of this week’s Ransom Note mix for an hour of raw, interstellar sonics that fire you up into outer space before bringing you back down to solid ground…

Where was the mix recorded?

The mix was recorded in an Air Bnb flat I was renting that particular week, on Karl-Marx-Allee. The owner of the flat was for some reason obsessed with rabbits. There were pictures of rabbits, rabbit toys, stuffed rabbits (ie, real taxidermy), even a giant lamp with two giant rabbit legs as the base.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

This mix has an earthy, organic vibe to it. I’d say, walking around your city with ear buds. Maybe on a beach or lake while running or driving in a scenic area.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

On a SpaceX built spacecraft on the way to Mars.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

Sandilé – ‘Can’t Help It’. Coming soon on Black Catalogue!!!

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

The DJ lady in the movie, “The Warriors.” She’s smooth, knows great music, has some dope analog gear and isn’t afraid to admit when she’s made a mistake. 

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

My first DJ set up was two 1200s and a mixer… I think it was a Numark. At the moment, if I had my gear set up it would still be two 1200s, 2 CDJ 2000s, my dub siren and a custom Condesa-V 4 channel mixer.

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?

For me, especially with these hour-long podcast mixes, the first three tracks are most important. You set the tone in this time and basically make or break whether the listener will stick around for the rest.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

Champagne and coconuts.

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

Haha, the most recent example of this is the King Britt release, “Back 2 Black” on my label. It’s very difficult to mix into. I think it’s in like 6/8 time or something like that.

Upcoming in the world of…

In the fall/winter I have a slew of releases coming on Black Catalogue from the likes of Elbee Bad, Mandingo and a new up and coming artist and killer DJ from Köln, Sandilé.

Seekers International – Still Ugly
Mary Yalex – Cosmic Garden
De Cave Man – Wahmuhle
Terekeke – Aforgeti
Telephones – Untitled (The Party)
Jared Wilson – Tracking
Frankie Knuckles presents Satoshi Tomeii and Robert Owens – Tears
Sandilé – Can’t Help It – Black Catalogue
Scott Grooves – Uluru
Duckett – My Life On Earth Starts This Morning
Radioslave – Don’t Sleep 3 (Sound Channel Mix)
John Tender – Flowers From Fantasyland

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