Steve Lawler


U.K. progressive house master Steve Lawler steps behind the decks to deliver deep, dark and simply filthy grooves tonight.

Steve Lawler
Steve Lawler

By Michael Hamersly

Miami party people looking to get a jump on all the wild Halloween weekend festivities can do no better than to head to Gryphon at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Thursday, Oct. 29, where U.K. progressive house master Steve Lawler steps behind the decks to deliver deep, dark and simply filthy grooves. Lawler, who has been DJing for 17 years, is best known for his "Dark Drums" and "Lights Out" CD compilation series, and has been dubbed the "King of Space" for his marathon sets at the Ibiza megaclub, so get ready for a blissfully long night on the dance floor.
He talked to about his latest tour, in support of his new CD series "Viva."
First there was "Dark Drums," then "Lights Out," and now "Viva." Are you evolving toward a particular sound?
I think I always evolve as a DJ, and I've said this to many people - the most exciting thing about electronic music, period, is that it does evolve. It's got the room to push boundaries and try new things. And so I've built my whole career on looking for something new and bit more more edgy - that's just my personality, how I listen to music. If I hear the same thing again and again for years and years, it just bores me, and as soon as I'm bored, I lose interest. It's just a natural process for me. With all my mix compilations, I've done a series, because it makes it more interesting - when you make a compilation, you really have to try and give as much as possible for your hard-earned money, you know, albums that make sense along the way, that have a sound or an identity.
When you're performing live, what do you aim to give the crowd on any given night?
I aim to bring a party, first and foremost. My job is to deliver, and the way that I want to deliver is what makes it more interesting. It's really easy for any DJ to just turn to a club and play lots of big records, lots of electro sounds and everybody throws their hands iin the air. That's easy - anybody can do that. I think it's more important to try and bring a vibe into a room that's not just about one big record after another. It's kind of about getting lost in music and lost in sounds, and programming tracks so that they kind of build  up on you in a way you don't even realize - very subtle. That's it for me, really.
Do you still enjoy clubbing on your off nights?
Well, I don't really get much chance, to be honest with you. This year I've been to Cocoon twice, which is great. I only really go out myself to a club if there's a whole bunch of DJ friends that I know are gonna be there who don't get a chance to see each other usually. We're all touring in different parts of the world on any given weekend. In Ibiza, because I play there on Sundays at Space, I'm always there on a Monday, and if I've got some DJ friends who are coming in to play at Cocoon on Monday, I'm gonna go see 'em and hang out for awhile.
You're nicknamed "King of Space" for your residency in Ibiza. How does Miami compare?
[Laughs] Well, of course, Space Miami is an amazing club, especially the terrace. I remember years back, before [owner] Louis [Puig] was putting international guest DJs on the terrace - this was the very first Space club, and because I was known for the terrace in Ibiza, he asked me to play mornings on the terrace there. And it kind of spurred the whole guest DJ thing on the terrace, actually. At least, that's what I've been told.
What's your wildest experience at Winter Music Conference?
Well, of course, the wildest ones I can't tell you about. Let's be honest - you can't talk about these kind of things.

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