Find out about all our releases on Bandcamp. Have a listen, click here.
Mirko Loko took care of "Detroit Love" compilation volume 4.

In conversation with Mirko Loko

Mirko Loko’s passion for music has led him on an upward trajectory ever since he first started DJing in the late ‘90s clubs of Lausanne. Based at the crossroads between Detroit-inspired techno and the stripped-down-yet-jacked-up side of house, his music is that of diversity and subtlety. It’s high-class yet low-slung, a hypnotic collage sewn together by shifting layers of darkness and light.

We took the time to sit down with Mirko Loko and talk about his Detroit Love compilation on Planet E and much more. Enjoy.

Connect with Mirko Loko on Soundcloud

2020 is a year we will not be forgetting that fast. It feels like it has put a halt on the music industry in some ways. How has it affected you as an artist and as a person in general?

Like a lot of artists I was affected by not being able to perform and travel anymore. In Switzerland we are lucky enough to be able to get together in a small group of 300.

This tragedy was impossible to foresee for our whole industry and I think that the positive thing to do, if possible, is to adapt to the situation. We’re going to have to wait a while longer before we can get back to normal.  

On the other hand, artists have time to be more creative as ever. More time to experiment, improve, collaborate and showcase what is up to their sleeve. How do you keep pushing the energy these days?

One of the adaptations is obviously more time in the studio, more creation. I have been able to take time to compose, listen to more music and adapt to events and concepts while incorporating the new Covid standard. It’s been difficult not to be able to plan things in advance, but you have to move forward and look to the future in order to be able to find a minimum of normality. I try to stay positive, it’s important.

It’s been difficult not to be able to plan things in advance, but you have to move forward and look to the future in order to be able to find a minimum of normality.

One of your projects caught our attention. You’ve curated the “Detroit Love” compilation that’ll be released via Carl Craig’s Planet E label on Sept 4. How did this one come together?

I hadn’t released anything on Planet E for quite some time, since 2006. So I’m very honored to be back on the label and at the helm of the next Detroit Love compilation with new songs.

Carl invited me to play in Detroit in 2001 and since then, we’ve kept a very close relationship. I regularly play for Detroit Love and when they offered me this project I couldn’t believe it, I was very excited. It’s very symbolic to me. 

Stream or buy the “Detroit Love” compilation on your favourite platform, here

Was this the perfect time and solution to add unreleased work of yourself? 

Yes, absolutely! It was important to make sense and complete the compilation with some of my productions. I’m very happy to have been able to pay homage to Detroit and my mentors and to have the chance to present these collaborations that are so important to me on a label like Planet E.

For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning and, often, emulating others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice? What is the relationship between copying, learning and your own creativity?

I feel that I am very lucky in my learning because I went to a good school. I was lucky to see Laurent, Carl and Derrick play regularly in my city in Switzerland. This, at a time when the internet didn’t exist, and the media did not advertise the techno movement and artists. When I discovered this, it was a virgin field of sensations that I immediately found very stimulating. It also seems to me that the intention was pure at that time. Being able to work at a radio station also brought me a lot and was a key moment. I wouldn’t be able to express anything about my own creativity, so I would say this: my musical world is full of mentors whom I hold in high esteem and who have taught me a lot, copying them would have been pointless.

My musical world is full of mentors whom I hold in high esteem and who have taught me a lot, copying them would have been pointless.

Has Detroit Techno always been the main influence in your musical taste? What type of music did you enjoy in your younger days and how has it influenced your own music throughout the years?

When I was a teenager, we listened to a radio station in Switzerland and at the time it was one of the first in Europe that played electronic music and mixes. We were educated with quality music on a free radio and with passionate people. My main influences were house music at the very beginning and then I discovered the music of Detroit in ‘94, when I listened to Derrick May for the first time at a New Year’s rave. I literally fell into it at that time. I always kept this influence in my DNA, but I was always curious and looking for new sounds.

What do you find most challenging about the music business?

I believe that the music world is a privileged environment. It’s important to always keep in mind this chance to be able to evolve in life, thanks to a passion and creation that requires special skills, and generally speaking we are lucky because it’s not given to everyone. It is very important to remember this.

What have you got planned for the year ahead? Any new music or collaborations we should know about?

I’m currently working on new songs for my alias Bel-Air Ltd. Hopefully, I should be able to release this by the end of the year. 

Any advice on maintaining a successful working relationship in a crazy space like dance music?

Keep your feet on the ground…

Thank you, Mirko Loko

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

We are a magazine & record label dedicated to quality underground electronic music. We do not look for just any music or anyone, we are looking for music, and people who create memorable experiences, that inspires and invokes emotion. Let’s create timeless music.