“My tracks never tell a story; neither do my visuals. It’s just about a certain feeling that I tried to capture.” As RIP Swirl, Luka Seifert captures indescribable sentiments with a sonic palette that runs the gamut of contemporary dance music - from lo-fi house to UK bass, electro and breakbeat.
Aside from producing catchy and dancefloor-ready music under the Swirl moniker, he’s also a member of the band Love Hotel, who performed at Vetements’ FW 2017 runway show at Paris Fashion Week back in June, and Birthday, whose songs are typically hazy and sun-drenched, awash with nostalgia.
Despite being involved in a handful of creative projects and releasing music at a prolific rate, Seifert also manages to run an inspiring, monochromatic Tumblr also called RIP Swirl. We caught up with the Berlin-based musician and aesthete to talk Twin Peaks, Vetements, and his worst DJ set ever.
What’s your first music memory?
My first music memory is my dad playing a comb as a music instrument. He used to play all these little instruments like the harmonica or any small thing, because his parents never let him learn a proper instrument, even though he has perfect pitch.
What was the first piece of gear you bought?
I bought a really crappy electric guitar when I was 14 or so. I didn’t even have an amp in the beginning, but I had that old white Macbook where you could plug in a mini-jack and record directly into Garage Band. So I had this one jack to mini jack cable so I could plug the guitar into the computer and it totally changed my life.
Your part of the band Love Hotel and you have been working with Vetements. What was it like playing their recent show in Paris?
It was great. It was our first gig ever and it went well. We played in front of a huge red Twin Peaks-like curtain.
You sampled Agent Cooper from Twin Peaks on your recent track “Damn Fine Coffee,” who’s your favorite character from the show and why?
Yeah, Dale Cooper is really cool, he’s my favorite. His character is so well-written. The fact he also drinks his coffee black makes me feel a bit like Dale Cooper when I drink my coffee.
What would you say was your worst DJ set?
Once I was supposed to play a lo-fi house kinda set but I brought the wrong USBs that I previously used for a hip-hop set, so I ended up playing trap for people that wanted to dance to house music. That was pretty bad.
Most annoying request you’ve ever received while DJing?
Don’t think that ever happened. I mean I had people coming up asking for EDM and shit but I wouldn’t say I was annoyed. You can always come up to me and request whatever music you want. Who knows? Maybe I’m into it. But I’m certainly not going to be annoyed. I like when people come and talk to me.
Favorite place to chill out?
Definitely my new couch.
Favourite place to turn up?
Definitely my new couch.
Favorite thing about living in Berlin?
The food. I’ve never had better falafel for 3 Euros. Shout-out to Maroush at Kottbusser Tor.
You’ve said your music videos and tracks don’t tell a story, but are about capturing certain emotions, has there been a particular situation lately that made you feel something particularly vivid or strange?
Moving to Berlin and focusing only on music felt quite vivid. I was studying in Hamburg before, so although I was making music and things started to take off I was always occupied with other stuff too. So now it's been a year or so that I’m fully doing the music thing. It’s a great but also strange feeling, and a lot of freedom creatively. That’s why I like to have all my different projects. I don’t like to leave my head unoccupied. It needs to be kept busy.
You have an insane Tumblr following, what do you think attracts you to that platform versus something like Twitter or SoundCloud?
I’ve been on Tumblr since I started making music years ago. It was meant to be a diary of inspiration without any particular purpose whatsoever. Somehow through the years people started getting into it. I never used to check how many followers I have, I didn’t even know where to check that. But yeah, suddenly there were quite a lot of people following what I look at to get inspired. It’s the only platform I don’t really use to promote my music. It’s just for myself which is what I like about it.
For more of our interviews, check out our exclusive Q&A and photoshoot with Nas protegee Dave East right here.