lucas rodenbush

e.b.e. audio ebe audio press kit



Issue No. 21


by Ben Ewy
As the term "tech-house" moves from being merely a press-related buzz word to an actual electronic sub-genre, none are better poised to reap the benefits of this neologism than Lucas Rodenbush, aka EBE. Lucas has slowly been making a name for himself with releases on Plastic City, Soma, Afterhours, Grayhound and his own Solid Grooves label. Danny Tenaglia's including EBE's "Deimos" on his Global Underground disk also helped bring his sound to a wider audience.
Although many people view EBE as being the paragon of the tech-house sound, Lucas doesn't view himself in such a light. "I think [the term tech-house] is too vague and too freely used. House, in itself, has gone through spme significant changes over the past fifteen years, from early garage, to the bleep of the early nineties to the banging sound we've come to expect from today's production standards. A long time ago, house had a raw urban tech-y edge, but it was still called house, regardless of the tech content. Techno used to be very thoughtful and much less rigid. There was more sound exploration with refined choices backing it. This term tech-house only cam about in '97 where there was a massive flux of Aubrey, Ambrose and the like. The people that have been around should know the difference between the two."
Even though he may not like the term "tech-house," Lucas' list of influences are a perfect mix of techno and house producers, including Jam & Spoon, Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick Carter, Johnny Fiasco, Chez Damier & Ron Trent, Joshua, Maruizio (Basic Channel), Jeff Mills, the Original Advent, Kenny Larkin, Paul Johnson, Roy Davis, Jr., Kenny Dixon, Jr., MAW, Tony Humphries and Kerri Chandler.
One thing that many people cite as being the defining characteristic of tech-house is its ability to cross-pollenate genres. The soulful, spiritual feeling of house music is juxtaposed against a harder, banging 4/4 kick and bass line. Many times, the endd result basically sounds like properly produced early Detroit techno, but often times this new emotive form defies any comparison. For Lucas, that element of 'feeling' is what defines his music.
"I don't do too much thinking [when i make music], but a lot of feeling. I like to work from the ground up. The feel has to be there first... the complete thoughts have just have their own ways of surfacing over time. Regardless, the pieces that i make usually stem from the feeling invoked by the daily trials and occurences of my life. That's what making music is about... channeling emotions and making sense out of the odds."
Unfortunately, one of the results of the new tech-house revolution is that more traditional feeling house has been somewhat marginalized. People new to the electronic scene only listen to the more recent sounds and sometimes forget where this music came from. But for Lucas, this by no means signifies the death of classic sounding house.
"House is here to stay — so is techno. People need to understand that house and techno are two separate entities. Techno's just a little bit skewed. They have both been around since the eighties, each with their own individual histories and own individual roots. There is plenty of exceptional talent that continues to emerge while the original people continually contribute and reinforce. Even if certain styles have receded, they still exist because the records are still around. They re-emerge once the needle is placed on the record. But this culture is DJ fueled, so the owners of those records are the prophets. That's all it takes, combined with a little inspiration. Nonetheless, it's important to delve and explore. Style takes a long time to develop... it's totally preferential and experiential. Coming up with it is entirely up to you."
Although there are many important producers championing a new take on soulful inspired electronic music, EBE has been one of the most prolific. As such, his records have in many ways laid the blueprint by which other records will be compared. It is by no surprise then, that Lucas sees teaching in his future.
"Since my teachers have had a tremendous impact on my life, I feel it's only right to return that energy to the future. So somewhere along the line, I'd like to teach at an art-based magnate school or college. I also have a lot of desire to combine my medium with other artistic media, be it visual art, film/video, dance or the like. I want to collaborate on a deeper artistic level."