Northern Irish producer Gregory Ferguson better know under his alias LOR, short for Lunar Orbit Rendezvous, has been feeding the electronic music scene with well considered soundscapes over the past months. His EPs or remix works on labels such as Exit Strategy, Atomnation, Cin Cin or L’efant terrible not only resemble LOR’s sensitivity for creating ‘out of this orbit’ music, but reflect the artist’s skills for giving various elements their room and therefore a meaning in his tracks. After premiering LOR’s remix for German band DAF a couple of weeks ago, Torture the Artist had the chance to speak with the DJ and producer about his weakness for astronomy, his first meeting with Technotronics and Irish butter.
Torture the Artist: Gregory tell me something about your day.
LOR: Right now I’m having coffee in my favourite place in Belfast, Clements. It’s like my little hideout where I often start the day!
My friend was the secretary of the Irish Astronomical Association and he taught me a lot about astronomy… he had (still has) a big telescope…
Torture the Artist: Was it your childhood’s dream to be an astronaut or where does your enthusiam for astronomy come from?
LOR: Haha! I think it partly kicked off because when I was a teenager my friend was the secretary of the Irish Astronomical Association and he taught me a lot about astronomy… he had (still has) a big telescope… (not an euphemism). It has just gone from there. Ever since I started music my band names or artists names, song titles, have often had space themes. I’m also a bit of a sci fi geek, I love Star Trek Next Gen and the Ian M Banks novels, they give me inspiration for sure. Don’t even start me about Elon Musk.
Torture the Artist: Isn’t it about time you remix Mike Oldfield’s classic ‘Moonlight Shadow’?
LOR: I will go away and have a listen and get back to you. I think I perhaps need to be educated more in the works of Mike Oldfield.
Torture the Artist: So far you have remixed or reworked German bands Kraftwerk and DAF. When and where did your faible for these bands arise and how fluent is your German in order to work with the vocals correctly?
LOR: Sadly, my German right now is almost non-existent. Obviously this isn’t a major issue with Kraftwerk, but I had to look up the lyrics of the DAF track… it was really just in case there was anything controversial in it, which there is always a chance of with DAF. My passion for Kraftwerk began in my late teens when I bought Trans Europe Express, and it’s something that has intensified over the years. I’m really fascinated by many aspects of their work, and that remix/edit I did came out of me really wanting to be able to DJ that particular track. The DAF thing was completely different, I was approached to do that project – and it was a great pleasure and an honour.
Torture the Artist: What would be your answer to someone who says that these two bands are ‘so yesterday’?
LOR: If the music reaches your heart and your mind, then it isn’t ‘yesterday’ it’s “now”. Some music lasts longer than others, and weathers the storms of fashion. I think many of the works of both of those bands would be in that category for a lot of people. But it’s all subjective.
I do have some classical training.
Torture the Artist: Irish folk, Chopin or Oldschool-HipHop, what are your musical roots?
LOR: Mmm. None of those have been big musical focuses of mine. I do have some classical training so it’s probably slightly more Chopin than the other two.
Torture the Artist: When was your first date with electronic music?
LOR: Gosh. I reckon Technotronic ‘Pump Up The Jam’ was a bit of a wake up call for me at the age of 11. Sounded so different to me.
Torture the Artist: So far you have released on labels such as Exit Strategy, Atomnation, Cin Cin or L’enfant terrible and you recently said that something new was cooking. Are you leaving your known ‘orbit’ for your upcoming projects and what can you reveal so far about future releases or music from your side?
LOR: It’s so nice to be asked about what I’m up to! However, as is so often the case, I can’t reveal a great deal as it’s the label’s call when they announce releases, but needless to say I have a few EPs cooking at the moment and I’m very happy about who’s going to release them. At some stage I will release a long player as well but I’m not sure when precisely I’ll make that move.
I fucking love butter.
Torture the Artist: Is your music so smooth because of the Irish butter?
LOR: Well, I fucking love butter some maybe so!
Torture the Artist: What personal critera does your job as a DJ and producer not fulfill?
LOR: Fresh air and exercise aren’t an obvious element of the ‘job’, so that maybe. We also have two children and family life makes up another huge dimension. My music work has always helped keep me going through the rocky road of life, it’s an emotional outlet, a technical discipline…. it provides a personal, internal focus for me.
Torture the Artist: What makes a good cooperation with another artists for you?
LOR: When I have done collabs of any kind, I think it works when the individuals skills dovetail with each other, you automatically take on different and complimentary roles that together make the whole picture.
I also teach music production and the students give me some great ideas.
Torture the Artist: Who would you like to work with in the future, and why?
LOR: I am very open to the idea of it, but I don’t have any specific people I would target in that way. I would say that there are some musicians who come into the studio (I’m based in Start Together Studio in Belfast) who I would like to invite in for a jam session some time. I also teach music production and the students give me some great ideas – it just happened today actually.
Torture the Artist: Who is the most beautiful musician in the world – including the moon?
LOR: Let’s just say the moon.
Torture the Artist: What’s your favorite beverage when you DJ?
LOR: I’d take a beer – German is good!
Torture the Artist: What’s the audience of your dreams?
LOR: Nitsa in Barcelona was pretty close to that last weekend. I’m drawn to small-to-medium sized crowds. And if they seem to be digging my vibe and we get a bit of energy and interaction going back and forth, that’s a great audience. <smiles>
Torture the Artist: Describe yourself with three #hashtags.
LOR: #lunar #orbit #rendezvous