Lucca Tan gears up to DJ at Melbourne Underground techno rave

Like the music he DJs and produces, Lucca Tan’s demeanour is deep, progressive and unassuming. Tan begins the interview by answering the pertinent question as to why he does what he does.

“First of all, I do it for the passion. My philosophy is do it because you enjoy it, don’t do it with any ego or any false intentions. Do it because you love it and you will get the best out of it,” the 26-year-old asserts. Tan’s soft voice sparks as he concludes, “I do all this stuff not for the ego and not for the money, I do it because I know how to fucking smash a dance floor. And all the other stuff, like the sets and the residencies, has just come organically without pushing anyone or having to pay an agent.”

Tan has been billed as one of the headline acts at Melbourne Underground Techno Sessions, an honour he does not take lightly.

“I mean some of those guys have been smashing it locally for ages which makes it awesome to play with them because they know their stuff and they know how to prepare the crowd for the next DJs’ set.”

Tan reveals how he’ll prepare for his set at 24 Moons Bar – saying, “I try to get there about an hour beforehand and take in the vibe,” before describing what punters can expect. “I wouldn’t limit myself to techno at all. I play deep minimal tech, to afro, jungle and house to driving techno to really stripped back Perlon stuff like Ricardo Villalobos.”

To truly understand what a Lucca Tan set will be like, one needs understand how he began DJing. Tan began at age 18, playing and running a night with mentor Damon Walsh at Wah Wah Lounge. Walsh took Tan with him to famed Melbourne night spot Revolver to be a resident for the bi-monthly night Mi Casa, currently in its ninth year. However, whilst still on the Southside it was at the Monday morning ‘revitalising afterparty’ that Tan established himself as one of Melbourne’s most staunch DJs.

“Pretty much every international that comes through breakfast club I’m either playing before them or after them. It’s a craft to get a crowd warmed up for an international without over-cooking it and leaving them nowhere to go.”

One of the reasons Tan opens for the international guests is that though still a young DJ, he has first hand experience of what is happening in Europe. “I push myself to go overseas every year and play at big clubs in Europe and get recognised overseas and as being a DJ and producer it opens you up to completely new sounds. I hate to say it but there is only so much good music in Australia.” To summarise why Tan values his perennial European migration he states bluntly, “You can just smash Australia but you are only going to know what is going on in clubs in Australia.”

Finally, Tan touches on production work, having not released anything since 2018. “I am doing up a catalogue at the moment as I have been doing a lot of collaborations and as of next year I am going to start releasing them. I have about 15 tracks finished with guys like David Delgado from Berlin who I recently just finished an LP with. I have been working with a few local guys as well and my own stuff. Rather than just doing one track here and one track there, I thought I would build up a handful of 15 to 20 solid tracks and then release them on a schedule.”

Lucca Tan is playing Melbourne Underground for their ‘Sessions with’ party alongside Dave Pham, Dean Benson, Liam Waller and Morgan this Saturday December 8 at 24 Moons Bar.