First Contact, Luuk van Dijk‘s eagerly anticipated debut album, released on November 11 on his own Dark Side Of The Sun label.
The debut album by the Dutch DJ and producer is the culmination of a protracted and intense exploration process. It’s a project that Luuk can wholeheartedly support and be proud of after years of development. Next to a search for his own identity and his own place in music, it has also become a passage through time.
By far his largest body of work to date, the 13-track release kicks off with the suitably-titled ‘Cosmiq’, a deep, grooving sonic exploration that immediately sets the tone. Because of this song, Luuk says, “Because of this track I wanted to make an album to showcase my other kind of music that people won’t maybe expect of me.”
The next track is the glistening, ethereal sounds of “Love You,” which will be released as a single in October and features the seductive vocals of US singer-songwriter Dawn Richard. According to Luuk, “She really brought this track to a whole new level; I couldn’t be happier with the result.”
Further collaborations come in the form of ‘Wolf’, a majestic, strings-led house cut featuring Steve Burton of one of many steves; ‘Master Plug’, a deep, jackin’ number with Chicago artist Kid Enigma; and the Detroit-indebted ‘Together We Rise’, punctuated by the spiritual vocals of MC Roga. “I tried making a track the way they used to make music,” Luuk says of the latter. “With as few machines as possible, just a mixer, sampler and some synths.”
Before “Knowing How To Love” ends the album on an oddly melancholy note, other highlights include the orchestral “Lightning Striking,” the hypnotic “Hot Stuff,” and the charming “Let The Bass Kick.” “The last track of the album, also a track that started as an interlude and ended up being a full song,” says Luuk. “This song basically sums up how I’ve been feeling the years 2020 and 2021, very emotional, sad, but also hopeful. Everything will be alright.”
Luuk van Dijk, one of the hottest new names to emerge from Amsterdam’s vibrant club scene, is currently creating a stir across the globe with his contagious brand of spirited house music. His reputation as a rising star in house music has already been cemented by releases on labels like Hot Creations, Cuttin’ Headz, Solid Grooves Records, and Eastenderz. He launched Dark Side Of The Sun in 2020 with the aim of exploring a broader approach to his signature style.
First Contact is a vivid sonic snapshot of one of the most promising up-and-coming artists in electronic music.