Next up in our Last DJ Set series, where we’re talking to a wide range of artists about their final gig before government-ordered lockdowns and travel bans went into effect in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is Swiss DJ and producer and Polaris festival curator Mirko Loko.
Earlier this month, Loko’s phenomenal Detroit Love Vol. 4 was released via Carl Craig’s Planet E. The compilation features previously unreleased collaborations with Derrick May, Ursula Rucker and a special edit of his collab with Stacey Pullen, “Tronic Illusion.”
We recently caught up with Loko to discuss his last gig at Le Bourg in Lausanne, Switzerland, on February 29, before the world went completely sideways.
When and where was your last DJ gig?
Mirko Loko: In a very cool club called Le Bourg, an old theater transformed into a very romantic music hall for 200 people.
How did it go?
It was fantastic! I played all night long. I was invited to play b2b by friends, and it’s always great to be in your hometown with close friends.
What was your mindset going into it?
I was in the mood to play rare tracks, with no pressure.
Where had you played previously?
D! Club with Kerri Chandler. It’s always an honor to play with him.
Did any tracks, in particular, go over especially well during that gig?
I have many in mind but, at that time, I was working on a new version of my own production with Ursula Rucker for the Detroit Love compilation. I’m always excited to play it in front of a live audience on a real sound system. I was also testing a remix for Takuya Yamashita, which will also come out next.
What is your best memory from that gig?
I’m always impressed to see how Kerri Chandler navigates his keyboard. I also fondly remember people having fun all around me before the pandemic.
Everyone can’t wait for clubs and festivals to begin again. What do you miss most about DJing?
Actually, in Switzerland, we are privileged by the way our government managed the crisis.
We are a small country with a small density of population. This allows us to be one of the first countries to organize events, limited to 300 people. We have very strict sanitary protocols but it is the only way to continue to live normally. I have the chance and privilege to play today with all the precautions required. Playing music is crucial to me.
How are you keeping your skills sharp?
I’m still proactive. We just started a new open-air concept with local food, local and international artists that support our music projects. I am proactive in the studio as well with a new compilation for Detroit Love that represents something huge for the passionate guy that I am. I also try to continue to live normally, aware of the danger around us, and the fact that the situation might continue for a while.
A lot of DJs have been doing live streams and working on tracks. What have you been working on during the lockdown?
I’m not a fan of streaming. I was more focused on the studio side and new concepts for post-lockdown. I had the huge honor of collaborating on new tracks with Ursula Rucker, Derrick May and Stacey Pullen and Japanese artist Takuya Yamashita for [Planet E] compilation series Detroit Love Vol. 4.
I have always been inspired by the music of Detroit. I have huge respect for the great genius of the Motor City and the American Midwest music. It’s symbolic for me, I have a deep and eternal respect for the history of electronic music.
How can fans support you right now?
By supporting my projects and especially my next release.
Any last words on your last gig?
Thanks to all the people enjoying and supporting the music.
Thank you for your time. Stay safe and be well.
Same for you guys! Thanks for having me!