Ladytron's Reuben Wu Talks DJ Sets, Photo Career, and His Band "Taking a Break"
Reuben Wu of Ladytron.
What's Ladytron up to these days?
The English synth-pop quartet made the soundtrack to your electro days: "Playgirl," "Seventeen," "Destroy Everything You Touch." All of them are dance-floor classics.
The band's last album was 2011's Gravity the Seducer, with little else being released since. But every now and then, a Ladytron member will pop up for a DJ set, like synthesizer guy Reuben Wu, who'll be spinning at The Garret at Grand Central tonight.
As far as what Wu himself has been up to, he's been hanging out and keeping busy in Chicago, far from the band's England home base.
"I've just been doing my own thing while the band has been taking a break," he says. "Been doing my own photography, working on videos, and working on my own music as well."
But Wu isn't in Chicago because he's looking to get away from Ladytron.
"My girlfriend is actually from here. I met her while I was touring in the States. I really enjoy being here. There's a lot of people here who are keen to help you out, which is a bit different from London, where it can be a little cliquey."
Wu's current work is mostly visual, something he even explored with Ladytron.
"We [the members of Ladytron] all did visual stuff individually. When we started out, it was a DIY setup. I would do artwork with [Daniel Hunt] and photography, and [Mira Aroyo] would be doing photos as well. I think that was what was so fun about those days. We could just do it and that's all we needed to do."
Wu says beyond Ladytron, he's not looking to release a solo album or single.
"I enjoy remixing for other people and doing a bit of production here and there. But my main motivation to making music right now is in accompaniment with video. [My interest] in photography has grown into motion picture, and with any motion picture there needs to be sound, so I've been getting into a lot more sound design."
However, DJ gigs give him a chance to flex his musical muscles while awaiting to regroup with Ladytron. And he's not one of those musicians who moonlights as a DJ for a paycheck. Wu has been DJing since 1994.
"It allowed me to enjoy playing music when I stopped playing classical instruments when I was a kid. It was a creative for me to articulate and listen to music, just by mixing and beatmatching and playing music during parties.
"DJing is a lot more intimate because there's less pressure on you to make music and be on top of everything."
As a longtime DJ, one can't help wondering what is Wu's favorite record he owns.
"I think it was 1994 to 1995, 'Da Funk' by Daft Punk on Soma Records. It was the first ever Daft Punk record ever out."
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Reuben Wu. A DJ set. With Ben Wash and Ray Milian. As part of Death's Door. Presented by King's Head Records. Tuesday, June 24. The Garret at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Seventh Street side entrance, Miami. The show starts at 11 p.m. and tickets $10 to $15 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Ages 21 and over. Call 305-377-2277 or visit grandcentralmiami.com.