You can tell a lot about an artist by the time of day they want to do an interview. The most hardcore night owls arrange to meet over drinks in the green room at the club. Others suggest an inevitably groggy early afternoon phone interview done while en route to the airport. Chris Lake requests to meet at 9am, an hour largely unheard of in the world of nightlife. He wants to go hiking.
So, on this relentlessly bright Tuesday morning in Los Angeles, Lake pulls up to the trailhead on Mulholland Drive in his black Tesla and gets out, sporting athletic gear and a smile. The venerable house producer lives just down the hill from this state park; we can literally see his house from the trail. He comes up here often, having embraced the yoga-doing, green-juice-consuming SoCal lifestyle since moving here from London. He wakes up every morning at 6am (without an alarm clock, he notes) and gets outside to soak up the sunshine that largely eluded him back in his native UK.
“America’s like a big social experiment, and everyone wants to make things happen… It’s as simple as that.”
It’s not just Lake’s fitness routine that has been transformed by the move to America. He’s found that the unabashed enthusiasm of the American scene has seeped into his sonic output, resulting in music that incorporates the best aspects of the underground and commercial—realms in which he is equally adept. In his more than 10-year career, Lake has collaborated with North American–made megastars including deadmau5, Steve Aoki and Skrillex, who will release Lake’s forthcoming single, “—-,” on his OWSLA label. Lake’s dizzily pulverizing house track “Operator” has also become a major dancefloor weapon since its release last December, bringing him a new level of ubiquity in the L.A. scene.
These tracks are two of the many gems contained in Lake’s Beyond SoCal mix, which comes ahead of his set at the festival, happening March 24–25 at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino. Listen to the mix below and head over to Insomniac.com to read Lake’s thoughts on SoCal, social media and Skrillex below.