Often grouped with similarly influential names such as Cristian Vogel and former labelmates the Black Dog, Luke Slater is generally credited with helping to create a U.K. techno tradition with a strong Detroit foundation. Slater's work is probably the more straight-ahead of the three (although he's released works ranging from tough, banging techno to lush, beatless ambient) and tends to build on the Steel City's ruddy, muscular frame rather than simply repeating it. He has recorded under names such as Morganistic, Clementine, Planetary Assault Systems, and Luke Slater's 7th Plain, and quite often in collaboration with Alan Sage.
Slater got his start in music in the late '80s at the Mi Price record store in Croydon (just south of London), working alongside Colin Dale and collaborator-to-be Sage. He soon set up his own shop -- Jelly Jam Records -- in Brighton, and from there began releasing original tracks under a slew of different monikers. His debut came in 1989 in the form of "Momentary Vision," released on white label under the name Translucent. Arriving at the height of techno's rediscovery of the breakbeat, the track's hard funk and stripped-down Detroit bristle, like the work of colleagues B12 and Kirk Degiorgio, announced a new, historically rooted direction in U.K. techno. Though silent for two years after "Momentary Vision"'s success, a flood of Slater material began appearing in 1991, including 12"s and full-lengths for his own Jelly Jam label, as well as Dutch label Djax-Up-Beats, Irdial, and especially Peacefrog, including nearly a dozen singles under his own name (the X-Tront trilogy) and as Planetary Assault Systems (the Planetary Funk series). Some of Slater's most well-known releases to date appeared on the renowned GPR label (with Alan Sage and under the names Morganistic and Luke Slater's 7th Plain) and tend to combine an ambient or experimental/textural approach with a more minimal rhythmic framework.
Slater jumped back to Peacefrog in 1996, as GPR's continuing organizational problems slowed their release schedule to a halt, releasing his full-length Planetary Assault Systems debut in 1997. He ascended to the majors via a contract with NovaMute that resulted in 1997's Freek Funk; Wireless followed two years later. His first volume of the mix series Fear and Loathing appeared in 2001 on the React label. Alright on Top from 2002 was an "album of songs" with vocals from Ricky Barrows and others featured on every track. The second volume of Fear and Loathing appeared in late 2004. He formed his own Mote-Evolver label in 2006, debuting his L.B. Dub Corp alias and reactivating Planetary Assault Systems, in addition to releasing records by producers like Savas Pascalidis and Cari Lekebusch. He put together the 32nd volume of the Fabric DJ-mix series in early 2007. Much of his subsequent work was produced as Planetary Assault Systems, with full-lengths Temporary Suspension (2009) and The Messenger (2011) appearing on Ostgut Ton. The label also released L.B. Dub Corp's full-length debut, Unknown Origin (2013), as well as Planetary Assault Systems' Arc Angel (2016). ~ Sean Cooper