By David Gerrard
Edinburgh is a city flourishing with talent and LF System are waving the capital’s flag into the new decade. Conor Larkman and Sean Finnigan comprise of the prolific duo.
Conor and Sean, both 24 years old, grew up just miles apart in West Lothian. “There’s not much happening here, so there’s nobody interested in electronic music. It’s a quiet place” said Sean, as he reminisced about his younger days in Winchburgh.
Sean’s curiosity began after listening to Daft Punk in high school – “I wondered, how do they make that sound? I went down this rabbit hole trying to figure it all out when I was 13. Production came first, and DJing sort-of stemmed from producing.”
Conor, who hails from “The mighty Fauldhouse” as he proudly dubs it, took a different route. “I was at my pals, and I used a DJ app at a gaff playing EDM. We were all steaming, and I was like ‘Fuck it, I’m getting decks. I started using Traktor DJ with a wee controller, and I thought I was the dug’s baws like. Finally, I got CDJs and went into production.”
The blending of their taste allows them to produce exciting and energetic rhythmic house music. Sean discussed using anything as a source of creativity. “It’s all inspiration” as he spoke about his music taste ranging from soul & disco to pop & hip-hop. “I was always listening to a wide range, and I think that’s good for ideas in electronic music where you can make anything happen.”
Conor agreed with Sean’s ethos on inspiration and recalled how his taste has evolved. His father was into disco, and his sister’s boyfriend introduced him to house music. “That got me into the mindset that EDM’s shite. I just loved house music.” Amen to that.
After his sister’s boyfriend visited Sub Club to see Detroit Swindle, Conor grew more intrigued. “I asked for an ID, and it turned out to be Floorplan. I was right into techno from then on.” This amalgamation of tastes leaves the boys with innovation-on-tap; a never-ending stream of ingenious artistry.
The duos first venture into club culture came in the form of the collective: HYBRiD Events. The group put on some of the most unique events in Scotland; events which were compared to illegal 90s raves in the UK. “We used to put on events everywhere – once at an abandoned Victorian swimming pool. We tried to do things differently” said Sean.
HYBRiD was never about making money, as the two made clear. “We just wanted to get playing and get steaming!” added Conor. “The way I see it: do you get paid to play football with your pals? You just do it and enjoy it. They ask me all the time if I get paid, and I argue with them ‘cause that’s not what it’s about.”
Unfortunately, the story of HYBRiD events came to an end, and the group went their separate ways. However, this wasn’t the end. It was merely the beginning. The two praised FLY Club’s Head Booker Fergus Myer, who brought them together. Sean said: “He’s been there from the start, and he’s one of our best mates. Our manager, our agent; just everything rolled into one. He pushed us together to become a duo.”
LF SYSTEM are FLY Club residents alongside Scotland’s most prolific DJ’s. Their first residency night in January 2020 invigorated the duo. It helped them realise how far they can go. “Seeing LF System main room at Cab Vol for FLY on a poster is insane” laughed Conor. Sean still seemed in awe of how far the pair had come from their early days of mixing at gaffs and producing in their bedrooms. “It felt at the time, if we can keep pushing it, this might happen.”
The pair also revealed their pre-gig superstitions that they follow to calm their nerves. “We have a bite to eat, and a glass of red wine. We tell ourselves ‘we’re not getting steaming’, then we get there, and we’re fucked,” laughed Conor. Sean added, “We always have tequila before the gig!” They both erupted into a fit of guilty hysterics as they recognized the true reason for getting rowdy. “Sometimes we get into the mindset where we say we won’t, but you get carried away. If the DJs aren’t the life of the party, then there’ll be no life at the party at all.”
LF SYSTEM are highly talented producers, with their featuring on three different BBC Radio 1 shows. Sean explained “We sent the tracks out, around five or six to Annie Mac and Pete Tong. They responded saying we had a good chance of getting played.” Their tracks were played for five weeks straight over the airwaves. “It was surreal, and it all happened so fast,” said Sean in disbelief.
One of the tracks that played, ‘Feel It’, was only finished within a week before being sent. Sean stated, “It’s crazy that you can sit for weeks and get nowhere, and that only took a week, and it was live on air.” If anything, that’s a testament to their amazing work ethic. “We’re sitting on a good number of tracks, we’re speaking to labels, trying to find something that fits. We’ve also got plans for self-releases” Sean exclaimed.
Sean was quick to tease another announcement as well – “We’ve got a Radio 1 thing happening in August, but we can’t say anything right now.” Excitement is an understatement for what these boys have in store for the future, and as for a potential spot on one of the FLY Weekenders abroad? “Definitely something that might happen.” With new releases coming soon we will be seeing a lot more from LF SYSTEM. Quite frankly, we are ecstatic at the prospect of more music from the duo.