Under the limelight
A rocker at heart, Drop the Lime finds his voice in electronic music.
By Joshua P. Ferguson
Originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine | 04.22.10
Pass him on the street, and you’d never guess Luca Venezia is one of the leading figures on the U.S. bass-music scene. His ’50s greaser style—tattoos, slim denim, ample pomade—doesn’t seem to befit a genre-defying DJ and producer. But under the nom de guerre Drop the Lime, Venezia is just that. His music, which straddles the line between electro and dubstep, has garnered acclaim in the dance-music world and helped reshape electronic music in his hometown of New York City. Through it all, he hasn’t lost touch with his rock & roll roots.
Born to an ex-hippie photographer mother and an Abstract Expressionist painter father, Venezia was encouraged to pursue his artistic inclinations at an early age. “My parents would always play Ritchie Valens, Chet Atkins or Roy Orbison, so I wanted to play guitar, be a musician or a lead singer, have the ladies swoon over you,” the jovial 28-year-old says. His fondness for early American rock occasionally sees him spinning exclusive rockabilly, doo-wop and sock-hop sets, but lately he’s used those sounds to spice up his club sets. “It triggers something in people when they’re experiencing more organic dance music,” he says. “Rockabilly was made to be danced to, so it’s the root of [dance music] even though it’s so far removed from what we hear today.”
Though Venezia dabbled in rock bands just out of high school—including a gig at legendary New York venue CBGB—it wasn’t until he discovered dance music at his first rave that he found his musical footing. “I saw thousands of chicks going crazy to a DJ, and I realized I could make all these people dance and still get the girls,” he says with a hearty laugh.
Recent mix from Drop the Lime: DOWNLOAD