In the bag: Lubi

DJ Lubi is the mainstay of the Leeds music scene.

From his time with the DIG! Family of DJs in the 1990s, to his current work as a promoter at The Wardrobe with his Soul Rebels night, Lubi Jovanovic has kept latin, funk, soul, jazz and hip-hop alive in the city.

He’s every latin music fan’s muse, having put together 45 compilation albums in the genre. It is through an obsession for meticulous crate digging that has led him to be held in such high regard – and we are really excited to say that we’ll be hearing the fruits of his labours on Saturday 4th June at the HiFi club as he takes control of Sam’s Soul Shack for a night.

We thought it would be fascinating to have a peek into his record bag ahead of the big event.


Name: Lubomir Jovanovic

Producer/DJ Name: DJ Lubi

Hometown: Shipley (near Bradford) – born and live there but adopted home city is Leeds
First record ever bought?

“Saturday Night At The Movies/At The Club” by The Drifters (Atlantic Records)  on 7”vinyl purchased in 1972 – originally both songs were big hits for them in the 1960s but they’d been re-issued together in the UK in 1972. I  was 9 years old in a local record shop with my older sister who was probably buying Rod Stewart/David Bowie/Marc Bolan records and I wanted to buy a record. No idea what to buy but I knew this record as it was in the Top 5 and played on the radio a lot so I bought it. Still own it today.


Best floor filler?

Way too many to mention. Probably same as everyone else’s selection. Big obvious ones are “Superstition” by Stevie, “Sex Machine” by James Brown and “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5, though I probably keep those back for wedding/birthday party DJ gigs. In a club set, “Running Away” by Roy Ayers always packs the floor. Uplifting jazz-funk/disco, great groove and that killer bassline….always in the box as the standby safety track if the floor is slowing down.


Best Crate Dig?

Got loads so it’s hard to pin one down. This week, as I type this and remember playing it out last week, it’s Tito Rodriguez – Hay Craneo/Esa Bomba (UA Latino promo 45) from 1968. Bought for 50 cents from a record shop in Times Square in 1998 (Colony Records, closed now), checked on Popsike and Discogs recently and none for sale for ages so must be pretty rare. That trip, spent 5hrs in the basement going through boxes and boxes of 45s as they didn’t sell them in the shop upstairs, only LPs. I came away with over 150 singles and so much gold – Joe Quijano, Ricardo Marrero & Time, Louie Ramirez, Joe Cuba Sextet, tons of James Brown productions, early disco, some Blue Note jazz 45s – all for 50 cents each. Ahhh, the golden days of digging 🙂


Sleaziest record?

Off the top of my head, “Peaches” by The Stranglers. Dirty business, pure sexist crap, sleazy all the way….but so funny! Bought  in 1977 and as 15 years old totally immersed in punk rock, the kind of record I’d blast out full volume during school holidays to piss off the neighbours, my mum, my older sister (a northern soul fan), because that’s what punks did. Never played it when my dad was around as he’d have first given me a slipper hiding and then snapped the record in half and binned it. No messing about with that old school Serbian. So I was not 100% punk rock…


Most valuable record (monetary or sentimental)?

Monetary, don’t know. Don’t really own a lot of really really valuable records anymore. Sold all my limited edition first pressing and coloured vinyl/picture sleeve punk records mid 1980s as I became a jazz man. Be worth tons now. Also sold a fair amount of  big jazz and Latin records late 1990s, especially original first pressing LPs which I now see going for silly money. I picked many up early 1980s from car boot sales and 2nd hand record shops for £2–£3. I still have a fair few pricey 45s in my boxes which I will never sell. Sentimental wise, too many to choose from. “Kind Of Blue” by Miles Davis is my Desert Island Disc record. If I had only 1 record I could take, it’s that one. First heard it and bought in 1981 and last time I played it was 2 weeks ago. That’s 35 years of listening to it on and off and I am never bored of it. Sign of a true classic.


Weirdest Record?

Way too many to try and pick one but probably “Grandad” by Clive Dunn on MFP (1970). I think it’s from my dad’s record collection and that’s why I keep it today. Clive Dunn of course was Corporal Jones in one of my favourite UK comedy shows ever, “Dad’s Army”. On the LP he’s doing such ditties as “Cleaning My Rifle”, “I Play The Spoons”, “Permission To Speak Sir”…all in character as Corporal Jones. I think I keep it to remind me of my dad. I got a lot of his old records stashed somewhere still, LPs by Johnny Mathis, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones, Perry Como, Andy Williams. He loved the crooners. I think he was the reason I started to buy records as well as sibling rivalry with my older sister (she was 3 years older and into music way before me and I wanted to copy her). Since I was 5-6 years old, I always remember we had record players and LPs/singles around the house and later my dad bought a cassette tape recorder so from the early 1970s, we had tons of cassettes.


Last Record You Bought?

Don’t buy as many new records these days as most new music is via download, either bought or promo. Thinking back, probably last new 45 was “Nothing Leaves The Archive” on First Word Records, the Record Store Day John Peel tribute they did. Old record was a second hand jazz record – The Bill Le Sage/Ronnie Ross Quartet (World Record Club 1964) – slightly scuffed surface marking but plays great, and just £3. Over 35 years on and still digging in the crates 🙂




Oliver Walkden