Thursday March 14 REBEL RAVE with Art Department (Kenny Glasgow- No. 19 Music), + Damian Lazarus (Crosstown Rebels), Seth Troxler (Visionquest / Circo Loco), Guy Gerber (Supplement Facts)
Art Department is the brainchild of Canadian techno/house Legend Kenny Glasgow and Canada’s fastest rising star and No.19 label owner – Jonny White. As individuals both Kenny and Jonny have released countless critically acclaimed records and are regarded internationally as two of the most forward thinking, relevant underground producers out of North America. Kenny’s credentials date back to the late 80’s and include productions on Narcotic, Jinxx, his own Method 11/11 label and Turbo. Whilst White’s revered No.19 Music label along side a blindingly fast – growing discography have seen him rapidly rise to the forefront of the international scene.
The pair, despite being close friends and stalwarts in the Toronto electronic music scene for years, had not joined forces in the studio until only as recently as 2009, when Damian Lazarus called on them to remix Riz MC for his prestigious Crosstown Rebels Label. The result was an entirely new sound that drew cues from the best of both artists. It was a futuristic and raw, synth-driven, underground masterpiece, the start of a new idea and the birth of Art Department…
Before long the two were working full time in the studio to expand upon what they had created but now with a new focus… the concept for Art Department was to create a live dj/vocal performance based on the new sound they were beginning to produce and would feature Kenny Glasgow’s unique and sublime vocals that had been heard only 10+ years earlier on records like “Pressing On”. It wasn’t long before Damian heard what the pair had been working on and immediately offered them a deal with Crosstown Rebels that would include several singles, remixes and a full length album due out at the beginning of 2011.
The momentum continued and Art Department performed their first ever live show at the Crosstown Rebels Get Lost event at the 2010 WMC in front of a jam packed room, along side an A list cast of 17 artists from the label. DJ’s, promoters and party animals regarded the performance as one of the most ground-breaking & important shows at this years WMC…Simple label boss – Will Saul was quoted saying “the live show was the best thing we’ve heard since we heard Mathew Johnson for the first time…”. The follow up performance came the very next night at Jamie Jones & Lee Foss’ Hot Natured party where Art Department treated the enthusiastic crowd to a mind-bending dj set and secured their spot as residents for the much lauded Hot Natured brand.
With massive support from the rebel crew along with an exciting release schedule including collaborations with Seth Troxler, Jamie Jones and Soul Clap there is no doubt that this will be yet another inspired chapter in the story of these Canadian talents.
Since the moment he spun his first record, Damian Lazarus’s mission has been a clear and urgent one: to blow away the mediocre, the over-inflated, the obsolete; to seek out and celebrate the energetic, the important, the new. Always rebelling, always going places.
“…and to have fun in the process. Playing around with different styles and ideas is what I do best,” Lazarus explains.
Driven by an almost childlike curiosity, a vivid imagination and wicked sense of humor, he’s used his role as a DJ, label owner and now musician to nurture and share the most exciting and experimental music on the planet. Drawn to the darkness, but buoyed by the light, ever ready to embrace new ideas and different perspectives on music and the dancefloor, Lazarus is always ahead of the curve, with a wry smile on his face and a neat trick up his sleeve, How many DJs do you know who’ve played ‘Reviewing The Situation (from the Oliver! soundtrack, no less) half-speed to a jubilant crowd at DC10 in Ibiza. How many DJs do you know who’ve received a sitting ovation on the dancefloor?
In accordance with Mayan prophecy, Seth Troxler was, in fact, a gift to Detroit techno from intergalactic house demigods from the future. Rumours that Seth Troxler is actually an alien are untrue; in the early first century these demigods kidnapped the virile first-born child of a Roman centurion and his Egyptian trophy wife. After years of travelling around the western end of the Milky Way studying linear algebra, Byronic verse, city planning, and the essentials of electronic music composition, these demigods lost young Seth to the Old God Horus in a game of trans-dimensional poker. Before Horus could consume his soul, disguised as Freemasons, they managed steal the young Seth back, and fearing the wrath of Horus, hid him in the Mid-Western town of Kalamazoo where he was raised by a kindly family of Amish.
Since then Seth has gone on to ignite the world of house and techno with a constant barrage of vocal jams, been voted Number Three best DJ in the world in the Resident Advisor Top 100 DJ Poll (beaten only by Ricardo Villalobos and Richie Hawtin), landed a much vaunted residency at DC10 in Ibiza and been invited by Pete Tong to deliver an Essential Mix for BBC Radio One. He has played many outstanding international gigs, notably fabric (London), Panorama Bar and Watergate (Berlin), Womb (Tokyo), Tenax (Florence), Robert Johnson (Frankfurt), The Rex (Paris), Fuse (Brussels), Avalon (LA), The End Up (San Fransisco) plus The Detroit Electronic Music Festival and Mutek. In the studio he has collaborated with such dance luminaries as Matthew Dear, Art Department, Tiefschwarz, Deetron, Masemenos and dOP, in addition to groundbreaking remix work done as Visionquest alongside fellow astral refugees Shaun Reeves, Ryan Crosson and Lee Curtiss. Together their Visionquest project has spawned the most exciting new record label in dance music today, plus a four deck DJ spectacular that will see the four of them tour the world reminding people how lucky they are to be human.
Troxler is currently in Berlin, where he began his self-imposed exile from the United States after sleeping with then-Senator Barak Obama’s wife. Seth will remain in Europe until his 33rd birthday, at which point he will descend upon the Levant and battle his way westward as he reclaims his kingdom. At least that’s what some dude at Burning Man told us.
Guy Gerber has always been comfortable as an outlier. From being the rock kid at the rave, to the Israeli DJ on the European club circuit, to the electronic producer with a fetish for live instruments, he tends to skirt the edge of whatever scene he’s in. It’s a position that suits him well––so far it’s led to dozens of lush, melodic records, an ever-evolving live act and his own label, Supplement Facts. This nonconformist attitude, combined with the emotional content of his art (so rare in today’s electronic music), explains how Gerber keeps his audience locked in, be it on record or on stage.
Before he was fiddling with drum machines and synths, Gerber was all about groups like Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine. These influences still echo clearly in his music today, especially in his use of harmony, contemplative moods and trippy, shoegaze-inspired sounds. It’s a style that’s anything but conventional, yet one that quickly drew in some of Europe’s most popular labels; three years after his recording debut, Gerber released the first of several records on John Digweed’s Bedrock imprint. A couple of years later, Sven Väth signed him to Cocoon, eventually releasing his album Late Bloomers. All the while, he was building Supplement Facts from the ground up, showcasing his own productions alongside those by likeminded artists, and illustrating each record sleeve by hand, so each release embodied his distinct creative panache.
These days Gerber has the kind of artistic freedom he’s always wanted, and it shows. Supplement Facts is more adventurous than ever, melding organic with electronic sounds. Meanwhile, he’s embarked on his most unexpected project yet: an album with P Diddy, who hired him for some remixes and took him on more permanently after hearing the results. Now the hip-hop icon flies Gerber out to his studio in LA to work, where he gives him “2000% artistic freedom.” The experience has been transformative.”Something opened my mind out there,” says Gerber, noting how his approach to music has changed. For one, his rock roots are seeping back in; despite being named one of RA’s top 10 acts of the year, he’s scrapping his laptop for something more “live,” playing bass guitar over drum machines, and remembering the importance of lyrics. It’s impossible to say where all of this is headed, but with a talent as bold and unorthodox as Gerber’s, it couldn’t happen any other way.