Words: Artur Wojtczak
DAMIAN LAZARUS, who stands behind Crosstown Rebels, Day Zero, Get Lost, Rebel Rave is definitely one of its key tastemakers and pathfinders on world’s club scene.
Besides playing at the world’s best clubbing institutions (resident at DC10 in Ibiza for almost 10 years), Damian also specialises in performing beyond the confines of the walls of a club. He is an expert in performing his magic in extraordinary outdoor locations: jungles, beaches, the Robot Heart bus in the Nevada desert, Mayan ruins in Mexico and a whole host of other spellbinding sites around the world.
On July the 20th his new album „Heart Of Sky“ will be released. I speak with Damian one week before his performance at Audioriver Festival in Plock about his fresh LP, popularity of deep, oriental grooves, Old-Skool memories and pirate radiostations in the 90s, meaning of dance music increating a better world and raving in the extraordinary locations.
Your new album „Heart Of Sky” will be released on July the 20th – you have been working on it for two years. You call this record „a cosmic love story”. What can your fans expect this time?
More weirdness, more love, more melodies to take hold of your heart and swirl around your head.
Is the growing popularity of oriental deep house music an answer to the hegemony of techno? Are people bored of minimal sounds?
When you play music in deserts and on open plains, you need a relevant soundtrack. I also believe there is a return to minimal techno en route.
You recommended to your fans a special documentary on BBC4 about the pirate radio stations. You described the happy memories of you as a young kid scanning the airwaves „looking for the perfect beat”. Tell us more about the days, when genres like UK garage or jungle were developed in the London underground. Who was your favourite radio-DJ or crew that influenced your musical taste back in the days?
There was nothing more exciting than scanning the airwaves and chancing upon different styles of dance music that you’d never heard before as a kid. I’d sit by the radio all day, with a cassette ready to record anything that sounded good… Then i’d make a list of records I wanted and go record shopping later that day. The following weekend I’d repeat and start again.
Do you think that your / our generation was especially lucky, because we had the chance to experience the power of the true underground sound, illegal raves and the whole magic of the massive movement that created the club culture?
Absolutely! You don‘t really understand this scene until you’ve had the threat of getting arrested hanging over you for dancing! (laugh)
You are a an expert in performing in extraordinary outdoor locations like jungles, beaches, the Robot Heart bus in the Nevada desert, Mayan ruins in Mexico. Talking about Day Zero-parties in Tulum: you described these events as the ones that provide you with the most powerful and spiritual energy. Have you ever read about the shamanism as a spiritual practice or about the Mexican Curanderos that have existed in the tradition already in the ancient times?
Yes, at Day Zero we being the event with an Opening Ceremony involving a number of Mayan Shamans who bless the location in order for the party to begin. We give thanks to all 4 corners and to the elements and it allows us to peacefully create the festival hand in hand with the spirits.
Do you think that the dance music can awake the good spirit in people in the times full of hate and negativity? Can we make the change? Can we BE the change?
Dance music has always been a positive force for change and for the pursuit of becoming a better person. There is a collective energy at a gathering that enables us to present the best possible versions of ourselves.
You are always warmly welcome in Poland being actually an „unofficial resident” at the Audioriver Festival. How does it feel to play here? Is there any difference or special vibe or is it totally similar to the parties in Barcelona or Munich?
The Polish people have become some of my favorite souls over the past few years, there is so much love and unity being shared at parties from Warsaw to Plock, Krakow to Poznan that it can be overwhelming. I can‘t wait to return again and again.
What would you tell your daughter if she told you one day, she would like to be a DJane in the future?
I’d embrace her very tightly and whisper in her ear..”Find another job where you can get a good nights sleep”.
Artur Wojtczak & Damian Lazarus for ONLY TECHNO