Inspired by watching a TV documentary about the Worlds Weirdest Beards, I decided the other week that this could be something for me. I’ve dabbled once or twice over the years with a bit of furry fuzz on the face but usually I get rid after 2 or maybe 3 weeks. However I now find myself intrigued as to just how far I can go with this, I do love the idea of cultivating something strange into the beard, kind of like an Edward Scissorhands on acid creation. Who know’s, I could even take part in the World Championships next year? Take a look at it here and imagine…
Welcome to my new play area...
...a fresh place for me to have some fun, talk about myself and my thoughts on life, music and whatever is on my mind. I had a super cool website for a few years and felt it was time for a change of scenery. I will miss the old site but it's rejuvenating to have a change up don't you think? So, here we are. A new blank canvas, a white screen before us, let me try and fill it with some things of interest for us
What's on my mind...
Every now and then I receive an email that comes off the screen as a work of art, this one from my “new” friend Pete in Sydney, he has such a way with words….
allo there squire! good to hear from you; i trust all’s well at the manor with you and yours? summer plans, you say? yes indeed.
miami? check. consider 22-28th locked in. i think we’re back in business! I’m given to understand you’ll be performing quite prolifically during that week, so much achievement no doubt lies in store for the golden boys of HRH’s most prestigious regatta.
as far as plans beyond Miami, nothing has been locked in, but i’m hoping to shoot for Sonar, before I nip over to Paris for men’s week. we should have a good old powwow in a wk or two when i see you to fine tune.
I’m out of town at present so no skype functionality; maybe email me re plan of attack for miami and I will hit you back.
not a little excited to be reuniting again so shortly. also, new season Chrønicles aw11 will be dropping late march; if there’s anything ready by the time I leave I’ll bring a few bits, if not i can always post later.
All the best from the downunderverse..
Went to visit these amazing Snow Monkeys last month in Yamanouchi near Nagano in Japan and quite honestly I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again. Hanging out with these guys was so humbling, they were all so well behaved and courteous. I tried to talk to a few of them as they bathed in the hot spring but to be honest, they were all in such a state of zen bliss I guess they weren’t in the mood for chats. There’s always next time I guess…
Many years ago, when working at Dazed & Confused magazine, I created a new monthly column and called it Mixtape (I believe they still run it today). When I started this music review page I actually designed the sleeve and physically made the mixtape I was writing about and gave copies to everyone in the office. On the very first edition of Mixtape I put a track from a new band I had come across called God Speed You Black Emperor!, an 8 piece post-rock band from Montreal. I then took a friend to their first ever live show in London in a small room underneath Highbury tube station. Last month (April ’11), I witnessed the same band play what I can only describe as a career defining, once in a lifetime performance at the Music Box in Los Angeles. On something of a blind date with the artist Axel Boman we stepped into an inferno of sound and watched silently for 3 hours one of the most challenging, awe inspiring and pitch perfect live show we had ever witnessed. If you don’t know this band, I cannot recommend their music highly enough.
Here is 20 minutes of a recent show in Paris, enjoy.
We watched the original Wes Craven movie the other day; could not stop laughing at this scene.
Check out how funny this is…
As you may already be aware, I am something of a cat lover; I share my home with four currently, all of which were rescued. Having volunteered at my local animal shelter I recently asked if there was anything I could do to help them out and they said ‘Yes, anything’. And so I decided to create the first ever Nightclub for Cats, a one off event that will take place on Sunday 23rd January in Los Angeles (venue to be announced soon). I have arranged for a space to be converted into a nightclub complete with custom made visuals, disco lights and a proper sound system, I will play from the middle of the room, surrounded by cats. The Sante D’or Foundation rescue abandoned and needy animals, nurse them back to health and find loving homes for them; find out more and maybe donate a little something at www.santedor.org
This September I spent my birthday at DC10 for a special Friday night party where Toronto’s favourite sons, Art Department, played their first ever set in Ibiza. The night was very special and continued well into the early hours, during which time, inside our hotel room, we started messing around with the delights of Apple’s Photo Booth and recorded a number of weird movies, including this one. So, check this out, it features myself, Marcia, Katy, Jonny, Kenny, Jared and Jazz creating an alternative video for Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song”.
To celebrate the season’s festivities and time of good will, I’d like to offer this very special track I made during the Smoke The Monster Out studio sessions. I had hoped that this would make it onto the album but due to some sample clearance issues I was unable to go ahead with it.
And so, as gesture of love I am giving this track away for free. I’m very proud of it and I hope it finds some very good homes to go to.
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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 humour, 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?
Lazarus was born in London, where he lived until he relocated to Los Angeles in 2009. During childhood, Damian was naturally drawn to classic pop music, and inherited from his grandfather an affection for showtunes which continues to exert itself in the strangest of ways. He spent his teens immersing himself in the sounds of hip-hop, electro, soul and funk, before discovering house, hardcore and jungle at university - sparking a love of twisted, innovative dance music which endures to this day. After working as Music Editor then Assistant Editor at Dazed & Confused, Lazarus joined London Records and in 2001 became head A&R of the City Rockers label. Here he helped sign and release some of the biggest tunes of the era, including Felix Da Housecat's 'Silver Screen Shower Scene' and Tiga & Zyntherius's 'Sunglasses at Night'; his Futurism and Futurism 2 compilations remain the definitive documents of electroclash, not only providing a snapshot of the underground at that crucial moment in time, but mapping its future too.
Damian received a major Djing break in 2002 when he was invited to spin at Barcelona's Sonar Festival and by 2003 he had residencies at some of the best club spaces in the world. His tenure at Circo Loco (DC10 Ibiza) has become the stuff of legend and found him consistently breaking boundaries of sound and stamina, freaking out the dancefloor and taking those on it to places they never knew existed, and may never get to again.
"I thought a lot about these dj sets when pre-producing the album; especially the idea of placing off and strange melodies within a 4/4 dance music structure. It's amazing what you can achieve when you're into weird stuff", he says.
Inspired by the new energy and possibilities in international club culture and music, Lazarus founded Crosstown Rebels in 2003, the label's records offering all kinds of unique and twisted angles on cutting edge electronic music. Recent releases on Rebels from Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Deniz Kurtel and Art Department have found the label consistently breaking new ground and the new imprints CDR (a digital only label) and Rebellion are set to change the rules once again.
In 2008 Damian began Lazpod (http://www.lazpod.com), a monthly excursion into weird and wonderful sound, a radio show that draws influences and inspirations from all corners of the musical spectrum and is delivered in a fun and laid back style. With many thousands of fans across the globe, Damian uses the show to let listeners in a little closer to his experimental and eclectic tastes.
"Lazpod is a great entry point for new listeners to my music", he says, "and has been setting off warning signals of what might be coming on my album for some time".
A number of popular and critically acclaimed mix CDs have appeared in the last five years, charting Damian's personal development as DJ, listener and supporter of new artists: Rebel Futurism (2004), Rebel Futurism (2005), Bugged out presents Suck My Deck (2005), Get Lost (with Matthew Styles, 2006), The Other Side (2006), Sci:Fi:Lo:Fi 2: Night of The Dark Machines (2008) and Fabric 54 (2010).
Damian's critically acclaimed debut artist album, Smoke The Monster Out, is another expectation-confounding gesture from this restless musical mind. Released via Get Physical, the album boldly steps outside the realm of what one might hear in a Lazarus DJ set. Featuring his own vocals and riding a vast plain of influences - Neil Diamond to Photek, Bjork to Jeff Buckley - Lazarus demonstrates his keen ear and meticulous attention to detail in a collection of heartfelt, grievously honed tracks delivered straight from the soul. It's a sensitive record, a bold record and above all a celebratory record - one which revels in the pure pleasure, healing quality and dream-potential of music.
"It took me a while to start producing", he says "but once the juices started to flow I knew immediately that this was to be the best musical project I ever created".
A groundbreaking live set to accompany the album was been built from scratch, enhancing different elements and including new club versions of the more introspective album material. Featuring decks, effects (no laptops) and a live visual show, the album club tour debuted at the legendary SXSW festival in March 2009 and went on to blow minds in just a handful of globe's best clubs.
Damian Lazarus is a believer in giving people something exciting, unusual and idiosyncratic. He lives life to the limit, always rebelling, always moving forward: that's Damian Lazarus.
"Damian Lazarus plays the best underground records in the world" (DJ Magazine)
- 2009 Smoke the Monster Out (Get Physical)
- 2010 Smoke the Monster Out - Club Versions (Get Physical)
- 2010 Diamond in the Dark (Get Physical)
- 2009 Neverending (Get Physical)
- 2009 Moment (Get Physical)
DJ Mix Albums
- 2010 Fabric 54 (Fabric Records)
- 2008 Si-Fi-Lo-Fi Vol 2 (Soma)
- 2007 Monza Club Ibiza Vol 2 (Get Physical)
- 2006 Get Lost Vol 1 (Crosstown Rebels)
- 2006 Crosstown Rebels Vol 1 (Crosstown Rebels)
- 2005 The Other Side of London (Time Out Records)
- 2005 Suck My Deck (Resist Music)
- 2005 Rebel Futurism Session 2 (Crosstown Rebels)
- 2004 Rebel Futurism Session 1 (Crosstown Rebels)
- 2002 Futurism 2 (City Rockers)
- 2002 Futurism 1 (City Rockers)
- 2000 Different Noise (Mind Horizon Recordings)
- 1998 PM Scientists Drop the Beats (Lacerba)
- 2005 Essential Mix (BBC Radio One)
- 2004 Families Download #4 (Audio Families)
Seasonal madness in Xmas Lazpod
An in-depth interview with Nicholas Jaar, crazy new music from Photek and Maya Jane Coles; exclusives from P Diddy & Guy Gerber; songs about Cannibals, a poem by Vincent Price and of course, the Queen's Xmas speech... it could only be the new Lazpod. At times I questioned my own sanity whilst making this podcast. I felt myself going slightly mad halfway into the recording and had to stop and take a walk. The Nicholas Jaar interview was a lot of fun, this was pre-recorded 2 weeks ago and I apologise for some of the production quality here, I like to think that absolutely everything in Lazpod is an interesting challenge to the ears...
Enjoy it Listen here