With eleven tracks included cutting-edge imprint Crosstown Rebels just dropped the first edition of its annual compilation entitled ‘Spirits’. Described by Damian Lazarus as “a fresh psychedelic journey into the mind” the release features tracks by artists like dubspeeka, Robbie Akbal, Pale Blue, Audiojack, among others.
We had the chance to talk with two of the artists included, David Mayer and Dance Spirit, and how they got involved with ‘Spirits’.
Electronic Groove: Hello guys, thanks for the time to chat with us. You are part of the new ‘Spirits’ Crosstown Rebels annual compilation. What’s your relation with the label? It is the first time or you have been involved with them in the past?
David Mayer: Actually it is my first time on the label thanks to Nico (Stojan), who is friend with Damian and sent him the demo. Of course, I have been following the label forever and I am super stoked to be on board now, unexpectedly and particularly in such a great context.
Dance Spirit: We’ve been releasing with Damian over the last year and a half on his Rebellion imprint, but this is our first track on Crosstown!
EG: What was the inspiration to produce your included track?
David Mayer: I met Nico for the first time somewhere in the middle of the wilderness of New Zealand a few years ago, where he asked me on the spot if I would like to remix his ‘The Blue Hour’ featuring JAW. Ever since that, we had said that we should make music together. Beginning of this year we managed to actually exchange quite a few ideas and really work on some tracks, even meeting in person more and more often.
One of the sketches he sent me was this one which was initially called ‘Foolish’. He had made it on a plane, so most of the samples were there, but something was odd about the tuning of all the elements. How would you get that right on a plane? Anyway, I was instantly hooked by the groove and the vocal, I just had to pick it up from where Nico had left it. I quickly got sucked into it and carried away, added some details and a bassline and that was it! A perfect collab situation really where everything came together very naturally.
Dance Spirit (Reagan): Our track has a little story behind it… The song came together in quite an otherworldly way. I hadn’t meditated in probably about six months and was feeling the itch, so I put on a guided sleep yoga meditation (yoga nidra). Feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day, I went down to the piano and started to mess around, pecking for chords. I finally came up with some and a melody and just messed around with that for a good 30 minutes.
I was hungry and went to grab some breakfast, and while eating, I suddenly had the chorus stuck in my head, and then an entire song downloaded into my consciousness. I couldn’t eat fast enough and finished shoveling the food into my mouth and headed home as quickly as possible to capture the divine inspiration. I felt like the track needed some vocals and was having trouble coming up with some lyrics on my end so set it aside. The track was pretty much finished at this point, minus the vocals.
The next night, the eve of our trip to Miami for WMC 2017, Chris ran out to run a few errands, and when he showed up, he had with him Fab. We caught up for a bit and then I showed him the song and he was instantly jotting down some lyrics. We recorded them in a couple takes and finished the song just in time to play for our set at Damian’s legendary ‘Get Lost’ party!
EG: The compilation is described as “a fresh psychedelic journey into the mind”. How do you feel about the label’s proposal?
David Mayer: When I got to hear all of the tracks from the sampler for the first time, I was instantly blown away by the ultimate quality standards. And I think that the slogan is met on point. I’ve been playing out some of the tracks quite excessively and have experienced the psychedelic and spiritual aspect first hand 😉 Anyhow, there are only huge productions on there, all of which are musically whole, most are melodic and deep on a high energy level. While every single track speaks for itself, they also form a very powerful unity. This feeling of being taken on an actual journey has everything to do with the particular selection and would be difficult to reproduce.
Dance Spirit: We are definitely excited to see music being pushed to a more mainstream audience as a tool for connecting to your inner self, and the inner awareness of the quantum field. We feel that music is a powerful tool that can be utilized to heal the mind body and soul, and take you to the farthest reaches of your imagination and back. The compilation captures a beautiful journey through moods, leading the listener and dancer to their inner cores to experience self-love.
EG: In a few words how would you describe Crosstown Rebels?
David Mayer: Always modern and always very classy. News are always exciting and never to be missed.
Dance Spirit: Crosstown Rebels for years now has been a purveyor of exceptional music, and has really helped the music reach more of a mainstream audience. Needless to say, they have set musical standards in the industry with their exceptional tastemaking. It’s exciting to see them pushing heady psychedelic music now, not just focusing on the pop element!
EG: What’s in the pipeline for David Mayer / Dance Spirit?
David Mayer: Christmas is always the time of the important deadlines. Before heading off and taking as much time as I can spare to see my family, which is spread all over Germany, I am spending every available minute in the studio these days, working on closing my production year by bringing some main projects across the finish line that really have been growing to my heart over the last 12 months. One is the extensive collaboration with Stereo MC’s, who are running the label Connected. I have had the pleasure to release one remix and my recent ‘Drained’ EP and have had the best time working with Nic and Rob on every related level. Now it’s time for the studio! The other very exciting project is finalizing my recently signed EP for Nico Stojan and Acid Pauli’s label, Ouïe.
Dance Spirit: Right now we’re working on a new ambient album for our good friend Treavor, Moontribe’s podcast, as well as a bunch of new music for our upcoming shows. We are definitely studio junkies… We’ll be playing the morning of New Years Day for the Cityfox Experience in Brooklyn, and then head back to Los Angeles right after for some more fun that night. Then we’re off to Tulum for a week or so to play a few parties. It’s hard to imagine not starting the year off there, connecting with nature and recharging the senses with our extended family.
Crosstown Rebels’ ‘Spirit’ is already available. Stream and buy here.
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