Damian Lazarus is undoubtedly one of the most respected names in dance music, regardless of genre, and after 10 years of no longform activity, he’s announced a new solo album, Flourish.
While the announcement is a welcome one, fans haven’t exactly been parched for new material, given the consistency of Lazarus’ musical output. Between running his label, Crosstown Rebels, and its sister, Rebellion, touring the world, and engaging in exciting projects like The Ancient Moons, Lazarus has kept his stream of content steady.
Cognizant that many would wonder about the impetus for the forthcoming LP, Lazarus recently explained the reasoning behind his decision to revive his solo album efforts:
“My early ideas about a new album were quite dark, pessimistic even. I had long been thinking and worrying about the problems of the world. Then, the global pandemic and subsequent lockdown began and my fears seemed to become reality. But while writing, these themes actually started to transform in an uplifting way. The new songs came together quite quickly, with renewed impetus, and mutated into a more positive outlook. Questions about faith, religion, and spirituality all appeared amidst the darkness and fear, but in those times of quiet solitude and creation, I came to realize we can emerge into the sun and flourish on the other side.”
The first offering from Flourish is “Mountain,” which flaunts Lazarus’s versatility. Although he might be most commonly considered a house and techno artist, Lazarus’ genre is one of feeling and flow. No matter where the drums hit, Lazarus’ tracks are clearly his own, and the breakbeats on “Mountain” are no different. Far more important are the grueling bass and ominous vocals, clear parallels to the ideas of darkness and fear that Lazarus referred to when describing the creative catalyst for Flourish.
Furthermore, in traditional Lazarus fashion, this new single is paired with two new remixes, which already seems to suggest that the remix package for the album will be considerable. In the first remix, Tornado Wallace adopts the minimal melodic aesthetic that Crosstown Rebels helped to define while Tibi Dabo infuses deep house grooves into Lazarus’s original, wistful message.
Featured image: Alessandro Cinque