The commercial success enjoyed by Visionquest since the label's 2011 inception might be a testament to how much the mainstream EDM industry underestimates people's taste in music.
The notion that the masses want to be spoon-fed the sonic equivalent of junk food via the likes of David Guetta and LMFAO is bullshit. Instead, what many clearly want is the equivalent of fine cuisine: music that is refined, complex and with depth of flavors.
Visionquest's Ryan Crosson certainly aims to please those more sophisticated taste palates.
Take his new critically acclaimed long player DRM, produced in collaboration with Berlin's Cesar Merveille -- a work that shatters the formulaic EDM mold in favor of experimental sound design and highbrow influences.
"I'd say DRM is something near experimental electronic music, with heavy influences from jazz, percussion and ambient," Crosson tells Crossfade. "We really wanted a dreamlike journey with the album, and to tell a bit of a story -- not to have a collection of tracks."
"Originally we were supposed to make an EP for thesongsays, but the label had to pull out closer to the release date," he explains. "That turned out to be a blessing for us, because we then went back over the music and decided to take it to album form."
"Cesar and I have been friends for 6 years or more now, and working on music together just came naturally," he adds. "We have similar tastes in non-dance music genres such as hip-hop and jazz, and we both were stumbling around some more experimental forms of music as well, which obviously rubbed off on us when we sat down to work on tracks."
For all its experimental noodling, the album fits in nicely with the rest of Visionquest's growing catalog of releases, which has embraced stylistic eclecticism from the beginning, while avoiding clichés. In the end, though, it's all meant for the dancefloor.
"From the beginning, we didn't want to paint a super niche aesthetic with Visionquest," says Crosson. "We wanted to release good music from artists we know or admire. Seth [Troxler] made a quote about the label being underground pop, and a lot of people ran with that quote. His quote was completely inaccurate, in my opinion."
"While we have released some things that could be considered underground pop such as Footprintz or Benoit & Sergio, if you listen to the discography from the first two years, it's a mix of a lot of different types of music. But it's all music we could DJ on any given night, depending on the circumstance."
"DRM falls under the category of what the label thinks is quality electronic music," he adds. "We definitely want to release more music like DRM, but not only music like that. We will continue to mash it up against releases like Dinky, Wareika or Tale of Us."
Ryan Crosson and Shaun Reeves. Presented by PL0T. With Alejandro Sab. Saturday, December 15. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. and tickets cost $15 plus fees via residentadvisor.net. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com.
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