Natural elements are important to Damian Lazarus. The English DJ and owner of the Crosstown Rebels record label has played in jungles, on the Galápagos Islands, in an igloo, and in deserts around the world. He’s also played after parties in random fan’s houses and hasn’t totally ruled this out following his upcoming set at III Points, so tidy up just in case.
He tells stories with sounds and his most recent work with three London musicians is the latest chapter.
After combing Britain's underground music scene, Lazarus found Ben Chetwood, Rob Gentry and Adeola Badejo (AKA Zulu) and together they’ve formed Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons, Lazarus' first live band. “I’ve been on my own forever as a DJ and now I have three other musicians to share the stage with," Lazarus says. "The four of us are super tight. People are really feeling the energy. I totally believe in this and we’re getting booked at a lot of main stages."
One of those main stages will be at III Points in Wynwood on Sunday, October 11.
But good luck finding him until then. In true Henry David Thoreau fashion, Lazerus is currently living on a farm in an undisclosed location somewhere in Italy. One can imagine Lazarus tending to the cows, geese swimming in the pond, dogs playing on the porch, deer resting in the meadow as an Alejandro Jodorowsky film is projected on the side of his barn.
A catharsis of sorts, his new album Messages From the Other Side, which dropped on May 19, is something Lazarus has wanted to do since forever. Recording the album has taken him from Mexico to L.A., and paired him up with musicians from Karachi (where he recorded the single "Lovers' Eyes") to London. After a random email, he even got a chance to work with the legendary Egyptian percussionist Hossam Ramzy, who's collaborated with artists like Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.
“This is the culmination of my life and this is the record I always wanted to make. This is very personal," Lazarus told us. He's also thrilled about touring with The Ancient Moons for the first time. "I want people to appreciate the live show that’s been mutating since the four of us started playing together. There are a lot of weird sounds. It’s super trippy, but at the core it’s pop, commercial and fully charged."
He loves Miami and has been coming here since 1993. He calls our city the perfect place for global art and music. And if he ever sells the farm and moves to South Florida, he says he might like to live in Little Havana. He could see himself playing dominoes while chewing on a fat cigar.
Lazarus also told us that he’s bringing one of his legendary Get Lost parties to Art Basel this year. Previous editions of the party have included Sasha, Maceo Plex, DJ Harvey, Jamie Jones, and Seth Troxler. This year's lineup hasn't been announced yet.
Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons will perform a live set on Sunday, October 11 at Mana as part of this year's III Points festival. Listen for “Vermillion," an uplifting track that represents the moment where the sun first clips the horizon and expect to hear the thought provoking and pathos filled, “Tangled Web.”
But Lazarus' expectations for III Points are simple, though slightly open for interpretation: "I want people to fall into a big bucket of sound.”
III Points. 7 p.m. October 9 to 11 at Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St., Miami. Tickets cost $55 to $110 plus fees via squadup.com. Visit iiipoints.com.
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Elvis Anderson has been a devout Kraftwerk fan since the fifth grade. His favorite dance-floor move is the somersault. He serves on the board of the Woody Foundation, a Miami-based not-for-profit organization that improves the lives of those living with paralysis.