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Damian Lazarus: I Don't Produce, But . . .

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
"I realised some time ago that it would be quite easy for me to make a phone call to a number of shit hot producers or engineers, organise some studio time, go in with some great creative ideas, and come out a couple of days later with a hot record, but it strikes me that that would be a little bit too easy, and a little bit too fake, and a little bit of a kick in the balls for the people around me who have spent most of their lives focusing solely on production and engineering."

Describing himself as a DJ first and A&R / label chief second, Crosstown Rebels chief Damian Lazarus is adamant about not producing

"I find it quite annoying when a great producer decides that he or she can go out and make a bigger name for themselves by going out and DJing to support their production work, because I feel that I spent a lot of years trying to be a successful DJ, and for someone to come along and just make one big record and start taking gigs that I could potentially be doing, I find that quite annoying," he explains.

"So on the flip side, for me to push myself as a producer when I don't actually sit in front of a computer day in and day out, or in a studio day in and day out, I think would be quite unfair, so I've decided not to do it. Although saying that, I have been in studios and played around and come you with some ideas, but more as a hobby thing. I prefer to see myself as an executive producer, where I am overseeing projects and helping people creatively and directing stuff from afar."

Another project he's recently overseen is Bugged Out's latest compilation Suck My Deck, which he says has been quite different from his recent Crosstown Rebels mixes.

"It offered me an opportunity to do something quite different, something that was a lot more underground, where I didn't have to think too much "what are people going to like'," he admits.

"This is strictly about me, it's what I'm playing and where my head's at right now. I'd just come off the back of doing "Rebel Futurism 2' and I've kind of got a formula going with the Futurism series now, so that's slightly easier, and I think that this album offered me the opportunity to go deeper and darker, a little bit more late night."

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): The track that really surprised me on the compilation was The Stranglers' rarity Love 303, why did you include that-

Damian Lazarus: "It's a track that was on the B side of "Golden Brown', and "Golden Brown' has been one of the favourites in the house for many, many years and at a very young age, I fell in love with the B side. It's one of those records that I've always wanted to play out, and never found the opportunity. I thought maybe if I put it on this album, it might give me the opportunity to put it in a set one night."

Skrufff: Have you done that yet-

Damian Lazarus: "No. Not yet. I'm still waiting for the right moment, but summer is upon us."

Skrufff: You're playing DC10 in Ibiza a few times this summer, are you now a resident there-

Damian Lazarus: "It's an odd one with DC10. They've had their "residents'; inverted commas, for many years, and they tend not to add or detract from that list. However, I've been playing for them for three years now, and the deal is that they kindly offered me the opportunity to play whenever I liked, so at the beginning of the season I gave them a list of dates that I would like to do, and we've taken it from there. So this year, I"m actually going to be playing, with the exception of July; twice a month. I guess I'm considered a resident by the punters because I'm there quite often, and I tend to play a similar time slot each time as well as only inside, so I'm quite well known for playing there, but this year I'm also playing at Space a couple of times."

Skrufff: How important is Ibiza for you these days-

Damian Lazarus: "I've been going for some time now, but from a label perspective in terms of it being consistent place to be and an important plac