The brand new track “Robot Heart” from Art Department, BLUD & Shaun Reeves, featuring vocals by Damian Lazarus turns out to be much more than just another epic deep house anthem. It represents very brief moments in space and time that are witnessed only by a lucky few, out in the middle of the Black Rock Desert during Robot Heart‘s annual Burning Man parties. Very rarely in dance music history have we seen artists collaborate on a track with such conviction to justly depict the radiant energy behind it’s inspiration. This, ladies and gentleman – is something special. No. 19 Music tells the story of it’s creation:
When Art Department´s Jonny White received the call from Gio (George G Mueller) and Jason Swamy to write the first ever song for Robot Heart, it was not something he took lightly. In Jonny’s own words, “Robot Heart events at Burning Man are quite simply put, the best parties on the planet.” Jonny enlisted his band partner Kenny Glasgow and sometimes DJ partner Shaun Reeves who were with him last year at Burning Man and who all experienced the Playa and Robot Heart for the very first time together to collaborate on the record. This was no small task, writing a record that would somehow have to translate the uncontainable energy that Robot Heart brings to the Playa each night and into the following afternoon at Burning Man.
“This truly is the stuff legends are made of. The guys have come up with something so amazing and powerful and I was honored to be asked to write the theme to such a beautiful concept that has touched so many including all of us. Having experienced playing on the bus 3 times now I had a good idea of what the song needed to sound like, although bringing that unbelievable atmosphere to a record seemed it might be impossible. Fortunately, having been touched so deeply by our experience there we didn´t have much trouble putting ourselves in the right place to bring that vibe to the record. I think it really captures the essence of the party, the playa and the people that make it what it is¨ (Jonny White).
When the record was finished Jonny immediately turned to Damian Lazarus who first asked Art Department to play with him on the bus 2 years ago to write the vocal. “The record needed a vocal… it was something that only someone who had been there and shared the same experience at Robot Heart would be capable of writing. While finishing the mix in LA I approached Damian to write and record the vocals for the song. He had a similar reaction to when we were asked to produce the song… honored and aware of the daunting task: that it would be a meaningful song for so many and had to live up to the actual party. He asked for a moment alone with a pen and some paper and came up with something absolutely perfect, without even hearing the record! I was shocked. We recorded one take and that was it”. (Jonny White)
Musically ‘Robot Heart’ is an instant underground anthem, deep, pulsing electronic music that defies tags such as ‘house’ or ‘techno’ and hints at early Detroit anthems such as Knight of the Jaguar. Lazarus’ intense and poignant vocals cut a channel through the rich and haunting production and the sound transports the listener straight to the heart of the flame lit desert floor. The original version is accompanied by an outstanding remix from BLUD who delivers a stripped back, dub mix that is perfectly balanced and deeply hypnotic.