Home / Reviews / Music Reviews / Art Department, Blud & Shaun Reeves feat Damian Lazarus – Robot Heart (No.19 Music)
Art Department, Blud, Shaun Reeves feat Damian Lazarus - Robot Heart (No.19 Music)

Art Department, Blud & Shaun Reeves feat Damian Lazarus – Robot Heart (No.19 Music)

[box_light]Art Department, Blud & Shaun Reeves feat Damian Lazarus – Robot Heart (No.19 Music)[/box_light]

The next musical offering from No.19 comes in the form of the single ‘Robot Heart’, a record almost destined to be a classic before its creation. The title comes from the infamous desert parties of the same name, that Robot Heart that burners chase through the desert on bikes deep into the Playa to partake in one of the world’s most enigmatic events. It ́s been praised by the likes of Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the best parties on earth and continues to top the list for djs lucky enough to play atop the legendary mobile soundsystem..

No.19 Music

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.

Robot Heart fathers George G Mueller & Jason Swamy had this to say about the ‘Robot Heart’ single:


[quote]Going into our fifth year at Burning man focused on the goal of bringing the best mobile sound system and electronic house music to the playa, Robot Heart has now become known to throw some legendary parties. After 5 years on the Playa, and now being known worldwide for what have become legendary events, the talk about Robot Heart’s magical sunrises sessions at Burning Man elevated to a new level as Art Department (in collaboration with Shaun Reeves, BLUD and Damian Lazarus) composed and debuted the first ever ode to Robot Heart. Jonny White & Kenny Glasgow are two of our favorite artists who are widely recognized for being pioneers and pushing boundaries with electronic music. They ́re extremely talented DJs and music producers whose musical style and personality personifies that of the Robot Heart Bot (bus), so when the idea of having one of the many talented artists who have graced the decks of the Bot to write the Robot Heart anthem, asking Art Department to bring the spirit of Robot Heart to life was the obviously choice.

When “Robot Heart” was debuted on the Bot at Burning Man this year it was a perfect alignment of a virtuoso on a Stradivarius, a match made in playa heaven.[/quote]


Art Department’s ‘Robot Heart’ marks a new high in No.19 Music’s already impressive catalogue and is set to become a defining record of 2012 and a lasting testament to one of the greatest parties on earth.


About Paul Banks

Founder & Director of Underground Source and the host of the UGS Podcast.

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