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Damian Lazarus Conjured Magic | GET LOST NYC!

by RiMo

When artists are given an artistic license, magic happens! At New York’s GET LOST, Damian Lazurus’ vision came to life offering an alternative rave experience by providing an unforgettable multi-stage, audio-visual program featuring the best in performance art, DJ sets, live music and art installations at the Knockdown Center.

The event opened with Whitney Fierce’s DJ set where she explored the boundaries of modern music by fusing experimental jazz compositions with house classics. The beauty of jazz and its desire to connect with the listener was emphasized by the heavy bass lines of her set. As her house driven selections with reminding vocals took center stage, I looked at the crowd who could feel her translatability. Her effort to open up the listener to new and innovative sounds set the tone for the event promising a new and different experience. After her set, I spoke with the artist who told me that it was great to open this event and that the idea of playing music that she picks without reservation was certainly a special element in the night for her. It was clear that so many of the artists I would see have so much they want to share and that they would relish this opportunity.

Kelsey Lu’s live performance included her inspiring cello playing which took center stage at the beginning of her performance. As she stroked the strings she was illuminated in red elevating the level of passion of her performance. The crowd eagerly anticipated her next move as she rocked her introduction and the free-spiritedness of her performance provided a highway for others who wanted to join in the experience. Ms. Lu then began to sing in a deep octave expressing herself as an otherworldly entity going to the beyond. Her siren driven vocals were spectacular as the singer, along with her visuals, gave a truly haunting performance expressing love, life and all that comes with it. Her vocals were absolutely alluring as she sang delicately and unguarded; almost crying. I was moved by her beautiful voice and touched by the candid manner in which she shared her emotions and desires with the audience. As the vocals continued we could hear her singing along with deep house beats as the DJ adjusted the music, complementing her lyrics.  The crowd called out to her and with a gentle voice, she told them what she was experiencing. No holding back here as she told us that she loves to sing. It was great to be able to witness this moment as she closed out her performance singing “I’m not in love” (10cc), while the crowd held its breath in the beauty of it all.

Beautiful Swimmers surprised me with their inclusion of R & B from the 80’s and 90’s. It added another element to their set and after speaking with them, they said that this music was new to them and that they incorporated it into their set because they felt the music was relevant. They had a long line of tunes that they wanted to explore more, and this event was exactly the place where they could explore it. Growing up listening to R & B, Beautiful Swimmer’s sets brought me back to my childhood in Queens, NY.  Topping it off with a Brazilian feel, these guys took their heavy beat machine down another path seeing the importance in these exotic track selections.

Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou’ Leila’s fervor was apparent as they stepped on stage, and seeing them perform at this event put things into perspective. Their incredibly well thought out and carefully arranged songs about themes that other artists won’t touch, elevated the event to celebrate life no matter what comes. As their sultry sound permeated the room, a feeling of joy came over the hall and the crowd responded to this by singing and dancing to the songs. Of particular interest was the violin player whose performance lead us down a path to explore different emotions and deep-felt desires. The lead singer was soulful and endearing so that you could understand his message without needing to know the language.  Looking at different cultures and acknowledging their importance was emphasized in their work and it left me with a smile on my face.

Day two started with an outdoor performance at the Ruins stage filled with fanciful decor and stilt performers. On the stage was Francesca Lombardo, whose classical music upbringing and impressive live performances provided an alternative view as she presented deep house tunes and progressive beats expressing her unique style. A set by Grammy-nominated UK music producer Nic Fanciulli added to the underground feel with his cutting edge work. It was such a pleasure to see these world-renowned artists here. Going back to the roots of house, Dennis Ferrer set the stage on fire as he brought the underground classics back home and built the crowd up to a frenzy. He said,” This is for all the house music kids out there!” The crowd immediately reacted with excitement as Ferrer seamlessly kept playing those underground tunes going deep in our souls and telling the love story that is House. His journey was not an editorial house performance. As his theme of love played out he captured the joy that underground house still evokes. Robag Wruhme closed out the outdoor stage with his set as the night came on and more stages opened inside the venue. Heading inside to the Texas stage there were various art installations and experiences to explore. Denney’s set would start an impressive night of performances here along with DJ’s Salome and Audiojack as the stage was open until the dawn. On the main stage and in the basement were equally impressive performances, by legends, that included Felix Da Housecat, The Martinez Brothers, Carl Craig and Damian Lazarus himself who would close out this truly one of a kind event.

*Featured Photo Via | Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

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