The Crystal Ark is the fourth recording guise that Russom has used for DFA to date. He is perhaps best-known for his collaborations with Delia Gonzalez on a range of projects, including the album Days of Mars; last year he released a solo album of off-kilter acid house as Black Meteoric Star.
The inspiration for The Crystal Ark came when Russom spent five weeks performing in, and travelling around, Brazil – absorbing the sounds of carioca funk, atabaque drumming, tropicalia and South American club styles. At the same time he was preoccupied with the work of Belgian rave supremos Praga Khan and Nikki Van Lierop, particularly their classic Phantasia 12″s ‘Inner Light’ and ‘Violet Skies’. The Crystal Ark is his attempt to combine these two disparate strains of party music.
You can hear how well he’s fared when the first Crystal Ark 12″, ‘The City Never Sleeps’, drops on March 16 via DFA. Appearing in vocal and instrumental forms, ‘The City Never Sleeps’ features spoken and sung vocals by Viva Ruiz (Escandalo, Dazzle Dancers), with lyrics “found…through dreams and dance”.
‘The City Never Sleeps’ was recorded in New York, as was the single which follows it, ‘The Tangible Presence of The Miraculous’. The latter features percussionist Alberto Lopez and additional vocals from Lizzy Yoder (Sweet Thunder, Fischerspooner).
Russom says that The Crystal Ark band will performing live in 2010; look out for news of that and the second 12″ release.
Meanwhie, Delia & Gavin fans will be pleased to hear that there will be a new release from the duo this year.
“In September I went into the studio with Delia Gonzalez and [DFA engineer] Eric Broucek to mix “Track 5” which Delia and I originally recorded during the Days of Mars sessions,” says Russom.
“The track didn’t fit with the rest of the album and was left unreleased. After doing a second studio session on it in 2007 at Choose Audio in Berlin we were ready to release it but further complications stalled the process. Finally mixed and ready to go this track will appear as a 12” single on DFA in 2010.”