One of the more unique albums to sneak out at the end of 2012 was DRM, a collaboration between Ryan Crosson (one quarter of Visionquest) and Cesare Merveille (of Cadenza fame). Both DJ/producers spend a majority of their time representing their label’s crossover-ready techno tunes to adoring audiences worldwide. Which makes DRM, an album of moody and abstract electronic music, all the more surprising. URB asked the two of them how this new project fits in to their already overflowing schedules.
Visionquest is releasing a heady mix of sounds, including poppy elements like Benoit + Sergio and footprintz. DRM clearly takes the label in another direction, away from the poppy sphere. Was is a conscious decision to have your first album be something more heady?
As we started working on the album we tried to do something quite personal, we didn’t really take in consideration where it would be released, but we’re happy to widen the musical spectrum of the label.
With DRM, did you two come together to make music that you felt was missing from your record bag? Are these tunes we’d be hearing you play out? Or is DRM less functional, more simply just an expression of what you wanted to create together?
Again, it’s a very personal album, we actually tried not to fall into the usual 4/4 dance track and focus on the musical and sonic side. We play some of the tracks but none of them have particularly been design in a functional way.
Cesar, Cadenza, has become a powerhouse – clearly expanding its reach through its presence on Ibiza. What does that mean to you as a producer associated with the label, does it afford you new opportunities? Does it broaden or narrow the music you can release with them?
It can only broaden the music. Both Cadenza and Visionquest are family and I think it’s important to show that there doesn’t have to be any barrier between the two. We support each other and collaborating together can only open new horizons.
Ryan, watching Cadenza grow, really on its own terms, does it inspire you and the Visionquest crew to try and emulate Cadenza’s success?
We’ve all been playing music from Cadenza since the label launched back in 2003. It was truly groundbreaking back in its early years and we’ve forged good friendships with many of the artists on Cadenza like Ces, Mirko, Maayan and Dani, and some others. The thing I really think that stands out these days about Cadenza is that although the music on the label isn’t as experimental as it used to be they have maintained a core of artists they stand behind and support. They’ve created a family type vibe that is absolutely essential.
You both have label crews around you. Crosstown Rebels, Wolf+Lamb, Hot Creations, have all found success with this model. Do you feel that its important to create a collective if you want to reach a certain level?
Cesar: I think it’s just important to have a collective! You learn a lot from other artists around you and it’s important to share your knowledge with the people around you. It’s a good way to grow stronger.
DRM seems to convey mood in its songs. When you made these tracks – do you feel that you were directly putting your mood, at the time of production, into these tracks?
Cesar: The album has strong moods because of it’s musical aspect and the collaboration with the musicians we chose.
You worked with some classically trained musicians on this project – No Regular Play’s Greg Paulus, and Kate Simko. Did you feel that it was important to add classical instrumentation to this album, or were those collabs more organic than that?
The classical instrumentation is an important part on the album, we wanted to push the musical further than our usual dance tracks. We were quite interested in the mix of acoustic and electronic elements.
How do you guys play together? I was looking online and didn’t see many gigs listed. Are you working on a live show together, or can you convey the DRM experience with a back-to-back DJ set?
At the moment we play back to back DJ set, more to come on that soon…