The follow up to 2015’s “Message From The Other Side,” an album The Fader said is “a journey into techno’s dreamiest recesses” is out now. Released on July 20 through Lazarus’ label Crosstown Rebels and BMG, Damian Lazarus and the Ancient Moons’ “Heart of Sky” is an album that leans more towards alternative pop and club land rather than being created for techno purists. However, that does not mean Lazarus has abandoned his techno purists. I think fans of Damian’s previous works, will like this new direction.
“Heart of Sky” was recorded at Lazarus’ Monastic Studios in Tuscany, Italy. The players joining Lazarus and making up the Ancient Moons are London based singer Jesse Appiah, session musician Ben Chetwood, who also happens to be a medical doctor, and Heritage Orchestra’s Rob Gentry. Special guest vocalist Chela also makes an appearance on the track “Five Moons.”
This album was also self-produced by Lazarus with the writing contributions coming from the entire band. The music has exotic instrumentation, soulful vocals and an ambitious broad scope for the dance floor and your head. 80s vocals in the soul style, a touch of funk, obscure, unique and traditional Middle-eastern instrumentation and a big flair for the cinematic, all resonate throughout when it comes to the musical styles influencing the songs on the new album. There are several trippy moments with psychedelic guitars, cinematic strings, shuffling, pulsing and driving beats and some of the grooviest and exotic rhythms you’ve ever heard, on or off the dance floor.
Of the 11 tracks on the album, these are the best, in my opinion: “Five Moons;” “Help Me Find A Way;” “Cancello” and “Tomorrow We Can Start Again.” The diversity and styles range from the body moving exotic to heady psychedelics as well as being down-tempo and chill.
Damian Lazarus, has for years, put forth a mysterious and magical persona and has a brilliant discography to match, including this new glowing addition, “Heart of Sky.” His goal for this the album was to find a way to connect heart and soul to a positive, trippy, psychedelic sound. I say he has accomplished his mission.