As one might imagine, we get many requests all the time at Instinct Magazine to review new music. Whereas, I wish I could personally give every music artist a little love, I’m very selective sometimes and prefer to check out more abstract products; a bit more off the beaten path. Such is the case with the new independent single release “The Red Dark” from hot n’ hairy musical extraordinaire, Lorant!
“The Red Dark” first intrigued me because of its accompanying press photo which invoked the smoldering sexuality of adult playgrounds, with writhing bodies in the throws of passion – only illuminated by dim red lights. Not that I have ever been to such a place, but, um, I’ve heard of them.
Lorant’s sexy and ambient track is an instrumental, which was also a welcomed change from the usual content I review that is more aligned to the mainstream radio or club market. The vibe is unmistakenly and purposefully moody, and it exudes a sense of naughty with a mysterious rhythmic pulse that puts the listener in an arousing trance. At least that’s what it did for me anyway.
DJ Lorant interprets his life in the underground club scene of New York City with “The Red Dark,” where the landscape of smokey rooms, shadows, and strange encounters meet a bass-heavy groove, raw snares, and haunting pads. Directed by Tyler Milliron, the video for “The Red Dark” follows protagonist, Luca, as he steps out into the night to witness the underbelly of a sexually driven club culture. The project also features Lorant’s fellow nightlife devotes, from DJ’s and voyeuristic muscle worshippers to drag queen gatekeepers and leather-clad bikers.
I caught up with the man behind the “The Red Dark,” and he shared with me the inspiration behind his sultry new project:
CA: Congrats on your new song and video for “The Red Dark.” The song is very moody and sexy, and the video is a bit voyeuristic. It’s like a fly on a wall watching people in a sex club. What was your inspiration for this project?
Lorant: My inspiration for the project was actually quite literal. I describe the song as an interpretation of my life in the underground club scene of New York City “where smokey rooms, shadows, and strange encounters are met with a bass-heavy groove, raw snares, and haunting pads.”
As a DJ in this city who plays at cruising spots like The Cock and Rockbar, I often find myself under red lights which happen to be the only source of radiance in such spaces. The color red takes on so many different meanings in our lives, from love and danger to blood and fire. The fact that it somehow translates to nightlife is a turn-on for me.
CA: Just FYI, at the end of that video you left me hanging, I totally wanted you and that guy-the lead actor to make out, lol. He was terrific in the role, playing the vulnerable yet aware young protagonist. Was he cast from NYC?
Lorant: Miguel is a very talented, young actor who we found through a casting website. He really grabbed the part by its horns. I feel very fortunate and blessed to have found him. It was a perfect planetary alignment. He is currently based in NYC, yes.
CA: So where did you grow up and when did you start making music?
Lorant: I was born in Istanbul, Turkey, and grew up by the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey, which gave me access to the city at an early age. I believe observing and absorbing the energy of big cities has influenced me a great deal.
I started making music a little over ten years ago. I’d been DJing and doing remixes for my friends’ labels as well as making commissioned edits of songs for Junior Vasquez, but when I decided to start my own label Royal Advisor Records (RAR), things got a bit more serious.
CA: How long have you been a part of the NYC nightlife scene and where are some of the places you’ve worked?
I’ve been a part of NYC nightlife since I started going to club Vinyl almost every Friday after graduating high school to hear Danny Tenaglia, and Twilo nearly every Saturday to hear Junior. I treated being on those dancefloors as an education. I knew I was learning from two true masters.
The first time I played for a crowd was when I won an open turntable competition at The Stonewall. Not long after that, I opened for Danny at Vinyl and again when the name of the club changed to Arc. I was also playing at G Lounge, which is now Rebar, every so often in addition to regular random gigs, but things slowed down almost to a halt because I dove into learning music production and started preparing to launch a label. I see beginning RAR as a sort of rebirth where I had to grow out of being a club kid and build myself back up. Not that you can ever really grow out of being a club kid.
CA: Who inspires you most musically and why?
Lorant: Nowadays, what inspires me most is when I find a new remixer who created something that blows my mind. It’s what gets me excited to play music for people.
CA: Since you have been working in nightlife in recent years, and you’re a part of that world, what do you think about the idea that hook up apps are hurting patronage in bars and clubs?
Lorant: I think it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. They’ve definitely changed the way we communicate with each other, but they might have also helped people who may not have an easy way to meet people in places outside of big cities. It’s true that before dating apps, you had to go out to a bar or a club if you wanted to meet someone to hook up with, but internet chat rooms have been around since the 90s, and I don’t know if they were ever seen as a threat to business. Even though I’m not a big fan of apps per se, I’m also not sure if they are the sole reason for the disappearance of gay bars across America.
We are also a little more visible now and don’t have to hide as much in places made just for us. I do have to add though that gay people are still going out and partying just as much as ever. I think people mistake change for absence sometimes. Things change, especially in a city like New York, but people will always want to dance. It’s a natural instinct and a ritual need we all have that goes back deep into our tribal roots.
CA: So what’s on the musical horizon for Lorant; other things in the works we can look out for?
Lorant: I am currently in LA for three back to back gigs. On June 23, I will be playing the Folsom East festival in New York with my good friend DJ Chauncey Dandridge. My Rockstrap party is on the first Friday of every month at RockbarNYC and I’m at The Cock on rotating Tuesdays for Brian Miceli’s Animal House party. I am also DJ’ing the Urban Bear Weekend kick-off party at Rockbar on Friday, May 17.
The follow-up to “The Red Dark” will be out hopefully soon after the summer. Expect more raw snares.
Check out this hot new release from DJ Lorant, if indeed, you do love it raw –and I’m referring to those snares, of course.