Township Rebellion finish out year with “Mosaik” on Desert Hearts Black
Desert Hearts Black welcomes yet another legendary act into its fold today: Township Rebellion, who’ve graced the label with a heady new single titled “Mosaik”. A secret set weapon for quite some time now, “Mosaik” is a cinematic addition to the duo’s discography—outfitted with a roaring, brass-centric hook and spacey synth harmonies surrounding it. A strong bassline and percussion section add fervor to the finished product.
The trek through the shadows doesn’t end with Township Rebellion’s original work. Four artists have been brought on for remix duties, the first being mau5trap and Yoshitoshi champion Rinzen, who beefed up the low end and tempo whilst creating even more tension during his breakdown. Desert Hearts Black owners Marbs and Evan Casey take the stage next, taking a minimal approach with their rendition of the original for a piece fit for sunrise. Finally, up-and-comer Victor Pilava enters from the left field with a slowed down, mystical interpretation. Much like its name, ‘Mosaik’ as a whole is a colorful, multifaceted collection of tracks.
Township Rebellion have maintained a stronghold over the melodic techno world through the year, clocking in milestone releases. Most recently, they made their debut on the RÜFÜS DU SOL-led imprint Rose Avenue with their dynamic “2020” EP – inspired by current events. They also joined award-winning New York Times journalist Ian Urbina during the summer for Storming The Thunder—inspired by Interpol’s hunt for the world’s most wanted poaching ship. These solo collections bookended various remixes and original tracks appearing on their regular home of Stil Vor Talent.
“Mosaik” is the penultimate release for Desert Hearts Black in 2020, closing out a memorable second year for the subsidiary label. They have continued to draw in A-list talent for their repertoire, with Dance Spirit, Rinzen, David Scuba, Vanita, and Anakim making their debuts – not to mention, Township Rebellion. After taking an otherwise tumultuous year in stride, fans can expect continued quality as Desert Hearts Black enters into the new year.
trndmsk: What inspired you to sign Township Rebellion?
Marbs: Both Evan and I have been playing Township Rebellion tracks in our sets long before Desert Hearts Black, so it has always been a goal of ours to have them be a part of the project. I saw them play over 6 hours straight at the 2019 Burn and I was hoping to meet them out there. They ended up coming by our camp – Pile Palace; we hung out for a bit and they showed interest in getting involved on the label. We connected again after the burn and it solidified everything. It’s an absolute honor to have them join us after only launching the imprint a little over a year ago and we couldn’t be happier to welcome them into our family.
What mindframe were you in when creating your remix to ‘Mosaik’? Where did you record it? And how?
Evan: This one is a much more unique answer given it is 2020, and all that has come at us this year. But our headspace was ultimately excited and deeply grateful to be writing a remix for someone we have both been inspired by for some time now. Not only were we immediately in love with their track Mosaik, but also felt very motivated to do justice to the original while also creating our own unique energy for this release. Their original sounds are massive and beautiful, which always makes working on a remix so enjoyable. These guys are masters in the studio, and we had such a great time together building this one out. Some days this year have felt extremely heavy, but when you’re working on something like this, the energy is surging.
We wrote the remix in our home studio in LA, where we do all of our work, as well as our live streams. After so many years of playing out and loving their tracks, it was a very special feeling for Marbs and me to be working on a remix for them. We have wanted to get them on the label from day 1, and this is something we are extremely proud of and ready to build on.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned about running a record label so far?
Marbs: Just like with everything we do in Desert Hearts, a focus on building community is of the utmost importance. Aligning with artists that we have personally connected with or who share similar visions as us has always added to the strength of our family. Also, having patience and not rushing to get music out is integral. Allowing space between releases to give each collection the attention it deserves has been a big learning point. Releasing too much with little time in between can sometimes cannibalize one another. There are so many lessons, but another one that sticks out to me is being open to evolution both in music and direction while maintaining a catalog that resonates with our long-term vision. Music is a living organism and, in my opinion, to stay in one place goes against the beauty of music.
How did you go about picking remixers for “Mosaik”?
Marbs: From the beginning, when we first signed “Mosaik” both TR and ourselves wanted Rinzen to remix the track. He’s been on releases with TR before, which made the guys well aware of his artistry. Evan and I are, of course, very connected with Rinzen and regard him as not only a close friend, but also one of the most talented artists in our catalog. Choosing him was a no brainer. TR then nominated Victor Pilava to do a downtempo remix which we thought was really interesting and exciting because broadening the spectrum of genres in our catalog has been a primary goal as we head into 2021. Lastly, Evan and I were so excited about this release and we’ve looked up to TR for a while, so we were humbled and honored to have the opportunity to remix their first single on the label. We’re very proud of this package and couldn’t be happier with the music each artist created.
What’s up next after the release? Are you working on any other projects?
Evan: We have a very exciting run of releases coming up for the label! Ending 2020 with this huge one from Township, as well as our ‘Best Of’ Compilation that consists of the best tunes on the label last year! We are both so proud of the music and artists we have brought into the DH Black family, and looking back on all of it was amazing.
Kicking off 2021, we have a big release coming from James Trystan with incredible remixes from Stas Drive, Innacircle, and Diazar! This is followed by our own EP, “Birds on a Wire” that we are incredibly excited about, featuring big vocals from our dear friend with her debut, Katie Kilbride. This release is extremely special to us, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it. And although we can’t say anything more yet, there is a massive remix on this EP from one of our long time musical heroes, and we couldn’t be more proud of the entire collection.
Several more EPs are already set for the rest of the year, and we cannot thank our amazing community enough for the ongoing support of not only us, but of all the artists that have released with us on our journey thus far! We love you all, and we’re just getting started!