For our first Buildup EP we had the honor of working with Momentology (Patrick) and DJ Taz Rashid. I have known both of these musicians for years. They both make a wide variety of music with such a deep musical range. I was elated to hear they were collaborating on new music for the Ecstatic Dance floor.
I had the opportunity to ask Tazdeen and Patrick about what inspires their music.
Tazdeen Rashid = TR
Patrick Kiebzak = PK
1. What draws you into the Ecstatic Dance community? What about it is special for you as a musician?
PK: My personal draw to the Ecstatic Dance community is the authenticity of the participants and the gentle progression of energy. The experience itself brings out a certain feeling as people gather in ceremony. Because the music starts slow, builds to a peak, and ends slowly, it differs drastically from live performances at a club, concert, or festival concerts where the music starts off with a peak and usually hangs there until the final song. Don't get me wrong, festival style is great--however, for my preference, it sometimes seems fatiguing and invasive as a listener. That is why I love ecstatic dance!
TR: I love the passion the ecstatic dance community has for their individual and collective transformation, and their dedication to express themselves freely on the dance floor. This is a drug & alcohol-free environment, where we have a unique opportunity to use the music and each other--in a non-verbal manner--to play and interact with personal and group energy. I love playing concert-style DJ sets, but during the Ecstatic Dance DJ set I enjoy the feeling of a film composer: the dance floor is my movie where the actors/actresses are going through a “choose your own adventure” type of experience.
2. How has dance affected your life?
TR: Since 2009, when I began my deeper mindfulness journey, dancing has give me deep spiritual and mystical experiences. Often times I would equate a dance experience to a session with a psychologist/shaman, where I was able to hold intentions and use the music as a tool to let go of what wasn’t serving me and at the same time putting my ego on a timeout and in a space of non-judgement.
PK: Dance has made me more in tune with my body and my personal expression as an artist. As someone who enjoys dancing to music, when I am creating a song I can put myself in the listener's shoes and put down the producer's hat for a moment. This allows me to experience the song from an outside perspective and better judge its effectiveness.
3. Could you tell us a story about this track? What inspired this collaboration? What were you both trying to express?
Ancestors Dance started from a desire to make ecstatic, tribal, and energetic music for our listeners. We both are used to making pretty chill music that could be used for yoga or overall relaxing vibes, so this project was really fulfilling for us. It allowed us to showcase a different part of our musical expression as producers--It’s that ecstatic, get-down, let’s get wild part!
4. You both perform music at a lot of festivals and dance floors across the nation. What is your advice to other DJs and musicians to help them best facilitate an Ecstatic Dance?
Start to build the energy in a live set slowly, and always be watching and listening for what the crowd is doing. Are they dancing harder than the music is meant for? Start to ramp the energy up to match them. Are they matching the energy of the music? Stay there, let that feeling simmer for a while. Are they showing signs of being tired/exhausted? It's time to slow the energy down! This becomes effortless when I stop thinking of what "I" want to play and start focusing on the room’s needs and desires. In that way, you, as a DJ, become an instrument of the experience rather than someone putting on a show.
5. What new projects do you have in the cooker? Any new releases coming out or projects that are exciting you?
Both of us have a ton of new songs in the process of creation, including a dozen or so dance/funk songs. However, the project we are personally most excited about will be on our next collaboration release called Back to Life. This album is 75 minutes of both light and energizing music. In Back to Life, we really aim to give the listener a unique experience that spans across genres, tempos, and cultural diversity.
Check out Momentology and DJ Taz Rashid music at:
www.momentology.net // @momentologymusic
Www.djtazrashid.com // @djtazrashid
I'm inspired by both of these artist dedication to making holistic music for the dance-floor. They have such a beautiful way of blending in genres and sounds to make an emotional tapestry. Make sure you check out their music!
Written by Isaac Cotec
Co-Founder of Ecstatic Dance Records