Serge Devant continues to tour bringing his sonically beautiful, riveting sound to fans worldwide.
Packed with a range of DJ bag essentials from original vocal tunes, hands-in-the-air anthems to instantly recognizable (but retooled) classics and deep club tracks, SERGE DEVANT’s appropriately titled second album REWIND (Ultra Music) takes a trip back in time to those wild nights of his youth, and the sounds that made them come alive.
“When I came to New York, it was the mid-‘90s and the club scene was simply amazing,” remembers the Russian native of his entry into the legendary nightlife scene of the times. “I really dove in headfirst. Tunnel, Sound Factory, Twilo, Palladium, Limelight – all of those clubs were open and driving dance music. It inspired me to get my first set of turntables and start DJing when I was 17 and still in high school.”
The passion is evident in his voice as Devant talks about those nascent years coming up in the New York club circuit, shopping for records in stores like Satellite and 8 Ball, and securing his first DJ gigs in the city. After scoring a CroBar residency in 2006 and releasing his version of “Sweet Harmony” by ‘90s U.K. dance act the Beloved in 2007, Devant released his debut album Wanderer in 2009. Featuring the European chart-topper “Addicted” (feat. Hadley), it was a propulsive introduction to the emerging Serge Devant sound.
“It was the era of the real art of DJing. That’s where I’m coming from,” he continues. “I’m coming from that classic tradition, of learning how to be a complete DJ, programming long sets, and keeping the floor moving at all times. Only then was I ready to make my own music.”
“A lot of REWIND is about remembering those tracks that first inspired me to get into this music, even back in Russia,” Devant recalls. “When KLF came out with ‘3 a.m. Eternal’ back in the early ‘90s, it was one of the first electronic house tracks I’d ever heard. I was such a big fan, and it brings back so many memories.”
For his version of electronic music classic, Devant mixed the original melody with a prime-time beat and the vocals of singer Taleen. The resulting track is an emotional rollercoaster of syncopated bass lines and soul-stirring crescendos. He applies a similarly deft hand to New Order’s ‘80s gem “True Faith.”
I wanted to take those elements and put them in a new skin, give them life for the new era,” Devant explains. “Hopefully, they will inspire people in the same way the originals inspired me.”
That sense of remembered passions and new life extends to Serge Devant’s original songs as well. The storming vocal house tune “When You Came Along” with Danny Inzerillo and featuring Polina was originally conceived back in the early ‘00s, when Devant first began producing. It wasn’t until this album that he found the missing components to make it complete.
“It was really important to me to go back to that original idea and finally pull it together the way it was meant to be,” he says now. “It’s very gratifying.”
Amidst the nightlife memories, Devant teams up with vocalist Coyle Girelli for the very modern dance-pop single “On Your Own.” Paying homage to the songwriting abilities of his own musical heroes, the sophisticated synth melodies and Girelli’s impassioned delivery would fit perfectly on a playlist next to the likes of Miike Snow and Empire of the Sun. The song inspired Devant to write, co-produce and co-direct a conceptual music video, starring Russian model Anna Vishnevskaya. The single release boasts remixes from David Tort, Stephan Luke and Thomas Sagstad & Mike Hawkins.
REWIND also gave Devant the opportunity to reunite with Hadley from his first #1 hit, “Addicted.” On the captivating “Dice,” the duo has scored yet another perfectly crafted progressive house anthem for an impressive cover of the Finley Quaye & William Orbit track. Riding on ringing guitars and Hadley’s moving vocals, this uplifting big-room track is poised to become the next Serge Devant signature hit.
Rounding out the set with deep, DJ-ready instrumentals like “Xylo” and “African Fever,” REWIND is the rare dance album that doesn’t sacrifice personality for the sake of the beat.
The non-stop traveling DJ cites Russia and Eastern Europe as his biggest DJ destinations, but Devant still enjoys playing America, anticipating a full-scale U.S. tour in the spring.
The energy is refreshing. In the States, Chicago is one of my favorite places to play. It’s a great city, the people are friendly, and the vibe is just really nice.”
As Devant prepares to unleash REWIND on the world and meet his adoring public on tour, he breaks it all down to creating bonds wherever he goes.
“I strive to make a connection through my music, for listeners to feel what I make, to be meaningful,” he stresses. “Much like the songs I picked to cover, I want people to be able to listen to my music years down the line and be transported, and to remember a special time in their lives at the moment when the song came out.”