Smoke The Monster Out

Artist Damian Lazarus
Release date 27 Sep 2019
Label Rebellion
Catalogue CRMCD040


  1. Smoke The Monster Out
  2. Moment
  3. Finding It Hard
  4. Memory Box
  5. Diamond In The Dark
  6. Cold Lizards
  7. Neverending
  8. King of Fools
  9. Come And Play
  10. Bloop Bleep
  11. Broken Dreams
  12. Lullabies
  13. Spinnin
  14. It’s Raining Today
  15. Dr Whiskers Theme
  16. After Rave Delight

Following on from the Moment in the Dark EP featuring remixes from Adam Port, Satori and Tibi Dabo, Damian Lazarus celebrates the tenth anniversary of his acclaimed debut album Smoke the Monster Out, with the release of a remastered and expanded edition on his own label Crosstown Rebels.

A decade ago I released my debut solo album on the label Get physical. It was the first time I’d let myself loose in the studio and what came out was a psychedelic collection of extremely strange and bizarre songs. I wanted to make an album full of my inspirations and influences, for exotic after parties, and with no consideration about necessarily getting played in the clubs. It divided opinion at the time and seemed to defy easy categorisation. My own sonic curveball. Here we are ten years on. I’m pleased to report that ‘Smoke The Monster Out’ is still as weird as it ever was. Still genre proof. Still an ‘album’ in an era of tracks and playlists. Now forthcoming on Crosstown Rebels, remastered and with three bonus tracks from the original studio sessions, it’s ready to confuse everyone all over again!

Smoke The Monster Out, originally released in 2009, was the first time Damian had written and produced his own music. Known across the globe for founding the Crosstown Rebels label, his captivating DJ sets and divergent Lazpod podcast series, his debut album is an emotional and humorous expression of his genre-defying imagination.

Following ongoing experimentation with lyric writing and production, Damian invited Arthur Jeffes (son of the Penguin Café Orchestra’s Simon Jeffes), Classic records head honcho Luke Solomon and Mark Ralph (then a member of Filthy Dukes and now a world renowned producer for the likes of Clean Bandit, Years & Years, and Jax Jones) into the studio with him. The result was a unique blend of music that represents Lazarus’ personality and vast experience of the dark and light moments that are captured on the dancefloor. The Guardian went as far as describing the album in 2009 as: “Less troubled and deep than Björk’s Debut, it still captures the atmosphere of late-night clubland – the transcendent freedom, the fuzzy unreality, the implicit emptiness, the dysfunction – with a similar potent accuracy. That it does so by fusing Ricardo Villalobos and Robert Wyatt, and slipping in a Scott Walker cover, might explain why it is not being hailed as one of the crossover albums of the year. But it is.”

Ten years on the album that draws on inspiration from: techno and house, rock and pop and drum and bass, still remains as challenging and exciting as it was upon its initial release and will capture the attention of both new and old fans alike.

Everything about Smoke The Monster Out feels idiosyncratic, direct and carefully thought-out: both the artwork and the title (which references Alice in Wonderland) evoke Lazarus’s interest in the loss and the return of innocence, the imagery of fairytale fables, and the battle to control and satisfy the emotions without losing sight of humour. Lazarus has a vision, and isn’t afraid to realize it. He continues to live this vision through the music released on his label, the groundbreaking festival he curates Day Zero and the story that unfolds during his DJ sets to audiences around the world every week.