"We felt like a lot of the dance music was getting stagnant," says Headrush co-founder David Christopher, who spins in regional clubs as DJ Deviant. "It was losing the musicality that kept it progressive. We wanted to exceed the thump-thump-thump and produce music that stands as true compositions."
The label's first three releases will feature progressive house by producers and DJs from the West Coast's Sentient Audio Collective, who blend genres by applying melodic vocals over meticulously cut music. A-Sides will vary from broken-beat to tech-house, and remixes will capture the intensity of the dance floor at peak hours.
Set for mid-February release, the first single will be Michael Lanning's "Bound for Ascension." The cut features Charity Havens, and its B-side will be a remix by Thomas Penton. Brahma's "Even Flow," with remix by Kingkade, is set for March. April will be Brahma's "Peaks of Destiny," featuring Jillian Kiggins and remixes by Jas, Naveen G, and Deviant. (Visit www.toesinthesandrecordings.com for audio samples.)
Next month, Headrush will host two events at Metropolis: Montreal prog-house DJ Max Graham on March 13, and local DJs Deviant, Brandon Gill, Jamie Tyler, Damon Havill, and Jay Schamberg on March 27.
"I think Cleveland has come a long, long way quickly in the past year," says Christopher. "Now, almost every weekend, you have a big name coming out. I think the city is getting a lot more respect, and I think it will spread."
· Cleveland metal stars Chimaira will be special guests on MTV2's Headbangers' Ball Saturday, February 14.
· Underground metalers-on-the-rise Dead Even survived a car accident in Canada the night before a recent Detroit show. Another driver ran a red light, totaling the band's van and bruising the bruisers. Dead Even played the Detroit gig and returned home to Cleveland, where it's recording an EP titled Of Constant Rotation with Steve "Skinny" Felton of Mushroomhead. Set for a spring release, the disc will include guest vocals by 'Head's J. Mann.
· Closer Look Studios (3615 Superior Avenue) has expanded, adding a new room that features a $2-million, 72-channel, 19-foot long SSL console -- the largest of its kind in the Midwest. Closer Look's Tyler Owen has recorded Levert, Bone Thugs, the James Gang, Robin Stone, and Will Bowen. Call 216-361-3011 for more details.
· Cleveland mixmaster Saj Supreme will be featured on the inaugural release of Cornerstone Promotions' new label. The New York company made a name for itself releasing mix tapes featuring DJs from all over the country, and its first original release will be a 12-inch due out this spring. In the meantime, look for Saj's sophomore mix tape, The Art of the World, on March 2.
· The Cleveland metal band Abdullah has landed a slot on the Indianapolis festival Templars of Doom -- The First Crusade, which takes place June 19. Other heavy hitters include Place of Skulls, Salt of the Earth, and Mantis. Visit www.templarsofdoom.com for more info.