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Alex Cecil

Getting RVDIOVCTIVE with Alex Cecil

Alex Cecil is a seasoned performer in the world of house and techno. With a background in classical music from playing the cello, he’s a familiar face in New York and Miami’s underground scenes has graced the stages of numerous international festivals and is a resident at Burning Man.  His eclectic taste in the musical journey of techno has taken him across the globe.

He’s performed at legendary New York venues like Pacha, Output and Cielo —  around the world in Paris, Aspen, St. Barth, Panama, Italy and of course his second home — Miami. Being featured on events for Teksupport (Gather), BangOn!, Members Only, and IFEEL he’s shared the bill with the likes of DJ Tennis, Maceo Plex, DJ Three, Agoria, Art Department, Paco Osuna and Stacy Pullen amongst others.

Cecil’s latest track Reste lands on a new compilation from established New York party brand RVDIOVCTIVE.

Born out of the Brooklyn underground, RVDIOVCTIVE brings dynamic and eclectic electronic music to curated events across the country. What began as a creative outlet for passion projects amongst friends quickly grew into an innovative force focussed on collaboration and community. For more than a decade, these two core principles have guided RVDIOVCTIVE, an ethos that has now culminated in the launch of a new record label. 

Born out of the Brooklyn underground, RVDIOVCTIVE brings dynamic and eclectic electronic music to curated events across the country.

Influenced by the now-classic sounds of house and techno that came out of Chicago and Detroit, RVDIOVCTIVE Records seeks to expand upon the groundbreaking work done by so many creatives who came before – and to champion new, exciting sounds that have yet to hit the scene.

Connect with Alex Cecil on Soundcloud | Spotify | Instagram | Website

Hey Alex, thanks for talking to us today. Has 2022 been kind to you so far?

It’s been really exciting, thank you.  I recently moved from NYC to Miami.  The music community here is bursting with energy. You hear Miami being mentioned as a melting pot all the time, but this can now also be said in terms of the music industry.  It’s really great to be a part of it all.

You grew up playing the cello… what made you want to swap strings for samplers?

I’ve been playing the cello since I was 7 years old but took a break from it while attending University to seek other musical avenues.  After exploring various sub-genres of electronic music my love of performing naturally led me to DJing.  Fast forward to now – I have taken up the cello again actually.  I am currently incorporating both the cello and electric cello into my productions, as well as working on a live performance. I guess you could say that one thing led to another and then full circle it all came back.  The strings were never swapped for samples – just shelved.

Do you think your classical experience informs your productions now?

It gives me an edge for sure.  I think I have a unique take on composition and transition from being a classical artist.  Whether it is my productions or DJ sets, I have a deep understanding of different moments – peace, tension, aggression and resolution.  I enjoy the peaks and valleys of weaving dramatic moments together in a seamless fashion.  

Whether it is my productions or DJ sets, I have a deep understanding of different moments – peace, tension, aggression and resolution.

You’ve been a Burning Man resident for a number of years… what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen there? 

There is no such thing as a Burning Man resident per se.  We are ALL part of the amazing Burner community.  I just happen to do it musically every year.  We all contribute in so many different ways.  It’s that mindset that allows magic to happen and makes people return every year.

Thinking back on just one year is difficult, let alone eight.   What I find most intriguing is the “unexplainable” that occurs on a regular basis while there.  It is a common theme to hear people losing their friends, then meeting amazing new ones, and then all sharing unique wild stories once you reunite.  Those moments are definitely some of my highlights each year when I think back.  

And if you’ve never been to Burning Man, the craziest part is the elements.  The playa does not fuck around.  Burning Man is supposed to be difficult; it is hard because the environment is hard.  But just like a rave in a blizzard or a hurricane, some of the best times are born out of difficult situations.  

Given the increasing commercialisation of most festivals in the dance music space, do you think festivals like Burning Man are in danger of extinction? 

The organizers and true Burners will always be there to protect the true spirit of the event. For every influencer coming for the weekend to take Instagram photos, there are hundreds, if not thousands of attendees who come to truly participate. Don’t expect Burning Man to ever “sell out” and give into corporate overlords.

How did you hook up with RVDIOVCTIVE on the new release? 

I had met Devon James, one of the founders of RVDIOVCTIVE, about 7 years ago one night at Floyd in Miami.  Super great guy. It wasn’t until we were both playing at a festival in Arizona last spring that we reconnected. 

Then when Art Basel was coming up in Miami this past fall, Devon booked me for a RVDIOVCTIVE party at a venue called 1-800-LUCKY with some of my very favourite artists like Danny Daze and Felix Da Housecat among others.  My set was very retro – just like “Resté”. 

We ended up hanging out the whole weekend with the rest of the RVDIOVCTIVE team and by Monday I felt like I had known each one of them for years.  One month later when Devon sent me a message asking if I had any tracks to submit for the compilation album, I immediately thought of  “Resté” – super retro and uplifting.  The rest is history.

Your track on the compilation Reste has a real 80s vibe about it – is that an era you take a lot of inspiration from? 

Totally.  I love 80’s music but I especially dig the sound elements from that era.  In fact, my podcast series is called RETROFUTURE.  My intention has always been to bridge the old and the new.

My intention has always been to bridge the old and the new.

Do you have a particular favourite 80s synthpop banger?

“Stages” by Don Laka.  So good!

Miami conference time is coming up … what used to be called WMC. As a Miami resident, what’s been the biggest change you’ve seen in terms Miami’s importance to the music industry? 

The sheer amount of top talent week in and week out the rest of the year raises the stakes for an already important week.  Now there are more venues and more established local promotion companies with solid track records.  In the past, you had outside labels and promoters coming in to take over venues and hotels. Those same promoters/labels now have to penetrate the local scene and compete with the local power players who have been throwing events regularly.

What are your musical plans for the rest of the year? 

I moved to Miami with one main objective: to collaborate with great artists and immerse myself in what I consider the current dance music capital.  My debut EP last summer on Miami label “Deep Playa” had remixes from four amazing artists from the area: Bjor, Freak The Disco, Nii Tei and label honcho Dude Skywalker.  All great artists as well as friends.   

Soon after I had an opportunity to remix Dude Skywalker’s “Parallax” which I fittingly titled “Snowbird Remix”.  My recent collaboration “Titus” with Miami local Nii Tei is just one recent example of the fruits my decision to move down has beared, as is this release of which I am particularly proud of.

Regarding 2022 – I have an uplifting single about women’s empowerment coming out this summer I am really excited about, as well as an EP in August that reveals a much darker side of myself only heard in my DJ sets.  I’ve always been fond of playing dark vibes.  It’s something I really connect with – as does the audience.  It’s a dark but uplifting vibe I showcased in my first single last summer – a groovy techno track titled “Alpha Lupi”. 

I’ll be starting a new party series in Miami soon with some of the most talented people I know here so watch out.  Much more to come…

Thank you.

It matters little whether you are an artist or a visitor, the love for music is the unifying factor.

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