After the North and South Poles, Es Vedra, a rock formation off the coast of Ibiza, is supposedly the most magnetic point in the world. Some say it was the home of the sirens from Homer’s epic The Odyssey, and locals claim it’s the tip of the sunken city of Atlantis. It’s also within view of Visionquest’s condo, where the Detroit foursome has been soaking up the rock’s mystical properties—and partying its ass off at a string of high-profile gigs.
Seth Troxler, the group’s youngest member at 26, is only having a laugh when he points out Es Vedra’s magical appeal, and yet it seems like the perfect setting to reach this group of friends that gravitated together over a desire to do something different with dance music.
“Like-mindedness was what really drew us together,” Troxler says of the gang of four, which also includes Ryan Crosson and Shaun Reeves, both 30, and Lee Curtiss, 33. Speaking via Skype prior to their appearance at Spy Bar on Friday 26, Troxler continues, “We were really into a certain sound coming from Europe, having all spent some time over there and coming back and forth. We just became best friends.”
Though the members have healthy DJ and production careers of their own, which divide them between Europe and the States, Visionquest as a whole is entirely Detroit-bred and quickly establishing itself as the next hottest thing to come rolling out of the Motor City. It is the latest fruits of a dance-music family tree that includes the Belleville Three, Matthew Dear and, especially, Richie Hawtin, whom they all cite as a central influence.
Though the kinship they feel to their forebears is strong, the music is all their own. Whether through remixes or the tracks it has been releasing on its label of the same name, Visionquest is working dance floors with an eclectic formula that includes deep house, techy flourishes, sexy pop and a willingness to embrace the left field. “It’s not strictly following a certain genre or sound or trying to carve a whole new niche in dance music where a lot of it’s been done already,” Crosson says.
“There was all this music we were getting from friends that wasn’t coming out, or music we were making,” Troxler adds. “It was like, let’s put this out on our own label and make this cool. We had all these concepts and ideas for so long, it finally came to a point where we wanted to present them and felt confident that it was a good time to do it.”
Of the four, Crosson and Troxler are the most vocal about their goals and where the quartet is headed. Reeves chimes in with affirmations from time to time, and Curtiss can’t even be found. All assume he’s still asleep. “Lee’s like a cat,” Troxler explains. “He sleeps, like, 70 percent of the day. That’s not even a joke.”
But their name, for all of its implications about a new generation of dance-music producers coming of age, kind of is. “We used to go up into the woods a couple times a year, hang out, make music, bond together,” Crosson recalls. “Expand our minds,” Troxler chimes in with a laugh. “Those trips were a vision quest. When we had to make a remix we were like, what should we call ourselves? Fuck it. Visionquest. And we watched this movie with Matt Modine. That really put it over the edge for us.”
The boys from Visionquest gather at Spy Bar on Friday 26.