The planets may be acting strange but one thing is clear: Space Yacht is making WAVES in not just the EDM community but in the NFT, festival & fashion worlds alike. Founded by Rami Perlman and Henry Lu, the Space Yacht vision was to create an inclusive dance music environment where fans and artists could create intimate memories with one another at a party unlike any other in the industry.
Fast forward several years and Space Yacht has carved a name for itself within the music world. From discovering some of the best up & coming artists through their Tune Reactor on Twitch to creating an eclectic clothing brand and taking over entire stages at festivals like Beyond Wonderland, there’s no doubt that the Space Yacht crew is on the verge of something massive—one pizza slice at a time.
We caught up with Space Yacht Co-Founder Rami Perlman to find out where the Space Yacht ship is headed after catching wind of their debut DnB Compilation: Critical Mass Vol. 1
iHeartRaves: Space Yacht has been taking the scene by storm in the last few years, what would you say sets space yacht apart from other shows and dance music events?
Rami Perlman: When we started Space Yacht six years ago, it was just a hang for our friends, DJs and industry folks. We didn't set out with any grand vision. After the first year, we started to see Space Yacht as a real thing where people were asking us if they could play our shows.
We made it our mission to bring the best up-and-coming talent, who you may or may not have ever heard of, to the forefront. We always joke that we discover new artists 18 months before they ever hit one of the festival main stages. We think of our events as a source of new music discovery. We also have an incredible community of music fans, producers and club goers who are some of the most open-minded, kind people out there.
iHR: The pandemic definitely threw everyone for a loop last year but Space Yacht continued to rise & thrive. What are some of the ways you leveraged and balanced everything going on in 2020 and what are some of the milestones you’re proudest about?
RP: Like many, Covid completely shut down our existing events business. We were able to survive by starting new businesses that could exist online. In 2020 we launched a record label, clothing line, NFT business and Twitch demo listening show show called Tune Reactor.
By living online and connecting directly with our community, these new businesses enabled us to not only stay relevant, but grow our fanbase. What we didn't see coming was that Tune Reactor would became a place for us to discover new talent for the label and our events; 80%-90% of what we've been signing to the label has come from that show, and in many cases we've booked lineups for events based on who is impressing us on Twitch. Wild!
iHR: There’s no shortage of talent & creativity with the Space Yacht crew and that clearly showed through your NFT drops last year! From your in-house designers to your collaboration with Goldweard, could you tell me more about everything that went into creating “the fastest selling NFTs that Nifty Getaway had ever seen”?
RP: NFTs have been a new form of expression for the brand. We had already been working with animators and creatives for our tour visuals, so we already had a gang of great visual creators. I also loved the idea of creating music specifically for NFTs that don't exist on streaming platforms.
We ended up bringing on Sahir Khan to lead the animation team. Sahir was a Space Yacht regular who I often smoked joints with on the back patio at our Tuesday night events. He also just so happens to be an insanely talented creative director and animator. In the past year, we have created 4 collections together, all featuring original animations by Sahir and music from me. I'm also a physical art and NFT collector, so for me this has been a true labor of love.
iHR: Speaking of collabs & cool drops, talk to me more about the Space Yacht aesthetic and how it inspires your clothing line as far as who you collaborate with & what kinds of designs we see? I loved the drops with Crimson Child and Bubz and am excited to see you guys continue to highlight some of the amazing art within the EDM community!
RP: The images and slogans that are put on our clothing represent the attitude of our community, and they're a reflection of me and Henry's twisted sense of humor. Designs like "WE ARE SO FCKED" and "Welcome To Hell" are good examples of that. It's all tongue-in-cheek in some way, but it's who we are. Just as we collaborate with talent in the music space, apparel allows us to further collaborate with visual artists who are in our scene.
Most recently we’ve collaborated with Pretty Done, who is an artist based out of Las Vegas. He’s been creating all the artwork for our record label releases and we have a collaborative apparel collection coming this fall. We love visual art, it's always been a part of what we do.
iHR: Now that we’re on the topic of fashion I have to ask, what are some of your favorite rave and festival fashion styles you’ve seen this year and how do you see yourself continuing to incorporate yourself into the festival fashion circuit?
RP: We just did our second pop up shop with Rave Wonderland, who are one of our favorite clothing brands in the festival space. When you go to the bigger raves, you see Rave Wonderland outfits and clack fans all over the place. It's amazing to see them killing it, and they have been huge supporters of Space Yacht.
I think the three biggest fashion trends we've been seeing at the festivals are definitely artist jerseys, clack fans and sling bags. And it makes sense. A jersey is the most comfortable shirt you can wear. It's breathable, and both guys and girls can rock it. It's hot as hell on the West Coast, so the clack fans will keep you cool. People also love clacking them at the drop. Clack fans are by far Space Yacht's best selling item at festivals.
Finally, the sling bag is the perfect accessory where you can keep all essentials without having to carry around a backpack. It also looks cool. You can keep your weed in it. Also, bucket hats have been the rage!
iHR: Now I know you’re not just at festivals and shows checking out the fashion - could you tell me more about the way you curate the artists you choose for your Space Yacht Takeovers? What would be the best way for an up and coming artist to catch your attention?
RP: Like any other music fan, we discover music from our own research and various sources. Henry and I are music fans, first and foremost! But we have indeed found a lot of new artists from Tune Reactor, as well as from managers and agents who hit us up about new projects that they are working on.
The curation always revolves around genre or theme for each event. If we’re going to do a Tech My House night, we'll focus on DJs and producers in that lane. We'll usually have an anchor person to headline the night, and then build the lineup around that person. More and more, we are integrating talent from our record label to play our shows.
A lot of times, the bookings are centered around who is in our universe at the moment. Sometimes, I'll be racking my brain about who to put on a show, and then someone will tweet at me, or a manager will hit me up on email, and all of a sudden I'm booking that artist. Curation is about 50% of what we do on a day to day basis, and we are constantly pushing ourselves to deliver fresh artists and lineups. It's easy to get stale if you don't keep pushing new ideas.
iHR: DNB is definitely the talk of the town these days & Space Yacht continues to be at the forefront with your inaugural Drum and Bass Compilation which is curated by REAPER this year. Tell us more about what we can expect from Critical Mass Vol 1. & if we can expect to see more of these artists at your takeovers?
RP: Drum and bass is actually the first type of electronic music that I fell in love with, so this compilation is definitely near and dear to my heart. Critical Mass Vol. 1 showcases a collection of artists who are on the rise and pushing the genre forward, specifically in the US.
We tapped REAPER to help curate the comp as we've been huge fans of his, and definitely see him as leading the D&B scene in the states. He brought a lot to this project, both in finding records and working out the tracks that flowed together on the comp. We intend to do more of these kinds of curatorial collaborations in the future. We have an upcoming Techno compilation that we are working on with HELBOUND!, and a few other projects in the works with producers from our scene.
iHR: You don't have to tune into Tune Reactor for long to discover some incredible new artists and sounds that haven't yet graced our ears at the clubs or mainstage. Can you name a couple (or a few) of up & coming artists you’re most excited about from Critical Mass, Tech My House or just in general? PUT US ON!
RP: Top to bottom, we think all of the artists on the Critical Mass compilation are worth diving into. If you are new to D&B or interested in where the genre is headed, this group is really leading the way. For real, I can't choose just one. On the House side of things we are extremely excited about the upcoming Tech My House Vol 3. roster which includes Xeno, Dem2, Gibson Parker, Local Singles and a slew of other house gunslingers. Also, the Crimson Child album we dropped a few months back is a masterpiece. Definitely worth diving into.
iHR: Did you always see Space Yacht going in this direction? What do you see for the future of Space Yacht?
RP: We started this party on a whim, just for fun. In no way did we see it turning into a relevant brand within the dance music space, let alone become our full-time jobs. We feel grateful every day that we get to do what we love, and help be a platform for new talent to reach their goals.
As we look towards the future, we are focused on brand and company growth, which in some cases means that we are just going to keep doing what we are doing - sign records, throw shows, make cool shit. We always have a few experimental projects in the works that may or may not lead to anything, like when we started our NFT initiative, which turned into a new, successful business for us. But our core passion will always be in music, dance music culture and helping new artists live out their dreams.
iHR: How can I get my hands on a Space Yacht Disco Ball tho?
RP: That thing weighs 300 pounds. Good luck carrying it out of the club haha!
So, while I try to figure out how to smuggle this disco ball out of Sound, make sure to check out Space Yacht on Twitter & Twitch for all the out of pocket content, vibey tunes & pizza you’ll ever need! Check out the latest Space Yacht release, Big Bass Ting Vol. 2. The compilation was released just in time for the Halloween weekend.
Photo by Eden Shohat | @edenskiz