Damain Lazarus, the Crosstown Rebels main main, producer and dance-floor slaying DJ steps up for the 10 x 4 today. The last 12 months have seen him take his Rebel Rave show across the world, record and release the latest in his ‘Get Lost’ series of mixes, as well continuing to deliver his always on-point monthly Lazpod podcasts. Not only that but Crosstown rebels put out some of the best house and techno records of the last year – including the stunning Art Dept album. Lazarus it would seem, is more important to the underground dance scene music than ever. You can check out the latest form the Rebels camp on Rebel Rave 2.
Method or madness?
There is method in my madness
Most influential person?
First musical love?
Last musical love?
One thing you cannot live with out?
One thing you would live without if you could?
Stethoscope and a very large spoon
God Speed You Black Emperor Live
Everybody needs somebody
A place to create?
If there was one album in 2011 that holds the dance community on the edge of their seats, it’s the debut LP from Art Department. They have announced the title of their debut LP, The Drawing Board and it is to be released in April by way of Damian Lazarus’s label Crosstown Rebels.
Their enthralling and mysterious tune, ‘Without You’ got most people’s first attention in 2010, taking clubs by storm, it was even named record of the year by Resident Advisor amongst the many other accolades it took.
Capturing the imagination of a new generation of house music fans, the Ontarian duo is made up of one techno legend Kenny Glasgow and one new comer Jonny White, the owner of label No.19, they both possess decades of experience on the job. The up and coming LP features the crafty input from well-known producers like Seth Troxler, Soul Clap and Osunlade.
The album is set to follow up on the insightful and gothic style of dance music they have come to be known for.
01. Much Too Much
02. Tell Me Why (Part I)
03. Living The Life feat. Seth Troxler
04. What Does It Sound Like?
05. Without You
06. We Call Love feat. Soul Clap & Osunlade
07. Vampire Nightclub (Album Version) feat. Seth Troxler
08. In The Mood
09. Roberts Cry
10.Tell Me Why (Part II)
11. I C U
The Drawing Board will be released on April 25th on Crosstown Rebels
My introduction to Russ Yallop was through one song, but I have the feeling that will be a case for a lot of other people too. Apparently a friend of Jamie Jones et al, he has released music on Leftroom and Mothership as Rustie James but it is his latest record – on Damian Lazuras’ bastion of underground house Crosstown Rebels – that looks set to bring him out of the shadows.
‘I Can’t Wait’ is the kind of club track I thought wasn’t made anymore. Big room filter house that doesn’t suck, using a sample that would 99 times out of 100 sound like the laziest sampling ever – The Mary Jane Girls ‘All Night Long’. It’s just been done to death. However, taught percussion and a relentless beat topped (bottomed?) with a monstrous bass line make this piece of 21st century dance-pop as effective as it was unexpected. A neat use of contemporary sounds, aggressive bass and crowd pleasing filtering mark out ‘I Can’t Wait’ from the rock solid discography of Crosstown Rebels. A block of sunshine yellow amongst the Rebel’s black and neon.
I don’t however think that Yallop will be a one hit flavour of the month. Not only does ‘I Can’t Wait’ stand out from much of his new label’s output, it’s stands out from much of his own too. Dark and brooding tracks like ‘Stop Lying’ and ‘Harlem’ are of a distinctly darker tone. They are also deep and very enjoyable – ‘Wired’ will appeal to fans of Ark and Jazzanova alike, which would not be the first thing to spring to mind when hearing ‘I Can’t Wait’. However, there are hints of colour and what’s to come on tracks such ‘Everybody’s Talking’ (as Rusty James) hidden amongst Yallop’s discography
The undoubtedly massive success of ‘I Can’t Wai’t, and a move closer to the cutting edge (though not too far) on his new label, marks a significant progression for a clearly gifted producer who has reached his ‘moment’ by doing his own thing and slowly finding his sound. Perhaps he has not quite got their yet – ‘I Can’t Wait’ is markedly different to a lot of the deep and grooving house he has released so far and it still maybe too cheesy for some.
Whether this marks a new direction or an interesting diversion remains to be seen but either way, Russ Yallop is definitely someone worth watching if you are in any way interested in house music. Perhaps not one for the strictly purists, but then again who knows? Let’s keep watching and find out.
A little while ago the lovely people at Crosstown Rebels released the debut 12” from their new signing Maceo Plex and ever since we have had trouble not listening to it on repeat.
Vibe Your Love is an incredibly deep and soulful house bomb that just about makes it impossible for anyone within dancing distance to stand still and not get locked into the track’s infectious groove. The 12” also features a remix from Zev of Wolf + Lamb fame, which does something quite magical, almost spiritual, to the track.
Maceo Plex has in fact been around for a while now, just in some very different guises. Eric Estornel is the man behind the moniker as well as being behind Maetrik and Mariel Ito, releasing a plethora of musical delights on labels such as Cocoon, Audiomatique, Mothership and Dumb Unit.
Eric’s new project Maceo Plex is decidedly different though, which is why we are happy to include him as a Ones To Watch. Previous incarnations for Eric have been largely centered on the darker sounds of house and techno, with his releases as Maetrik garnering most attention among the techno elite. Maceo Plex however is born out of a desire to create something deeper and more soulful than his other projects. "Life Index is my baby. It’s all the soul music I’ve been holding inside and have been wanting to write,” explains Maceo,
The result of which is Maceo Plex and his debut album Life Index, which Crosstown Rebels have slated as one the first albums to come out on the imprint.
It looks like it is going to be a good year for Eric Estornel’s Maceo Plex.
Maceo Plex’s Life Index is available on Crosstown Rebels February 7th.