Review: Hot Natured band member Luca Cazal (AKA Luca C) makes a belated solo debut for Crosstown Rebels, predictably delivering an EP jam-packed with atmospheric, shuffling tech-house gems. The groove underpinning lead cut "Mariri" swells impressively, offering ample room for Cazal's low-register bassline, restless cowbells and unusual vocal sample to take effect. Detroit techno legend Stacey Pullen remixes, delivering a version with a touch more energy and plenty of sci-fi inspired electronic touches. Elsewhere, Cazal joins forces with Mark Jenkyns on the bouncy, rave-goes-deep chugger "The Bullfrog", while all-star hook-up "Memory Man" is formidably wide-eyed, centering the action around dreamy vocals, bubbling electronics and deliciously tactile chords.
Review: The Straight Up trawler has sailed into the choppy breakbeat seas and, once again, caught a fine catch. 26 tracks, in total, each one reflecting a different flavour of the genre, this could be one of the label's finest fishing sessions to date. Ranging from the classic, sneering Botchit-style tears of "Da Dogz" and BreaksMafia's super-rude take on Dave London's classic "Black Disc" to the more contemporary trance-tinged "As Ice" and the filmic spine-shuddering rushes of "Vertigo", Straight Up have ensured no breakbeat fan has been ignored during the making of this extensive album. Epic.