Review: Following well received releases on Homecooking and Defected, Vernon and DaCosta bring their Raw District project to Crosstown Rebels. "Ragged Star", featuring the woozy spoken word vocals of Ellipsis, is a retro-futurist gem, wrapping an acid house bassline and minor key chords around what sounds like a break from Fast Eddie's '80s house banger "Hip-House". "Turn Away" is deeper and dreamier, whilst retaining the duo's usual flickering, late night feel. Crosstown Rebels have recruited Josh Wink to remix, and he doesn't disappoint. The veteran house producer delivers a pair of pounding reworks based around sweaty, jackin' percussion and mid-2000s style tribal riffs. The intense Bass Mix is probably our pick, but they're both righteous.
Review: Brussels duo Raw District are back, this time on Matthias Tanzmann's esteemed Leipzig institution Moon Harbour. "Underrated" is driving and melodic tech house of the deeper variety featuring Forrest's soaring and epic vocals. Neapolitan legend Davide Squillace also steps in to give the track a booming and rolling tech house remix for druggy main rooms on The White Isle this Summer. Second original track "Their Eyes" is also worth a mention too: this is another fierce and dark roller much like Squillace remix and will appeal to fans of Material Series or Saved kind of grooves: seriously wicked!
Review: Brussels based duo Raw District are back with some deep and sexy tribal house groove in the form of "Addicted" featuring Aquarius Heaven's unmistakeable vocal talents for added measure. There's some great remixes too; first up Berlin's Rampa transforms it into a dark journey track (that is so indicative of his hometown's preferred sound of the moment) while Los Angeles legend Doc Martin also delivers his take. The "Sublevel live remix" is no doubt named after his infamous residency on the west coast and really reminds us of what the tribal sound was intended for. Finally second original offering "The Alchemist" is a dark techno stomper that's perfect for leading into the peak time.
Review: Some all-Belgian antics here, as new school heroes Raw District join forces with storied techno veteran Fabrice Lig for a peak-time workout on Crosstown Rebels. In its' original form, "Lay Your Weapons Down" is alien and intoxicating, with Just Her's seductive vocal rising above warped electronic bass, unfussy drums, foreboding riffs and, as the track progresses, ecclesiastical organ motifs. Alex Kennon provides a bolder, heavier and more mind-altering interpretation that sits somewhere between driving tech-house and razor-sharp techno. To complete the package, Raw District joins forces with DkA on the hazy and at times densely percussive European tech-house shuffle of "Dans Tres Bras".
Review: It's that time again where Dixon, Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann serve up another edition of their Secret Weapons series which always lives up to its name; just they aren't that secret anymore thankfully! As always the Innervisions camp present a real mix up of names from across the board of house and techno and there's some pleasant surprises once again. Starting off with Belgian tech house heroes Raw District with the brooding and suspense filled "From The Inside" which is the kind of track you could really imagine Dixon playing to a festival crowd. Berlin legend Oliver Deutschmann (Falkplatz/Vidab) with the dreamy and hypnotic "Control" was great too. Elsewhere there's Southern German merchant of dark journey tracks Tim Engelhardt representing the new garde (alongside Bog) with "No More Words" featuring some wonky synth leads and minimal techno legend Marc Houle with the cheeky retro EBM jack of "Tomboyz". Honourable mention to the Valence/Delft affiliated GoldFfinch with the tough reductionist techno jam "The Hidden"
Review: The boss is back! The legendary UK pioneer and Bedrock head honcho gives us a live set from Canada's second city, complete with crowd noise. Digweed's knack for sniffing out the most cutting edge progressive and tech house grooves is second to none and you can bet that this set is chock block full of narrative, innovative grooves: one journey you'll never forget! Featuring contributions from Germany's Recondite ("Tame"/"Baro"), Glasgow's Sei A ("You Can Bring"), Berlin's Smash TV ("Cascadia"/"God Key") and Los Angeles' Eagles & Butterflies amongst a host of other big names. Also comes as six continuous mixes for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!
Review: Crosstown Rebels boss Damian Lazarus has described Spirits, the label's new annual compilation series, as "a fresh psychedelic journey into the mind". While that might be over-egging the (Christmas) pudding a bit, there's definitely a deep, humid and occasionally hallucinatory feel to many of the showcased tracks, which mostly sit somewhere between lucid deep house and skewed tech-house wonkiness. Wisely, Lazarus has chosen tracks from new and rising stars of his various labels, with highlights coming from the likes of Magit Cacoon (the bass-heavy, Innervisions-esque "Nonsense"), Raw District (the foreboding last night hypnotism of "Another Way", featuring folksy vocalist Alice Rose) and Nico Stajan and David Mayer, whose brilliant "Killing Your Lover" layers an eyes-closed Jan Blomqvist vocal over dense but groovy tribal drums.