Crosstown Rebels deliver a unique underground music experience. Run by artist & DJ Damian Lazarus, who loves quality alternative sounds & thrives on creative, young people armed with something new to say.
Review: Roots is a 10 track LP which draws inspiration from Dennis Cruz's life experiences, incorporating the many disparate influences that have resulted in his success as a DJ and producer to this day. A Spanish theme is central to the release, a nod to the country and culture that Cruz calls home and collaborations are aplenty throughout. Highlights come in the form of the deeply hypnotic locomotive chug of "Good Old Days" featuring the mighty Ion Ludwig, while the tough rolling tech house of "What You Doing" ft. Leo Wood is aimed squarely at the main room dancefloor. Elsewhere, the polyrhythmic minimal funk of "Go Down" features the legendary Lee Scratch Perry and on the sultry Latin vibe of "Ahora Todo Va" (Dub) Cruz teams up with scene hero Josh Butler.
Review: Later this month Dennis Cruz will release his debut album, Roots, a set that the experienced producer says is a "convergence of influences" including funk, salsa, flamenco, house and disco. We eagerly await that dropping, but first there's this teaser single to savour. In its original form, 'What You Doing' is a sparse, rolling late-night house jam in which emotion-rich female vocals rise above a sparse but weighty mix of loose-limbed house drums, metronomic bass, dark-room stabs and filtered, barely audible chords. German veteran Mousse T provides the accompanying remix, adding a dose of funk to proceedings via a squelchy bassline, warmer chords and some sparkling, smile-inducing piano riffs. His revision is available in both vocal and instrumental forms, with the former being our pick of a strong pair.
Review: Rogue D and Memoryman AKA Uovo are old studio buddies. While this surprise single on Crosstown Rebels is not their first joint outing to be released- their collaborations have previously featured on Rebellion, DFD, Snatch and Too Many Rules - it's undoubtedly their most high profile to date. In its original form, 'Electric Safari' throbs and builds impressively, with energy-packed percussion fills, creepy chords, squiggly synth notes and fluid piano motifs riding a driving, kick-drum-driven groove and foreboding electronic bassline. The pair's own Dub mix is as trippy and mind-altering as you'd expect, while Roman Flugel weighs in with two impressive reworks: a dark and hypnotic 'Remix' that emphasises the pair's arpeggio-style bassline while adding denser tech-house drums, and a deeper, more spacey 'Dub' that sounds ripe for early morning plays.
Review: MUSE co-founder Dennis Cruz has cemented his reputation as one of global dance music's most esteemed talents, in a career that spans decades. He returns to Crosstown Rebels with the Los Tamales two tracker, which precedes the forthcoming full length which will drop on the label in October. The title track is a salsa-inspired cut that rolls deep and features Yazaneth's signature Spanish vocals. Second offering "Monkey Business" benefits from a more minimal arrangement and dubby bass and makes for perfect tackle for the warm-up or afterhours alike.
Review: With the legend of Krust's The Edge Of Everything album closing on a three part remix series, Crosstown Rebels go the distance with an encore by bringing all the remixes together in one place. Cast your eyes down Crosstown's curation and you'll find heavy hitters like UNKLE and Calibre in the mix next to Four Tet and more contemporary club focused acts like Batu, Flynn, LCY and Hodge. But perhaps what makes this release such a wildcard success is the transatlantic house combinations of DJ Nature, Damian Lazarus himself, and true legends of the scene - Masters At Work.
Review: A legend in the house to be spoken in the same sentence as Ed Rush, Optical, Zinc and Roni Size, Bristol's own Krust takes it strangeways on Crosstown Rebels - and the label's third installment of album remixes. Diving back into that deep and hopeful sound of '90s drum and bass, breakbeat and soul is a rare UNKLE remix of "Hegel Dialect", that like Hodge's remake of "Constructive Ambiguity" lifts its inspiration of course from the halcyon days of hardcore, jungle and rave with ghostly atmospheres to boot. With a most fitting wildcard entrant to cap off this great remix series - that has so far included Masters At Work, Four Tet, Damian Lazarus, Batu, Calibre, LCY and Flynn - sweet New Yorkian house vibes and ambient percussion come through in DJ Nature's remix of "Deep Fields Of Liars". Krust & Crosstown equals result!
Review: Sankeys resident Darius Syrossian was chatting with London tech house legend Bushwacka at the beginning of lockdown about starting a collaboration. When the latter checked out what Syrossian had been releasing on Moxy, there was a feeling that it would indeed work and could be the first of many. With that in mind Crosstown Rebels presents "Return To Jericho", a deep and evocative joint featuring hypnotic polyrhythms and a dubby atmosphere that makes for perfect mood music. This is followed by the more minimal and moodier groove of "Akkabi Blue" that's just perfect for going deeper into the afterhours.
Review: Some excellent all-star action here, as Amberoom (AKA Manuel Tur and Adrian Hoffman) join forces with scene stalwart Blakkat and LA artist Babygirl for a first joint single on Crosstown Rebels. In its' original form, 'Forces of Nature' is attractive and intoxicating in original measure, with soulful lead vocals riding bubbly synthesizer lines, undulating synth-bass and a stripped-back rhythm track. The headline remixes come from Radio Slave, who delivers two 'New Age of Love' reworks. The first is dreamy and loved-up, delivering a 21st century update on the funky breakbeat house sound of the early '90s, while the second is a hip-hop tempo take that's every bit as alluring. To complete the EP, Blakkat and Lucas Forta re-invent 'Forces of Nature' as a deep, Latin-tinged chunk of jazz-house hedonism.
Review: Junior Sanchez may not enjoy quite as high a profile as he did back in the nineties and noughties, but he continues to deliver regular doses of tried-and-tested dancefloor gold. His latest EP - his first for Crosstown Rebels - ticks a lot of boxes, delivering a quartet of cuts tailor-made for big rooms and dark basements. He first joins forces with fellow scene stalwart Todd Terry on 'Live Forever', a slowly building, tactile chunk of celebratory house retro-futurism that's as spine-tingling and rushing as they come, before opting for heavier bass on disco-tinged number 'After Love'. 'My Mind Goes' is an even heavier and more psychedelic late-night bumper, while 'Body Heat' is a wonky techno number full of mind-mangling riffs, warped bass and Switch style beats.
Review: Something of a meeting of minds here, as long-established Spanish producer Dennis Cruz (Stereo Productions, Hot Creations, Moon Harbour Recordings) joins forces with fellow deep house/tech-house fusionist Josh Butler (Madtech, Defected, Rejected), for a joyous bounce through carnival-ready Latin house. 'Ahora Tado Ba' sneakily uses portions from what sounds like an old Latin jazz record, brilliantly weaving them around a bouncy, drum-heavy samba-house groove. It's an insanely infectious cut and one that we're fully expecting to hear tons over the summer. It comes backed by a drawn-out, loved-up tech-house take from Gorgon City that's arguably far more emotive than Cruz and Butler's original, if a little less urgent, energetic and funky.
Review: Following up the lead single "Under Your Skin" with Kevin Knapp, veteran duo Audiojack of Gruuv Recordings fame finally unveil their full length album on Crosstown Rebels. The Leeds natives James Rial and Richard Burkinshaw last served up an LP back in 2009, so it's another career high for the pair and features a diverse array of moods and grooves across 10 tracks. From the balearic downbeat chill vibe of "Binaural Dreaming", to the funky and bass-driven tech house of "Easy Rider" or similarly the acid laced "Psychoactive" (Part 1) which are more typical of the pair. Not to mention the utterly euphoric second single "Feels Good" featuring vocalist Jem Cooke, its a cohesive effort by these staples of the Ibiza party circuit.
Review: Earlier in the year Audiojack teased their forthcoming second album, Surface Tension - their first full-length excursion for 12 years - with a pleasingly off-kilter and bass-heavy cut featuring an atmospheric vocal from Kevin Knapp. 'Feels Good', which features storied singer Jem Cooke, is also taken from Surface Tension. It's arguably even better than its predecessor, with Cooke's delay-laden vocals riding crunchy drum machine percussion, ghostly chords and a restless, rolling electronic bassline. The accompanying Patrice Baumel remix is simply stunning, too, with twinkling piano motifs and atmospheric stabs rising above a smoother but weightier, kick-drum driven groove. As it progresses, Baumel introduces sparkling synths and richer chords, taking an already excellent track into the stratosphere.
Review: Last time we heard from Emmanuel Satie back in January, he was delivering an epic slab of muscular, percussion-rich peak-time house on Moon Harbour ('One Love'). 'Personal Liberation', the title track from the former Get Physical regular's first Crosstown Rebels outing, is similarly weighty and drum-heavy, with guest vocalist Naghiti speaking echo-laden words over gargantuan sub-bass, dark string sounds, moody chords and a bouncy, percussion-rich Afro-house beat. Elsewhere, 'The Keys To Jupiter' is a more melancholic and bittersweet affair, with mournful piano motifs rising above a more shuffling (but no less rubbery) tech-house beat, while 'Somewhere Else In Time' cheerily joins the dots between classic electro, Inner City's 'Good Life' and symphonic deep house.
Review: By his usually prolific standards, Harry "Choo Choo" Romero has been rather quiet of late, offering up just two missives of note in 2020. Here he pitches up on Damian Lazarus's Crosstown Rebels imprint for the very first time, delivering a dark room throb-job that's arguably far less muscular than many of his productions - even if it does boast a thickset, mind-altering bassline and plenty of layered percussion. Romero provides vocal and instrumental mixes, with the former adding spoken word sections from Jessica Eve to the New York producer's addictive blend of minor key motifs, spacey chords and suitably wonky electronic noises. Rodriguez Jr. provides the other mix, skilfully re-imagining the track as a woozy, soft-touch tech-house number full of shuffling beats, moody chords and undulating lead lines.
Review: This is the first release together for Tuskegee Music co-heads The Martinez Bros and Seth Troxler since "Space & Time" back in 2014. But as far as Crosstown Rebels is concerned, the Bros are making their debut here, and Troxler returning for the first time since 2011 when he collaborated with Art Department on "Living The Life". The result is "Play In The Dark" with its woozy after hours style of boompty business, immersed in swinging rhythms, dirty bass and ethereal chords. Troxler's Freak Mix is more of an introverted and heads down affair, which will hypnotise you into submission in the tradition of DJ Koze's classic "I Want To Sleep".
Review: Damian Lazarus' Crosstown Rebels imprint has been bringing some consistent quality over the last months, with releases by drum & bass legend DJ Krust and most recently Audiojack and Kevin Knapp's "These Days" which came with a killer remix by Pearson Sound. The label is now into the fourth edition in the SPIRITS compilation series, with highlights coming from Radio 1 legend Pete Tong teaming up with Italian tech house producer Alex Kennon on the slinky groove of "Apache", the ever reliable Francesca Lombardo with the mesmerising cosmic dancefloor journey "Freak On Sea" as well as Los Angelno pair Lubelski & Xkylar with the afterhours minimal shuffle of "Passion Fruits" and the Minus affiliated Matador with the lurking bass and moody atmospherics of "Vulture" - plus many more.
Review: Crosstown Rebels follows up a killer album by drum & bass legend DJ Krust with this new one by Gruuv main men Audiojack, who team up with American expat in Berlin Kevin Knapp. The result is "Under Your Skin", an off-kilter and experimental cut that's quite unlike anything you've heard from the producers before, with its intoxicating and bass-driven vibe that's perfect for the chill-out or warm-up alike. With this in mind, it receives a remix from quite the suitable candidate in the form of Pearson Sound. The UK bass hero taking the track into the more hypnotic realms in pursuit of his typically low end theories.
Review: Tunisian twosome first caught the ear of electronic music enthusiasts four years ago via Rey & Kjavik's warm, deep and deceptively slow remix of semi-acoustic North African number 'Smek'. The track's potential for further remixes was spotted by Crosstown Rebels last year, with the result being this three-tracker of 2021 reworks. The headline-grabbing revision comes courtesy of effervescent Chilean Ricardo Villalobos, who adds the pair's attractive vocals and occasional flashes of Tunisian instrumentation to a surprisingly weighty, kickdrum-heavy groove that's way heavier than his usual sparse-but-funky rhythms. Elsewhere, SIS re-imagines the track as a percussion-rich fusion of tech-house and what would once have been called 'world music', while the MoM revision is a lusciously saucer-eyed downtempo excursion tailor made for late nights and early mornings.
Review: Legend of the Bristol drum and bass scene - coming up alongside the likes of Roni Size, DJ Zinc and Photek back in the day - sees himself in 2020 working alongside Damian Lazarus label Crosstown Rebels. Having released his The Edge Of Everything album to critical acclaim (his first LP since 2006) on CR, a first remix installment was introduced earlier this year with a sweet double pack from Masters At Work. Bigger yet is this remix scoop featuring local Bristol associate (and Timedance boss) Batu with a darkly, bass-heavy and percussive twist on TEOE's penultimate track "Space Oddity", with Damian Lazurus himself turning an originally downbeat stepper into a wormholing deep house banger with some sweet claps to hold on to through the dark. Adding some sprinkles of light to this EP is Four Tet's interpretation of "Negative Returns" that still hurtles in velocity and sub-bass, with Kieran Hebden revealing upon its release: "this is the first D&B track I've ever made!"
Review: 14 years in the making! Krust's follow up to 'Hidden Knowledge' is every bit as diverse, uncompromising and explorative as you'd hope. Blurring the lines between jungle and techno, your brain and the dancefloor, time and space, across the collection the Bristol pioneer takes us to some strange and singular places; the tension and sci-fi isolation of 'Known Truths', the swaggering space funk of 'Keter The Heavenly', the marching drama and powerful sense of foreboding on 'Negative Returns', the blitzkrieg amen-shattered opener 'Hegel Dialectic', the list goes on. Each cut building and merging to create a truly unique landscape that offers up something new on every investigation, it'll take another 14 years to unravel this album's many mysteries. Essential.
Review: In September 2020, Crosstown Rebels main man Damian Lazarus will release his first solo album in almost a decade. To get us in the mood, he's decided to offer up this teaser single. In its original form, "Mountain" is a drowsy, bass-heavy breakbeat affair in which his own atmospheric spoken word vocals combine with gently pulsing, sunrise-ready chords and short vocal snippets from a much-loved Joanna Law classic ("The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", a Balearic-era classic whose acapella is much-loved by chill-out DJs). Tornado Wallace delivers a superb remix in which sparkling synth sounds and decidedly Balearic flourishes ride a dark analogue bassline and bongo-boosted breakbeats, while Tbi Dabo re-imagines "Mountain" as a bumpin', peak-time ready tech-house treat.
Review: Alinka last appeared on Crosstown Rebels in 2016 with Shaun J Wright for Face The Truth, and now she returns in solo mode to the label with this diverse two-tracker. "Control Transmission" resounds to tough kicks and a humming bass that underpin out-there vocal samples and humming static sounds. It makes for a fittingly offbeat take on tech-house. "Day Zero" is slightly more conventional: based on a pulsating electronic bass and powered by doubled-up claps, it sees the Chicago producer fuse frequency-shifting tones with mysterious vocal samples to deliver a powerful slice of electronic disco.
Review: Young Berlin-based Spanish producer Max Guardans, AKA Tibi Dabo, returns to his semi-regular home of Crosstown Rebels with a four-track EP that should help keep fans going while they await his rumoured forthcoming debut album. Dabo's work to date has spanned a range of styles, but this EP comes from that nebulous zone where deep and progressive house collide. The title track is a hazy, dreamy affair riding a dubwise rhythm, 'Komorebi' is more your standard issue eyes-wide-shut euphoric workout, while NYC legend David Morales provides two remixes of the latter: a 3am-friendly Red Zone Remix and a more Afro-leaning Diridim Mix.
Review: Russian born and now Berlin-based Yulia Niko can often be found wowing audiences at her residency for the famous local institution Watergate, in addition to releasing for tastemaker labels such as Get Physical, Hottrax, Rebellion and Subliminal. Not to mention her own imprints TochnoTechno and Libe Vibe. Here she makes her debut for Damian Lazarus' esteemed Crosstown Rebels imprint with the deep and mesmerising arcane energy of "Fatima", which is backed up by the equally spiritual and meditative polyrhythms on "Man From Ubud". If that was not enough, there's also a killer remix by Rominimal maestro Priku, who teams up with homeboy Dinu to increase the energy levels on their powerfully melodic rework.
Review: Matthias Corsden AKA Ae:ther has flourished since joining Crosstown Rebels early last year. He won particularly praise for his debut album, "Me", which dropped back in November. "We'll Be Together" - a fine slab of sparse, spacey, minimalistic tech-house rich in eyes-closed vocals samples and starry electronics motifs - is the second single to be lifted from that set. It comes backed with fresh flipside "Blu Lagoon", an enjoyable exercise in chunky, deep-tech delight, plus two new remixes of "We'll Be Together". Moscoman hits all the right notes on his picturesque, melodious, analogue-rich revision - all grandiose deep space chords, starburst synths and chunky bass - while Francesco Mami's version is an altogether darker, tougher and more hypnotic take.
Review: Max Guardans aka Tibi Dabo follows up last year's Her Moon release on Crosstown Rebels with this subtle, tripped out affair. The title track is redolent of the kind of tranced out, euphoric shapes that Mathew Jonson used to conjure up, with electronic melodies unfolding over a wiry groove. It's an ethereal but alluring track. On "Hire The Birds", he opts for a more house-based groove, albeit one that is covered in atmospheric synth washes and tone-shifting bleeps. Dj Balduin's take on "Birds" is faster and more jittery, and its shuffling groove will appeal to those who prefer a slightly less esoteric approach.
Review: Sebastian "Basti" Grub is no newcomer to the house and techno scene, having begun his DJ/producer journey in the first decade of the century. His epic discography includes single releases on some suitably notable labels (Desolat, Mobilee and Hot Creations to name just three), though this two-tracker is his first for Crosstown Rebels. Singer Patrick Kitchens lends a hand on lead cut "Destiny", an ear-catching fusion of groovy, swinging house drums, frenetic layered percussion, a headline-grabbing bassline and eyes-closed vocals. Grub takes a different path on "Drugs", where Julian Smith invites us to "get high tonight" over a trippy tech-house beats, familiar bleeping melodies and sub-bass that might liquidise the contents of your guts.
Review: Dennis Cruz's musical journey has seen him receive accolades for his output, with a number of awards and nominations including Best Producer in 2017's DJ Awards and releasing on influential imprints like Solid Grooves, Moon Harbour and Hot Creations. For his new one on Damian Lazarus' Crosstown Rebels imprint entitled "Uhuru", he teams up with fellow Spaniards Delmar and Alvaro aka aka Los Suruba for some deeply meditative and trance-inducing deepness - perfect for a shamanic ritual. He then flies solo on the hypnotic afterhours tech house of "Los Libros" which features some sweltering polyrhythms with truly scintillating Latin vocals. Closing it out is the dirty, tough rolling jacker "Loco" which proves this top producer can rock the main room too!
Review: Label regular Emanuel Satie returns to Crosstown Rebels with an EP featuring two quite contrasting melodic housers. 'Rivers' is a driving, heads-down kinda cut with energy to spare, and is based around a hypnotic rhythm that borders on the tribal, on top of which are layered subtly head-frying synths and snatches of chant-like female vocal. The accompanying 'Tokyo ASMR' is more contemplative, drifty affair with Middle Eastern-sounding strings, more strange cut-up female vocal snippets and a hazy, druggy atmosphere overall. If modular synth chords alone don't cut it for you, this is the melodic house you're looking for!
Review: Now in its third year, Crosstown Rebels' annual "Spirits" compilation does a great job of championing floor-friendly fare from a mixture of up-and-coming and established artists. As you'd expect volume three boasts some suitably sizable cuts, all of which have been extensively road-tested by CR boss Damian Lazarus. We're particularly enjoying the smoky Afro-tech shuffle of Dennis Cruz's "Mother Earth", the bongo-laden percussive bounce of Piem's "Freak Out, the bass-heavy throb of Harry Romero's similarly drum-laden "It's You" and the druggy early morning tech-house hypnotism of Lazarus's "Ergot", though there's plenty more must-check gems scattered throughout the compilation.
Review: Yulia Niko comes to Crosstown Rebels with a four-tracker that blends deep, tech, prog and minimal elements to great effect. 'Paradise' is an understated, shuffle-y number with lots of subtle filtering, while 'Es Vedra' ups the dancefloor ante with pounding drums, snatches of spoken male vocal and a tiny hint of acid, making for a cut that'd work equally well in the warm-up or during the wee smalls. But the standout is the surging, pulsing 'Caminando', which features Chilean vocalist Sil Romero and comes with a more minimal-leaning refix from Cioz. Quality, hard-to-pigeonhole stuff from this Berlin-based Russian producer.
Review: Damian Lazarus celebrates the 10th anniversary of his acclaimed 2009 debut album 'Smoke The Monster Out' with a remastered and expanded edition on his famed Crosstown Rebels label. He originally released the opus on the Berlin-based label Get Physical, and it was the first time he had let himself loose in the studio - resulting in a psychedelic collection of 'extremely strange and bizarre songs.' Packed full of his inspirations and influences, and with no consideration for genres, airtime or getting played in the clubs. Lazarus is proud to celebrate this milestone in his career - going on to admit that that the album 'is still as weird as it ever was.' Be sure to check out the Moment In The Dark EP as well, featuring two of the album's original tracks, "Moment "and "Diamond In The Dark" reworked and remixed by Keinemusik resident Adam Port, rising newcomer Tibi Dabo and Dutch talent Satori.