01. Crosstown RebelsWe made the joke last year, but it bears repeating: There's something uncanny about Damian Lazarus' choice of last name, given that his label has teetered on the brink of collapse three times due to distribution closures. This is no New Testament story, however. Crosstown Rebels' rebirth begins in California, where Lazarus set up shop a few years ago, and perhaps ends with this accolade—a recognition of his phenomenal A&R skills and vision. Lazarus has assembled a family of artists that come from different crews (Art Department from Toronto, Deniz Kurtel from Wolf + Lamb, Jamie Jones from Hot Creations) and those who don't have a crew at all (Maceo Plex, Dinky, Dan Berkson), mixing and matching their sounds into something that is identifiably Crosstown, yet is more slippery to define than the coherent worlds created by imprints like the aforementioned Wolf + Lamb and Hot Creations. (You think you know Crosstown Rebels, but then you remember that they also dropped 12-inches from Mathew Jonson, Nico Purman and Quenum this year.) If this year's DJ and live act poll didn't make it clear, change is afoot. It doesn't have a name quite yet, but it has a couple of faces. Its most visible is Crosstown Rebels.