Starting out as Music Editor of Dazed & Confused, Damian Lazarus took to the tables as an international DJ before founding electronic imprint Crosstown Rebels. He is the unstoppable, go-to source for up-and-coming, underground music.
Art Department, Maceo Plex, Jamie Jones and Deniz Kurtel all threw down floor-filling anthems last year, released via Crosstown Rebels. Signing trend-setting talent, scouted instinctively, former A & R scout Damian lives in East London and listens to friends and family when looking for new artists. Affected by alternative, experimental sounds, he founded his label in 2003 and has overcome adversity and bankruptcy to establish his house/techno/minimal imprint as an essential home to the unbridled talent of tomorrow.
Already well prepped and ready for the exciting prospects of 2012, Crosstown Rebels will be releasing albums from Amirali, Jamie Jones, Fur Coat, Maceo Plex, Art Dept and Deniz Kurtel over the coming months. i-D online got exclusive access to Damian in his down-time to find out all about his top tips for 2012, tunes that you will soon be dancing to when the sun goes down this summer.
When did you first begin the label? Late 2003.
How do you discover the majority of the new music you sign? Friends, family and like-minded deviants.
How do you define what you consider to be good music? It’s such a subjective thing, but one must trust one’s instincts and it has to enlighten and/or inspire you. It’s also got to make you dance, in one way or another.
Who are your strongest musical influences and references? Sound people we’ve met along the way.
What are some of the barriers to entry you have encountered whilst establishing your label? Three different distribution companies going bust on us, taking all stock and money, each time. Also, Internet piracy has a constant debasing effect of sales. Dwindling vinyl and CD sales.
What are your plans for expansion? More good music, expanding into other complimentary genres from some great new artists.
What are some of the up and coming D.I.Y record labels you tip for 2011?
Hot Creations, Visionquest, Ellum Audio, No19, Culprit
What is the strongest band or artist you have signed to the label? Jamie Jones or Art Department or Maceo Plex.
How do you describe the aesthetic and ethos of the label? Have fun all the time, but be nice to your Mum.
What have you got coming up for the label in 2012? Albums by Jamie Jones, Maceo Plex, Fur Coat, Amirali and Mother of Seven.
Describe a typical day at work at the label? 12 hours at the sonic coal face mining for gold!