samedi 22 mars 2014

SIS - Slider (RBL019)

Horse whisperer by day and rhythm maker by night, Burak Sar aka SIS is next up on Crosstown’s deeper offshoot Rebellion - delivering an essential EP packed full of groove, expertly winding textures, unexpected kicks and turns and cinematic allusions. ‘Slider’ is a groovy, eternally evolving masterpiece while the rolling ‘Paspartou’ builds with suspense and plays with haunting melodies and switching tempos and ‘Breakers Paradise’ flips the style with a more voice and FX heavy, minimal framework.

One of electronic music’s most prolific producers, DJs, and live acts SIS, shot into the limelight in 2008 with releases on Cecille and Ricardo Villalobos’ label Sei es Drum, which up until that point had only showcased Ricardo´s own productions. This well deserved wave of hype earned him the title of Groove Magazine’s no.1 producer and Raveline’s best newcomer award in 2008.

Second artist album ‘Confidance arrived last year on Cocolino and charted the artist’s journey training as a horse whisperer while fully unleashing the wild and unbridled sonic energy SIS has become know for.

SIS is no stranger to the Crosstown Rebels catalogue having delivered the first ever Rebellion release and then later the Round Pen EP’ on Crosstown Rebels in the summer of 2012. Other massive club records have appeared on esteemed labels such as Cocoon, 8Bit, Connaisseur and Get Physical.

  • Label: Rebellion
  • Cat no: RBL019
  • Web:
  • Distribution: Above Board
  • Released: Mon May 5th, 2014


lundi 17 mars 2014

Mineo - Get Out Fight EP (CRM125)

After a huge remix for Psychemagik (Black Noir Schwarz), Crosstown Rebels prepares to release the highly anticipated next full EP from Tom Dinsdale’s fast-rising solo alias, Minéo. Already getting a monster reaction on dancefloors, as Damian Lazarus will attest, ‘Get Out Fight’ displaysMinéo’s distinctively UK sound and idiosyncratic, patchwork production style. A 4-tracker that ranges from the punky attitude, wonky percussion and deep, growling grooves and vocal licks of ‘Get Out Fight’ to the hints of ska in Madness-sampled ‘Killer (Rude Boy)’ and the slinky garage, RnB-spliced edge of ‘Soaking Wet’ and low-slung ride ‘Don’t Know My Name’ - this is a killer package, and statement of very creative intent.

Tom dinsdale aka Minéo first appeared on the scene last October when Jamie Jones and co. received a demo and snapped up ‘Turn Out The Lights’ for the Hot Creations imprint making it a huge club hit. A follow up release dropped on the illustrious Hypercolour last month and the latest was a remix for Todd Terry’s ‘Feel The Sun’ out now on Southern Fried Records.  

Always a nurturing sort of label, a relationship with Crosstown Rebels started to bloom when Minéo came on board to remix Psychemagik’s latest smash ‘Black Noir Schwarz’ - and the rock solid original material ‘Get Out Fight’ is set to be huge for the label as Minéo really comes into his own as an artist. It’s also another example of the label’s breadth of taste and its continually evolving catalogue.

  • Label: Crosstown Rebels
  • Cat no: CRM125
  • Web:
  • Distribution: !K7 / Above Board
  • Released: Mon Apr 28th, 2014


mardi 11 mars 2014

Damian Lazarus' Five Essential Trax

Ten years into its run, there's no denying the indelible mark that's been made by Damian Lazarus' Crosstown Rebels label on electronic dance music.
In a way, a spot on the label's roster has become a rite of passage on the underground house and techno scene, with the label having broken such international luminaries as Jamie Jones, Maceo Plex, and Art Department before they went on to stardom and celebrated labels of their own.
"I think [Crosstown Rebels] began as a forward-thinking, boundary-pushing, underground label -- and I believe we are still that," Damian Lazarus tells Crossfade. "But probably just a bit better at doing it, after these last ten years."

"We have enjoyed so many great moments, it is very difficult to pick one," Lazarus reminisces. "But there was a moment three years ago at a Rebel Rave at the Warehouse Project in Manchester, when at the end of the party, I was playing Chaka Khan's 'Ain't Nobody' as the last record, and pretty much all of the Crosstown artists were dancing on the stage. It was a huge celebration, and Jamie [Jones] stage-dived into the crowd, Art Department's Kenny [Glasgow] and Jonny [White] were robot-dancing. It was just pure vibes. And I felt at that moment really proud of what everyone has achieved."
So can the die-hards expect another ten years from Crosstown?
"The longest I ever really plan ahead with the label is around 12 months, so I have absolutely no idea," Lazarus admits. "All I can be sure of right now is that with the collection of artists we have at Crosstown and the unbelievably sick music we are going to release this year, I can confirm we will be around, doing what we do, for the foreseeable future."
Undoubtedly, though, whatever the years ahead may have in store for this groundbreaking imprint, the label boss and his crew have every reason to celebrate their success right now. And they'll certainly do so during their annual Get Lost Miami gathering at Ice Palace on March 29.
Anticipating that bash, Damian Lazarus shared his five essential picks from the new 10 Years of Crosstown Rebels compilation album.
Andre Kraml's "Safari"
"This was one of the major defining moments for the label in the early days. The crazy lyrics in this track and the mental animal noises attracted me at first, and then when James Holden turned in his unreal remix, I think everybody realized that this label was going to be an important one."

Deniz Kurtel's "The L Word"
"One of the sexiest tracks we released from one of the most artistic members of the collective. Deniz proved with her debut album that she was a true artist like no other."

Amirali's "Beautiful World"
"This feels like a record that would only feel right on Crosstown. Very accessible to all, yet very cool and edgy. Lyrically, it sets itself apart from most house or techno records, and is a celebration of our lives. I love the fact that the artist is from Iran, proving how diverse our roster of artists is."

Hiem's "She's The One"
"A brilliant project from the guys from Sheffield. I remember hearing this being played for the very first time in the main room at Space in Ibiza, and when the junglist bassline dropped halfway through, I saw a very bright future developing for what we were doing with the label."

Art Department's "Without You"
"This was one of the two tracks on Art Department's debut double A-side single release. Not only did this track launch the duo to superstardom, it created a whole new genre of its own, which many people attempted to replicate soon after."

Crosstown Rebels' Get Lost Miami 2014. Saturday, March 29. Ice Palace West, 71 NW 14th St., Miami. The party starts at 5 a.m. on Saturday and ends at 5 a.m. on Sunday. Tickets cost $70 plus fees via Ages 21 and up.

Originally taken from Miami NewTimes Blogs

Damian Lazarus @ Verboten

Damian Lazarus: “The aesthetic is clear: to push the boundaries of music and art—while having fun”

If Crosstown Rebels is one of the defining underground dance music labels of this millennium—and, for the record, it is—then its head honcho, Damian Lazarus, is one of that scene’s prime movers. Last month, the imprint released 10 Years of Crosstown Rebels, featuring house and techno from the sonically diverse likes of Soul ClapPier BucciTiga, Amirali and Mathew Jonson; on Friday, March 14, he’ll be joined on the decks by a collection of his labelmates when the all-new Verboten club hosts the Rebel Rave affair.

When you first kicked off Crosstown Rebels, did you harbor any expectations that the label would still be around a decade-plus later?
I never really thought about it. When you begin a label like this, supporting underground music, it begins more as a hobby—one that you dream of turning into a workable business. It would be interesting to learn the average life span of labels in the electronic market, but I would suspect it’s around five years. Within our first few years, we had three distribution companies go bust owing us a lot of money, and each time I felt such a strong belief in the label’s future that I persisted and kept the dream alive. I’m happy to have reached this milestone. 

Part of your record-biz background includes the creation of the City Rockers label. Do you think that experience helped prepare you for running Crosstown Rebels? Or do you feel that Crosstown Rebels’ longevity is more strongly attributable to the strength of the artists that you’ve chosen for its roster?
Even before City Rockers, I started a label which was funded by FFRR; it was called Mind Horizon. This was where I first cut my teeth, in label terms. I think the experiences of that and City Rockers gave me a good basis to start out on my own, but you can never prepare for what’s in store. There are always so many interesting twists and turns with every release, and always so many different people and situations to handle. Trends come and go, as do people, and it is important to keep your reputation intact at all times. The strength of the brand plus the talent of the artists generally equals longevity and success.

There’s a wide range of artists on Crosstown Rebels, but do you feel that they—and you—share some sort of common aesthetic? And is that something you’ve consciously developed?
I like to think—and am told by others from time to time—that the label has a certain undefinable quality. There’s some kind of X factor, that when you hear a track, somebody might say, “It sounds like a Crosstown record.” I think we move through different periods of exciting times in the underground, and sometimes these styles might become more populist—but I am not one to cash in on these scenes. I prefer to help develop them in the beginning.

One thing I’ve always liked about Crosstown Rebels is that it’s maintained an “underground” vibe—however you’d like to define that—while putting out music that most anybody vaguely into dance music can relate to. How do you manage to straddle that line?
I think it must be down to my personal tastes, as I am the one and only person who decides what to release. I guess I have always balanced my love of, and interest in, both underground and more mainstream music, and you can hear that in my Lazpod radio shows. From the beginning, I realized there were many cool underground labels that specialized in a particular sound, but very few that you could depend on in a broader sense.

Do you look at Crosstown Rebels as being more than a record label nowadays? It almost seems to be a collective or movement of sorts, as much as it is a label.
Yes, I think it’s grown beyond just being a label; it’s more a creative collective of DJs, artists, producers, event organizers and promoters, filmmakers and fashion designers. The aesthetic is clear: to push the boundaries of music and art—while having fun.

It must have been difficult to distill ten years and scores of releases down to one anniversary compilation. How did you go about deciding what would end up on the comp?
Our label manager, Leon Oakey, and I discussed it all at length over a few drinks. I think we came up with a very solid and enjoyable three-CD selection which gives a great overview of the last decade.

You’re coming to NYC to helm a Rebel Rave bash to celebrate the comp’s release—who’s joining you in the booth?
We have the amazing Francesca Lombardo; the mighty Venezuelans, Fur Coat; and new Crosstown signing Ida Engberg. This will be the opening of the new Verboten club in Brooklyn.

That’s right! Have you ever broken in a new club before?
I don’t think I have, so this will be an honor. There are some excellent clubs in New York, and I feel I am forever checking new ones out and seeing where I feel most comfortable playing, so this is a great opportunity to see how this one is at the very beginning. I saw the place as an empty shell and could feel the potential vibes, so I’m positive about how it will be.

Do you expect that you’ll be putting together a 20 Years of Crosstown Rebels someday?
The longest I ever really planned ahead with the label is around 12 months—so I have absolutely no idea!

Rebel Rave is at Verboten Friday, March 14. 10 Years of Crosstown Rebels is out now; catch Lazpod at

samedi 8 mars 2014

Kele Okereke - Candy Flip (CRM124)

Back on Crosstown Rebels after the barnstorming ‘Heartbreaker’ EP at the end of last year, Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke once again shows he’s a dancer at heart and a truly versatile beat maker. Kicking off with another killer A-side ‘Candy Flip’, Kele builds an infectious track as he works a dirty low bassline with his own deep gravelly vocals. ‘The New Feel’ follows on with dark bass stabs making way for a bouncing groove, haunting chords, and filtered vox with an anthemic feel. FCL’s remix treatment gives a classic, uplifting dimension to ‘Candy Flip’ while final original ‘Come To Me’ is a master class in raw, bass heavy grooves with a modern touch and fresh vocals from Jenny Bastet.  

 From the propulsive rhythm sections of Bloc Party’s Platinum-selling debut album ‘Silent Alarm’  to guest vocals for artists like The Chemical Brothers, dance music has always been the underlying influence for Kele Okereke. Having spent ten years making records in studios working with some of the greatest producers in the world, Kele is now launching his solo assault on house music and leaving a distinctive mark in the process on new home label Crosstown Rebels. 

With the ‘Heartbreaker EP’ gaining critical acclaim across the board and ‘Candy Flip’ about to win over yet more dancefloors, Kele’s new sound is no flash in the pan. There are more EPs in the pipeline for Crosstown as well as DJ dates all over the world, so watch this space.

FCL is the Belgian powerhouse production duo comprised of Red D, owner of We Play House, and young DJ/producer extraordinaire San Soda. Both individually and together they have had a major impact on dance music in the last few years, notably with their ubiquitous version of E.S.P’s ‘It’s You’ - a sell-out vinyl on We Play House reaching cult status and later seeing a digital release on Defected due to popular demand.

  • Label: Crosstown Rebels
  • Cat no: CRM024
  • Web:
  • Distribution: !K7 / Above Board
  • Released: Mon Apr 14th, 201
1. Candy Flip
2. The New Deal
3. Candy Flip (FCL Remix)
4. Come To Me Feat. Jenny Bastet