Damian Lazarus: Rebel Futurism-Session 2
Crosstown Rebels

As far as mixes go, you could do a whole lot worse than this Crosstown Rebels showcase from label head Damian Lazarus. A follow-up to last year's premiere volume, the new collection mixes acid, electro, funk, and microhouse into a smooth, 74-minute broil that features forthcoming material like Kiki & Silversurfer's bubbly version of André Kraml's “Safari” (replete with elephant squeals) as well as familiar tracks like Michael Mayer's disco-funk remix of Superpitcher's “Happiness.”

Sleek as a jaguar in flight, the set glides from one fine moment to the next. Simon Says boots the session into gear with stepping rhythms pecked by funk guitar curlicues in “Deliverance” while Geiger plays soulful conductor on “Hear My Train Coming.” Highlights include Steve Bug's dramatically funky “Loverboy,” Bajika's laconic drawl in Beanfield's “Tides,” and Playgroup Dub's spacey acid overhaul of Portabella's “Viva la difference.” Equally irresistible, B-Pitcher Sascha Funke gives Commercial Breakup's “My Garden” a tightly coiled microhouse makeover, with the song's distinctive hook a female singer's countrified croon (“There's a cool cat sittin' in my garden / There's a wild horse sleepin' in the sea”). While the dance quotient never flags, Lazarus works a healthy dose of stylistic variety into the set, working segues from pinprick goosestep to electro acid-house (spiced by the deadpan commands of a robotic dominatrix “Stay … Don't touch me … Don't ask … Don't stop … Don't talk … Don't kiss me”) before stoking inimitable Kompakt burn with DJ Koze's bruising “Brutalgar Square” and exiting with a rocking Oscar Fullone treatment of Spectrum 311's “Lying Eyes.”

April 2005