Jamie Jones: Get Lost 2
Dan Berkson: The Hollow
Peace Division: Soft Heavy EP
The thing that surprises most about Crosstown Rebels' second Get Lost installment is its generally subdued character, with mixologist Jamie Jones favouring smooth blends and a post-party vibe on the seventy-five-minute collection. But don't equate subdued with dull; in contrast to the earlier, tripped-out two-parter by Damian Lazarus and Matthew Styles, Jones' dub-inflected house mix is a serpentine and sensual cruise through subtly swinging cuts by Cassy (“Alexandra”), Plasmik (“Pearls On A String”), Jeremy Caulfield (“Against the Rip”), and others. Sebbo's “Chunky Fudge” and Plasmik's remix of Ripperton's “Tainted Words” are particularly fine examples of the set's understated fusion of dub, funk, techno, and house, but they're merely two of many. You've also got to love the funky minimalism and purring bass line of Tanzmann & Stefanik's “High Heel Sneaking” and the “Neon Lights”-styled keyboard glitter Nico Purman spreads over “Lunatique.” The mix gathers steam halfway through with the slinky onset of Dennis Ferrer's “P2 Da J,” Jones' own “Panama City,” and Franck Rodger's infectious “Turn Me Over,” then digs even deeper with Zander VT's wiry “Dig Your Own Rave” and Larry Heard's divine “Sun Can't Compare,” where Mr. White (Memphis-based crooner Chad White) lays a blissfully soulful vocal (“You are my dream / The moon can't compare to your beams”) over a grooving acid-house pulse; in an especially nice touch, White echoes the sung lyric with a murmured repetition. Get Lost 2 offers a solid mix of labyrinthine melodies and nocturnal ambiance.
In two clubby workouts, Dan Berkson's EP showcases the Chicago native's penchant for sexy fusions of house, soul, funk, and dub. “The Hollow” starts with a relaxed round of bubbly ping-pong over a lightly pounding kickdrum before picking up steam. Goosed by a minimal, dub-inflected melody, the tune's groove swells into a jacking skip that ebbs and flows throughout, the mood cool and the vibe swinging but laid-back. A heavier, bass-anchored pulse powers the percolating attack of “Circuits” while Berkson's crystal clean sound still leaves ample space for echoing chords to reverberate and ricochet until they disappear.
London-based duo and Low Pressings managers Clive Henry and Justin Drake bring restrainedly funky, late-night grooves to their first Peace Division EP, Soft Heavy, for Crosstown Rebels. With over a decade of experience under their belts, the two are old hands by now and effortlessly craft three seven-minute cuts filled with lightly jacking pulses and chopped voiceovers (“Voodoo (It's in the Wall),” “No Junk No Soul”). Representative of the EP's style, “Pulses” grows ever-so-slowly from a quirky, after-hours strut to become an intricate blend of syncopated patterns, glimmering keys, and hypnotic pings with softly rumbling beats and distorted voices deepening the sleepy vibe.