Crookers: I Love Techno 2009

Crookers, started by Milanese DJs Phra and Bot in 2003, distills hip-hop, house, and all manner of bass science into a jacking style that's as twisted and crooked as its group name implies. With their contribution to the I Love Techno series, the Italian duo deliver a feverish mix that's as up-to-the-minute as it could possibly be, given the inclusion of cuts by Fever Ray, Jahcoozi, Zomby, Rustie, Metronomy, and others.

Things get moving nicely with “Glamourama,” a funk-house classic from Photek circa 2000 whose wrist-slashing hi-hats and beat rumble set just the right tone for the raging cuts that follow. It's the only backwards glance Crookers casts, with almost every one of the seventeen selections that follow 2009 productions. Emvee lets loose a bass swarm of synthesizers for the jacking house swing of “Glitch Dub,” after which Nadastrom's “Ghetto Pass” cranks the mix to delirious levels before handing the baton off to Todd Osborn for a brief slice of bleepy techno (“The Count”).

The Milanese duo includes two Crookers remixes, the first a stepping funk-house riff on Jesse Rose's “Touch My Horn” (its stop-start jack peppered with, yes, horn riffology) and the second a heavy makeover of Fever Ray's “Seven” (which not surprisingly, spins the mix into another dimension the moment Karin Dreijer Andersson's wail enters the picture), and also works its own hot-wired stepper “Knobbers” into the middle of the set-list. Oliver$ climbs aboard the roller-coaster bleep-and-bass-throb of Jahcoozi's “Watching You,” and things take a tribal turn when KU BO's rollicking “Lefe” arrives. Slamming, synth-heavy dubstep from Rustie (“Bad Science”) and rampaging tech-house from Deepgroove (“Spike”) also find their way into the set.

Crookers doesn't bring the mix's energy level down as it inches towards its close; if anything, the intensity escalates when late-comers by Noob & Brodinski (the sputtering tech-house rumble of “Peanuts Club”) and Mumdance & Brodinski (the hammering martial attack of Nic Sarno's “Eurostarr” makeover) surface; the deep-throated wobble K-Hole brings to Jack Beats' “U.F.O.” shows no lapse in energy either. The ferocious energy level rarely if ever dissipates during the sixty-five-minute set, and Crookers ensures that its release doesn't get lost amongst the crowd by doing two things in particular: assembling a set-list filled with fresh material, and packaging it in a mix that's relentless and high-energy in the extreme.

November 2009