VA: Rebel Rave 3
Crosstown Rebels

Crosstown Rebels' third Rebel Rave chapter is the usual embarrassment of riches, with the three-disc release featuring sets of 2012 originals and remixes plus a mix assembled by Subb-an (Ashique Subhan). By now the names are familiar but not displeasingly so, as any release that includes productions by Art Department, Maceo Plex, Deniz Kurtel, Fur Coat, and Jamie Jones is more than welcome in this neck o' the woods. The mood is sultry and the style decadent underground techno from artists whose teen years might have been spent in dark basements listening to the likes of Depeche Mode, The Velvet Underground, and Roxy Music before discovering electronic music production and the club scene.

Selecting Luca Bacchetti's “Tango” (in an Eduardo Castillo remix) as the opener to the collection is a bit of a head-scratcher, given the tune's Afro-Cuban leanings—a better choice would have been track two, Art Department's “Touch You Gently,” whose slinky style is more in keeping with the label's vibe. From there on out, however, the release is classic Crosstown Rebels, with a moody Deniz Kurtel makeover of Amirali's “Beautiful World” leading the way. Newcomer Infinity Ink (Ali Love, Luca Cazal) makes a strong impression with the irresistibly sexy vocal jam “Infinity,” as do Maceo Plex (the sensual banger “Sex Appeal”), Dinky (the stoked “Sealed”), and Fur Coat (“You and I,” boosted by Cari Golden's vocal).

Disc two opens strongly with Marc ‘MK' Kinchen's slinky remix of Amirali's haunting “Just An Illusion” before moving on to Nico Purman's synth-heavy hallucination “Falling,” SIS's dizzying “Faces” (a bold update of The Temptations' “Smiling Faces Sometimes”), and Tiga's electrofied “Pleasure From the Bass.” Things take an earthy and primal turn when Dachshund & Quenum's body-mover “Mammoth” and Jamie Jones' bass-powered “Our Time In Liberty” (featuring a vocal by Art Department member Kenny Glasgow) surface.

An a capella snippet of Amirali's “Just An Illusion” gets Subb-an's sixteen-cut mix underway before Pier Bucci's bubbly swinger “Jess” grabs the reins. Smooth transitions ease the listener through Dan Berkson's “The Hollow” and Gavin Herily's “Witching Hour” as the mix grows in intensity and then gets funky with Jamie Jones' “My Body” and Loco Dice's suave remix of Riz MC's “Radar.” “Positive Expression,” “Daddy's Jam,” and “Eyes,” respective cuts by Subb-an, Solomun, and Francesca Lombardo, keep the energy level pitched high until Amirali's “Whisper” chills the pace for a dream-like outro. Rebel Rave 3 features thirty-seven cuts in total (with only a few repeating), which makes for a more-than-comprehensive portrait of Crosstown Rebels circa 2012-13. Anyone curious about what kind of jams the label's been pumping out recently need look no further.

April 2013