Get Lost 4 Mixed by Damian Lazarus
By any standard, Crosstown Rebels has had a pretty good year, with solid full-lengths from Maceo Plex, Deniz Kurtel, and Art Department three high points for the underground dance music label. One can now add to that list the fourth installment in the Get Lost series, with the label's founder and musical director, Damian Lazarus, carrying on from previous midwifes Dinky and Jamie Jones. Lazarus stokes a decadent, underground vibe throughout the nearly eighty-minute set, with its appeal bolstered by the inclusion of new names and ten exclusives. As a label head, he's always on the lookout for new blood, and naturally some of that works its way into the setlist, with space allocated to fresh faces such as Left, Fosky, Nitin, and Amirali, none of whom sounds out of place.
Eschewing slow-build altogether, Lazarus has the mix bolt effervescently from the gate with the slinky disco-funk of Amirali's “My Way,” the Iranian producer's plaintive vocal a stark contrast to the track's bubbly swing, after which dOP offshoot Aquarius Heaven gets a thudding bass groove going (the synth-sprinkled “So Low”), as do Fosky (the soulful “Shiva”) and Nico Purman (the electro-stomper “Fade Away”). Lazarus draws upon current hotbed Toronto for contributions from Nitin (the dizzying stepper “Blink Twice”) and Art Department, whose “All Mine” oozes all of the vocal-based allure that made The Drawing Board one of 2011's early standouts. In the set's penultimate track, Jonny White and Kenny Glasgow fashion a lithe, buoyant groove topped by Glasgow's voice and backed by the punctuation of a backing choir.
Also memorable are Massimiliano Pagliara's acidy take on Dance Disorder's soulful “Metallic Italic” and Dana Ruh's jacking “Night Till Dawn,” which features all of the deep bass thunder one expects from an Ostgut Ton cut. The mix reaches its hard-grooving peak with the onset of Dinky's “Owls,” whose peculiar flamenco guitar-like shadings can't dissipate the forcefulness of the track's driving bottom end. Animal Collective member Avey Tare nudges the dance-focused mix into a trippy, pop song-styled direction with his predictably madcap vocal cut “Oliver Twist,” while Lazarus largely keeps his own material out of the mix, the exception being an a capella (“Why Am I Here”) he conjoins to Acid Pauli's “Japan.” An eclectic and foreward-thinking blend of electro, house, funk, acid, and soul, Lazarus's mix satisfies most of all for striking a balance between the accessible and experimental without ever sacrificing its bass rumble.