Damian Lazarus / Crosstown Rebels

Rebel Futurism Session One

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From the look of the record and the sound of the first few tracks, dance fans may confuse Damian Lazarus with an obscure DJ trying to ride the coattails of the DFA as well as early-2000s dance developments like electroclash and the return of post-punk. But while his first mix for his own label (Crosstown Rebels) certainly dovetails with the sound of the new circa 2004, it's one he's caned for several years and it's also one he shows a lot of talent in. Forgive him for opening with one of his label's own tracks (the regrettable Certain Ratio knockoff "Shake" by Kiki & Silversurfer), since Lazarus proves himself later on with a host of tracks that reference all manner of early-'80s styles on the dance fringe (Italo-disco, new wave, Factory dance acts, acid house, early New York house) without ever sounding derivative. The middle of the mix is where the sparks really fly, beginning with Tiga's apocalyptic "Burning Down," extending through a Silversurfer instrumental layered over the a cappella of Chicks on Speed's "Disgraceland," and cresting with the sublime acid of Bushwacka!'s "Nettbugs." Lazarus must have spent a long time finding so many excellent contemporary tracks that all sounded exactly 20-23 years old, and the result is a mix with a shelf life.

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