One of last year's chief disappointments in dance music was the untimely demise of the City Rockers label, so it's great to have Damian Lazarus alive and kicking on his new imprint Crosstown Rebels and their first compilation release. Rebel Futurism shows the man is still hanging on to electro music's cutting edge.
The immediate 80s connotations in the opening intro are swallowed up by the guitar-driven sound of Kiki & Silversurfer. Lazarus hits his groove early on with Le Dust Sucker's 'Mandate My Ass' rolling out an excellent floor-filling loop. Shades of techno are often present in tracks such as Joakim's 'Come Into My Kitchen' or the hypnotic TGV mix of Tiga's 'Burning'. Silversurfer return to take us darker and deeper in 'Welcome To Berlin', whilst Bushwacka's 'Electro' employs a druggy spoken word to good effect. One of the maddest tracks here is Jahcoozi's 'Fish', starting with a sombre intro but getting bouncy in a humorous twist.
'No Way You Can Sleep' is the unsettling contribution from Digital Tongues before the big, big bass of Helicopter Jackson and the old school sounds of Phonique. To close are the driving Sascha Funke cut 'Bravo' and Avril's lop-sided take on 'French Kiss'.
Quite a set list then, blended together well by Lazarus and including breaks, four to the floor and all kinds of vocal trickery on its journey. On this evidence City Rockers won't be missed quite as much as we thought it would!
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