The Get Lost series, initiated by Crosstown Rebels head honchos Damian Lazarus and Matthew Styles a year an a half ago, still has to find, as far as I’m concerned, its true inner voice. Volume 01 was torn between tasteful European techno on CD1 and fucked-up anything goes-isms on CD2, and while Jamie Jones’s Volume 02 mix might have been sophisticated, seamless, and glossy, it still lacked the extra sass you usually find in his own productions. Even the series’ artwork, hesitating between impressionistic figuration and twisted abstraction, seems to be slightly disoriented and unsure of where it wants to go. Now there is nothing to dislike about Crosstown’s latest recruit Dinky herself, and you’d hope her mysterious and sultry live persona would translate well into mixing mode, but somehow, on first listen, Get Lost 03 disappointingly matches everything fellow RA reviewer Joshua Meggitt said about Steve Bug’s new mix: like Fabric 37, this is smooth, forcefully neat, and well-executed, but it seems to be missing that extra edge you’d be expecting from the best London underground house label this side of Rekids.
Yet first impressions can be deceptive. Give it another spin and it makes a lot more sense, oddly enough. Sure, from a strictly formal point of view, Dinky plays it very safe in terms of structure: the mix opens with beat-less ambiences, builds up slowly, gets its groove on in the third quarter, and then gradually comes down. But this just goes to show how well thought out the mix is. Opener ‘Lost in the Forest’ sets the lively mood: a gentle piano line shows up, surrounded by echoing vocal snippets and hypnotizing pads, momentarily suggesting that the mix will eventually engage into deeper shapes of house…but then, the syncopated yet pristinely executed rhythms of ‘Horizontal’ suddenly remind you that Dinky remains part of the Chilean minimal Berlin diaspora after all. As far as introductions go, the dancer-turned-DJ sure knows how to titillate and bewilder in equal measures.
The mix then rapidly oscillates, as promised, between radically minimal moments from Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts or Villalobos’ remix of Innersphere’s ‘Phunk’ and deeper cuts à la Tom Tom Groove or Matt O’Brien; then it climaxes, albeit expectedly, with the acidic ‘The Stick Up’ by Samuel L. Session and Radio Slave’s ever towering ‘Bell Clap Dance’, only to come down for more than fifteen minutes with the likes of Cassy (the quite playful ‘Toya’) or Dinky’s own quietly bouncing ‘She’. Overall, the whole mix consequently reads perfectly like a well-written college dissertation, but as unsurprising as it may sound, sometimes, there is some sort of effectiveness in exactly meeting (instead of exaggeratingly defying) expectations.
When Crosstown Rebels started this series, it obviously aimed (as the Lazarus & Styles mix demonstrated) for free-for-all eclecticism, but I guess you could say it didn’t suit the label very well. Turns out, then, that it might be Dinky’s classically structured and well-organized selection that will bring some clarity and direction to the future Crosstown DJs willing to get lost a little.
Tracklist: Dinky - Get Lost 0301 Dinky – Lost In The Forest
02 Dinky – Horizontal
03 Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts – Salerilipopette (Matt John Remix)
04 Dan Berkson – The Hollow
05 Audio Soul Project – Community (Peace Division Remix)
06 Gowentgone – One Of These Fusche
07 Innersphere – Phunk (Ricardo Villalobos Remix)
08 The Mountain People – Mountain People 003
09 Tom Tom Groove – Mr Funkman
10 Matt O’Brien – No Reason
11 Samuel L. Session – The Stick Up (SLS Mix 2)
12 Radio Slave – Bell Clap Dance
13 Dennis Ferrer – Son Of Raw (Loco Dice Mix)
14 Chic Miniature – Kimono
15 Chica & The Folder – Souffle (Sonja Moonear Dans Ma Casbah Mix)
16 Cassy – Toya
17 Paulo Olarte – Solu Tu (Isolee Remix)
18 Matthew Styles – Double Exposure
19 Dinky – She
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