Who knew that in ten years time the Crosstown crew would be here? Spearheading a deep house revolution, Rebel Raving ’round the globe, breaking the superstar DJs and producers of tomorrow and today; the imprint that was created from the mind of Damian Lazarus has grown into an electronic music institution, one with a festival to its name and a slew of all-star acts on its roster. Now, with a world tour well underway, the third installment of the Rebel Rave compilation series arrives with a look back at years past and a glimpse into the label’s future.
Discs one and two highlight the best of 2012, with Crosstown veterans and newcomers alike sharing the spotlight in a veritable who’s who of deep house; artists include Maceo Plex, Art Department, Infinity Ink, and Laura Jones (pick up your copy of Rebel Rave 3 on iTunes now). And who better to mix the third disc – a look back on ten years of the Rebel crew – than Crosstown’s fastest-rising star, Subb-an?
DJMag’s Best Breakthrough DJ of 2011 deftly maneuvers through the trippy grooves and dancefloor bombs that have become synonymous with the Crosstown Rebels name, mixing in blissful waves as he slips deep down the rabbit hole on tracks like Dan Berkson’s The Hollow and Francesca Lombardo’s Eyes, and hits euphoric crests with The Martinez Brothers remix of Fosky’s Shiva and his own Misleading.
As fantastic as this celebratory mix is, it’s Subb-an’s live sets that really do him justice. We recently ventured out to Brooklyn to catch him at the Rebel Rave presented by Verboten New York, and were blown away by his and the rest of the crew’s showing.
To call the party mind-blowing would be an understatement, as hundreds of sonic explorers danced until 9:30 in the morning amidst a sea of body paint, tequila, and high fashion. Walking in as Infinity Ink dropped Reverse Skydiving set an ambitious tone for the night, one that was soon matched by Amirali’s brilliant live show (seriously, hearing him croon Falling Down was worth the price of admission alone). Kenny Glasgow of Art Department showed that he can rock the crowd solo, turning his hour-and-a-half set into a whirlwind of sound that felt like a dream sequence, before the head honcho himself, Damian Lazarus, took hold to unleash the weird and funky as the sun came up.
As light flooded the venue through that key skylight, Subb-an and his self-described dancefloor-centric sound kept the morning crowd churning. In the three or so hours that he played solo and b2b with Damian, Subb-an showed why he’s one of dance music’s hottest commodities with a driving mix of gems from his deep crate, tracks from his One label, and an assortment of his own riveting productions.
Functioning at a normal level was close to impossible after a party like that, but we were luckily able to catch up with Subb-an prior to the show to find out how he hooked up with the Crosstown Rebels crew and what he would be doing if he weren’t in music. Check out the LT3TV feature below to delve deeper into the world of Subb-an.
Photo credit: Alex Bershaw for Verboten New York