Damian Lazarus and Matthew Styles
Get Lost (Crosstown Rebels)
Minimal techno, a strictly organized studio apartment to trance’s McMansion, has recently been rescued from nerds and gritted into something that the world might find livable. At album-length, minimal can be a bit flat but in mix-CD form, it can glisten.
On this phantasmal collection, music journalist–turned–A&R man–turned–ace DJ Damian Lazarus and his Crosstown Rebels label associate Matthew Styles mine gems from the dirty underground. Disorienting, moody, even vaguely erotic, Get Lost has a seductive atmosphere fitting for troublemaking in the wee hours. On disc one, the team selects uptempo tracks that stick to a controlled sound palate from DJ Koze, Monolake, Styro and Prosumer and favors a sinister undercurrent over house optimism. But Get Lost isn’t morose, either: Und’s “Cocopuffs” is just plain silly. Disc two strays into outlandish experiment territory with “A Joy,” a challenging Battles remix of Four Tet. It also makes odd connections, linking John Tejada’s “Paranoia” and the Television Personalities punk of Position Normal’s “Jimmy Had Jane.” The avant-garde slant to Lazarus’s subversion isn’t always fit for rooms with mirror balls: Get Lost imagines clubbing that’s anything but complacent.—John Dugan