The release of Crosstown Rebels’ SPIRITS compilation is always a bastion moment for the label. The first edition came to prominence in 2017 and we’ve been graced with an annual compilation ever since, showcasing a consistent habit to champion established artists and breakthrough ones alike. Now, Crosstown Rebels’ lauded SPIRITS series sees the light of day once more, with the release of SPIRITS V.

“Compiling the Spirits compilations and sourcing the artists that create the artwork for the sleeves is one of my favourite annual jobs for Crosstown. I get to sift through all the best music being sent to me and find a way to make a cohesive one stop shop full of underground battle weapons and future club hits whilst also setting the tone for the sound of the label in any given year. Spirits V is one of the strongest of the series”. Damian Lazarus

NYC-native Layla Benitez leads proceedings with Fides, a progressive-leaning, introspective number that retains an inherent danceability throughout. It kicks off the compilation with a driving energy, one that’s perfectly matched by Trabajar – the Crosstown Rebels debut of recent Hot Creations inductee Mr.Diamond.

A techy-inspired cut, punchy four-four drum patterns create a distinctive late-night feel, as UK-talent Denney soon arrives with Kill The Soundboy. Showcasing the groove-laced house sound with which he’s become best known, the near seven-minute piece is sure to light up many a club setting this year, paving the way for Talk To Me. It’s a collaborative venture between Munich-based artist ASK:ME and El Muerto, with Soulfoot featuring on vocals. Retaining a vintage Detroit style, the fast-paced tempo creates a natural excitement before Romanian-born mainstay GruuvElement’s gifts us the minimal-toned Boom Room.

Building with tribal-like percussion and salsa-inspired instrumentals, it’s a playful excursion into dance music’s outer realms, paving the way for young Peruvian producer Chinonegro with My Moment. Whether it be the pluck of a guitar string or a jazzy trumpet solo, there’s an inherent authenticity to the six-minute piece, as a mid-track breakdown gives way to whispering hats and a rhythmic underlying backbone.

The penultimate offering comes from French-born, London-based regular Maglia, who serves up the enchanting Rayiys. The chirping of birds reside atop an ever-changing bassline, leaving us open and ready for the VA’s closing saga: Thanks Moon, by Spain’s I AM JAS. A heady combination of beautiful lyrical contributions combine with softly moving electronic elements, to leave us in a state of calm, inward reflection. Rounding off proceedings on a note of quietude, it reminds us of the final moments in clubland, transporting our psyche to sunrise, fond memories and everything in between.

Over a period of nineteen years, Damian Lazarus’ Crosstown Rebels has evolved into a world-renowned institution, garnering global audiences thanks to a consistent schedule of quality releases. In years since it’s earliest beginnings, the likes of Maceo Plex, Art Department, Seth Troxler, Ali Love, Mathew Jonson, Pier Bucci, Acid Pauli, Dennis Kurtel, Francesca Lombardo, Glimpse, Aphrohead, Fur Coat and a plethora of other figureheads have all found their home on the label.

The roster is international, showcasing how Crosstown has shaped a truly global scene. Releases are born in different continents by artists who hail from different countries, resulting in a sound that resonates worldwide. Perhaps most-pivotal to the label’s success is its musical output: no part is governed by boundary or genre. It’s underpinned by a truly eclectic sound, one that reflects the diversity of Damian’s love for music itself. An album from drum and bass icon DJ Krust here, a maiden LP from Audiojack there… traversing genres has been Damian’s forte for decades – and Crosstown epitomises that as a result.

Crosstown Rebels presents SPIRITS V is OUT NOW
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