By Jacob Katel
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By Laurie Charles
Ten years into Crosstown Rebels' run, there's no denying the indelible mark that Damian Lazarus' label has made on electronic dance music.
In a way, a spot on the label's roster has become a rite of passage on the underground house and techno scene, with the label having broken international luminaries such as Jamie Jones, Maceo Plex, and Art Department before they went on to stardom and celebrated labels of their own.
"I think [Crosstown Rebels] began as a forward-thinking, boundary-pushing, underground label — and I believe we are still that," Damian Lazarus says. "But probably just a bit better at doing it, after these last ten years.
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"We have enjoyed so many great moments. It is very difficult to pick one," he reminisces. "But there was a moment three years ago at a Rebel Rave at the Warehouse Project in Manchester when at the end of the party I was playing Chaka Khan's 'Ain't Nobody' as the last record, and pretty much all of the Crosstown artists were dancing on the stage. It was a huge celebration, and Jamie [Jones] stage-dived into the crowd; Art Department's Kenny [Glasgow] and Jonny [White] were robot-dancing. It was just pure vibes. And I felt at that moment really proud of what everyone has achieved."
So can the diehards expect another ten years from Crosstown?
"The longest I ever really plan ahead with the label is around 12 months, so I have absolutely no idea," Lazarus admits. "All I can be sure of right now is that with the collection of artists we have at Crosstown and the unbelievably sick music we are going to release this year, I can confirm we will be around, doing what we do, for the foreseeable future."
Undoubtedly, though, whatever the years ahead have in store for this groundbreaking imprint, the label boss and his crew have every reason to celebrate their success right now.