It’s been pretty hard to escape the hoo-hah surrounding Art Department (aka Kenny Glasgow & Jonny White) ever since YouTube footage of the veteran Toronto production duo having a grand old time whilst dropping “Without You” at the Hot Natured DEMF party surfaced back in June. Early support from the likes of Soul Clap, Jamie Jones and Seth Troxler can only have helped build this momentum, but the Juno editorial branch is in complete agreement that such hype is totally justified on this debut 12 inch release for Damian Lazarus’ Crosstown Rebels.
“Vampire Night Club” slides across the A Side with a guest vocal spot from the aforementioned Seth Troxler, er, vamping it up backed by some haunting harmonies from Glasgow. It’s the dynamic usage of infectiously dark bass patterns and intermittent synth stabs that help cement the eerie atmosphere that pervades the track. This sense of pulsing menace is transferred to the B-Side brilliance of “Without You” which seemingly co-exists in the realms of forward thinking and classically sounding tech house. Made for play in darkened spaces where the crunching beat, throbbing bassline and creeped out vocal refrain from Glasgow can reverberate around the walls and your cerebral cortex, “Without You” is destined to become a mainstay in record boxes for many months to come. This debut release is a bewitching example of what to expect when Crosstown Rebels unleash the full album from Art Department early next year.