Crossfade Sounds first label compilation ‘Crossing Borders’ was released in February of this year. It was a release that really set the label apart in terms their music policy. The refreshing mix of styles and the general unpredictable of what was to come next was what made it sound so fresh. Now almost 8 months and 12 releases later Crossfade Sounds has grown into one of our favourite imprints. Dominique Heyninck aka Madloch looks after the A&R duties and he’s done a remarkable job under covering some as yet unheard talent. Each successive release seems to feature fresh and exciting new producers that the majority of electronic music fans would not have been familiar with. The labels second installment of the ‘Crossing Borders’ series is out this week and it features nine new productions from a selection of producers who are slowly becoming the face of the label. Simon Firth, Donknower, Jabob Seville, Anthony Yarranton, Brian Boncher & Doonstruct, Sean McClellan, Shawn Ruebens, Pedro Sanmartin and Christian Ulstrup all have contributed some outstanding productions here.
There is a wide range of styles and moods explored throughout the collection. Whether it be the percussive, grungy and hopelessly funky ‘Black Gold’ from Simon Firth or the moody electonica piece ‘Two Point One’ by Christian Ulstrup the listener is sure to be taken on an interesting ride throughout. The productions of Anthony Yarranton, Pedro Sanmartin and Jacob Seville are really standouts for us and could all be singles in their own right.
Anthony Yarranton has enjoyed a major resurgence this year. The deep sounds that are now coming out of the UK producers studio are perfectly in line with the current electronic music trends and he’s been quite prolific this year with 12 releases under his belt already. His contribution to ‘Crossing Borders’ is entitled ‘The Lounge’ and it’s one of the strongest productions on the collection. The drummy groove, unique vocal stab and energetic sweeps create some wonderful momentum through the first half. Tasteful piano themes get dropped in several times for a refreshing change of pace while the rhythms build mightily through the centre section of the record. The composition comes to a cool climax with some subtle variation in the piano sequences while the dynamic sweeps and pulsating rhythms seem to rise even higher.
Jacob Seville first appeared on Crossfade Sounds with his remix of Tytt’s ‘Best To Smile’ which was released in May of this year. The Spanish producer has contributed his latest original production ‘Rocketman’ to ‘Crossing Borders’ Volume 2. For those that loved the unique funkiness of Jacob’s ‘Best To Smile’ interpretation you’re going to love ‘Rocketman’. The undulating foundation is made up of some of deepest and deadliest bass stabs we’ve heard in a while. Tweaked just right the funky underbelly carves out a massive groove for the warped sounding electronics to work over. Jacob has created a variety of cool hooks here which smoothly weave their way in and out of the framework. It’s the light air of melancholy which really strikes us though; the effortless sounding atmosphere is the perfect contrast to the mean sounding foundation. Brilliant work from Jacob.
Pedro Sanmartin is another producer we discovered this year thanks to Crossfade Sounds. The Spanish producer remixed Dontknower’s ‘Bobby Cooper’ just two weeks ago and now he delivers his first original for Crossfade entitled ‘Forthcoming World’. Pedro has crafted a fat, dubby techno track that really rocks. The beefy beats, smooth stabs and rhythmic claps really standout and give the track quite a large presence. Subtle harmonic shifts through the centre section combined with some suitably warped synths more than delivers an intense climax. It’s one of the more unique tracks we’ve heard in a while and further proof that Pedro is destined for great things. Crossfade Sounds continues to amaze us with each successive release. Most electronic music fans are certainly well aware of Sound Avenue which has its place among the progressive house elite but there is some unrivalled brilliance happening with Crossfade Sounds as well. If you’re looking for new and exciting electronic music then there is no reason not to be following them. Highly Recommended.