Although he mans one of the most successful dance music labels of the last few years, bangs out a bi-monthly-or-so podcast and has released both a Fabric mix and an artist album in the last three years, it doesn't feel like Damian Lazarus is overexposed or overstretched. On the contrary; the birth of a new Lazarus project is invariably welcome. You're never quite sure what you're going to get, but you can be safe in the knowledge that it's probably worth paying attention.
While the selections on Get Lost 04 aren't as eclectic as those on his fabric mix, calling this mix linear would be a massive disservice. It's only more straightlaced than we've come to expect from someone who prides themselves in snatching the rug from under his listeners at regular intervals. Lazarus uses Get Lost 04 as a showcase for some of the emerging talent we're doubtlessly going to be hearing a lot more about in the months ahead. Iranian newcomer Amirani kicks things off with "My Way." Full of pitched down vocals, warming synths and wobbly reverb, it's comforting in its familiarity and a perfect opener.
From there, things get steadily darker, culminating in the haunted house weirdness of Left's "Don't Come Alone," a track that seems intent on carelessly tripping over its own beat until joined by softly persuasive hi-hats, giving it a relative sense of purpose. It makes you feel downright miserable, but it's also an unquestionable highlight. Confused? Excellent, he's obviously doing his job properly.
Things start to gather pace again with the jerky broken beat of Kowton's "She Don't Jack," after which barely a breath is taken as Lazarus steams through 30 flawless minutes. You'll find yourself helplessly grinning as each new track finds its mark, especially during the synth funk of Nico Purman's "Fade Away" and the incessant throb of Acid Pauli's "Japan." It's all topped off with Avey Tare's weird and compelling "Oliver Twist."
There's a little blip at the penultimate hurdle in the form of Art Department's "All Mine" (it's totally a personal thing, but I just can't take any more of that voice), but any notion that the mix would end on a semi-low note is blown away by Mario & Vidis' epic "Kashyyyk." It's a fitting finale for a compilation that further establishes Lazarus' already obvious credentials as both tastemaker and mixer.