The FABRICLIVE series over the last twelve years has more often than not showcased British electronic music at its best and most creative. Even though the majority of tracks on the mix come from non-British producers there’s an undeniably UK sound to the record. The countries rich history of Techno, Hardcore, Grime and even Jungle all sweat into this latest entry of a series which has existing since the independent revivals of all of these scenes. Hessle Audio too over the last few years has specialised in re-contextualising these broken strands of enjoyably broken sounds. It hasn’t exactly been a straight conservation effort though as labels like Hessle Audio and in the west Livity Sound, have made sense of a wealth of genres through experimentation. In an extraordinary and encouraging move the music has become more consistent by pushing the limits of where the music can and should go.
This is one of the reasons why FABRICLIVE 73 holds up so well. Tracks such as ‘Clean Neckline’ by Forward Strategy Group and the Exposure remix of Speedy J’s stellar ‘Something For Your Mind’ that have more than a twenty year age gap between them, blend effortlessly into each other. Lee Gamble’s compellingly bizarre ‘Plos 97s’ would send most conventional Techno DJ’s running the comfortable big room crowd pleasers yet Pangaea displays characteristic bravery by (almost) opening with it. Of course the simplest reason why this is now one of my favourite entries in the FABRICLIVE series is that the track selection is consistently excellent. Techno hard hitters MGUN, Shifted and Tripeo all make an appearance. Label mates Pearson Sound and Pev & Kowton dominate the second half of the mix which makes a definite turn towards Bass Music during Mumdance & MAO’s superb ‘Truth’. It’s not just Bass Music and Techno that takes prominence even Acid has a turn in the spotlight with Alex Falk’s ‘PTR’. The track’s 4/4 thud and processed TB303 makes it sound like a lost and slightly pitched down Universal Indicator track.
There’s always a risk of a long running series becoming stale or predictable (one only has to look to the struggling Kompakt’s Pop Ambient series). It’s amazing that the multiple Fabric series’ have put out as few duds as they have. This latest entry shows us that it is possible to both respect the past while moving things forward. To end on a laboured and probably ill-advised metaphor Pangaea’s name has never been more fitting. Just like the landmass which he’s taken his name from this mix proves that these diverse collections of genres not only have common ground but are in fact inseparable and immoveable from each other. This mix comes with the highest recommendation.
‘FABRICLIVE.73’ is out now, pick up your copy here.