FabricLive CDs. So when it was announced that Fabric was closing, I decided to listen again to each and every edition, and rank them. It took a long time. So long that Fabric actually reopened in that time. So what better way to celebrate, than a complete run down of every single mix from the Friday night series, from worst to best.
I need to listen to some folk or something. The monologue from Saul Williams sets the tone for what should be an exciting, exhilarating 70 minutes. Unfortunately, the mix becomes unbearably irritating almost immediately. Brostep is bad, but this is worse. Even though the tracks are mixed relatively quickly, very few of them warrant more than 30 seconds. They might be poor tunes, or they could have just been pitched up to oblivion.
I was less annoyed by the end of the mix than I was in the first 15 minutes. But barely. The impact of each and every tune is diminished by what surrounds it, and they layer tracks in such a way that the whole is so much less than the sum of its parts. When they do let a track run for more than a minute or two it Astronomy Domine - Harmony Garden - Wounded more bearable, but it never lasts.
The longest 70 minutes of your life. This mix tries to be too many things all at once, and ends up failing at most of them. The decent electro inclusions are ruined with low quality rap acapellas, and the majority of the vocals throughout are pretty annoying.
A lot of the better tracks sound like the payoff to a buildup that never happened. And the general tone of the mix makes me think of Nathan Barley. As one of the older dnb mixes in the series, this would have been recorded on vinyl, and tracks are allowed to roll for upwards of 5 minutes. Many of them are based around a 5 second loop repeated with little variation, so it quickly gets monotonous.
Indnbs best moments were still a long Bang A Drum - Jon Bon Jovi - Blaze Of Glory off.
The vocals are irritating, the lyrics mindless, and the whole thing conjures up images of bros in tanktops and snapbacks at spring break. The excessive tempo makes the whole mix seem messy, and very difficult to dance to.
This one started so promisingly. In fact, apart from all being Moneys Too Tight (To Mention) - Simply Red - Moneys Too Tight (To Mention) bit lengthy, everything about the opening trio of tracks is spot on. And the next transition is even worse. We could give some allowances for the fact that this came out inand Serato was a long way off, but none of the other mixes from this period are so full of errors.
Some of them are great, but pretty much all of them roll on for too long, without forming a cohesive whole. The final dub track would have worked fantastically had it rounded off a well crafted mix, but unfortunately, it feels as flat as the other 70 minutes.
But when a mix requires such an attention span, I struggle. The records selected by Edgar are all about repetition, repetition, repetition. With such little emphasis on melody, and such metronomic rhythm, the focus just seems to be endless patience. Traits, Monki, or Frantic - The Glimmers - FabricLive.
31 (Radio Mix) D. And this right here is why I have no interest in ever going to Ibiza. The mix certainly moves from one extreme to the other quickly, with a deep, crunchy techno thud one minute, and stripped down bongos the next.
But it seems to experimental for its own good. It sounds completely stupid, but not in a fun way. This combination of the incredibly sparse, with the utterly bizarre gets in the way of there being much emotional resonance.
Is it fun? All this uncertainty does make for intriguing listen. Starting slow, he keeps dropping the tempo getting more and more stoned. Then, only Mueve La Centura - Various - Hi-Fi Sampler tracks in, Craze gives up on the hip-hop framework and goes in a very strange 80s direction.
Whenever Craze scratches, you marvel at his skills, but the flow and track selection is a phenomenal let down. Hurtling through the tracks at lightspeed, this is one hype carnival. The international sounds are great, but those drums are a lot to deal with. It might have been more bearable if any of the songs included were given a bit of time instead of just hurtling to the next buildup. Strangely, there are other mixes in the series with nearly twice the number of tracks, that somehow feel so much less hectic than this one.
The last few tracks ease up, and it suddenly becomes brilliant, but the majority is aggressively energetic, and tires you out far too quickly. Understandably, breakbeat from will sound dated today, but it all comes of as pretty boring, even with commands being chucked about it to shake it, throw your hands up, etc.
This is the lowest point, and the selections then improve, but it still sounds a lot more dated than a lot of dance records from even the 90s. On headphones, the intricacy and subtlety of everything going on in the top end is audible, but Pangaea has a very clear love of a monolithic, brutal kick, that I fear would be too overpowering were I actually there.
In the club, stuff like this bores my socks off. Percussion is funky, pads are beautiful, it feels exciting. Too perfect. And therein lies its problem. There are some massive peaks within the first 20 minutes of the mix, and then it begins to calm right down. Throughout the opening stretch, the tracks bled into one another telling a clear story that started cheeky, and gradually got more emotional, but the boys quickly lose sight of this aim as they begin to just beatmatch a bunch of songs they like.
Now, I Frantic - The Glimmers - FabricLive. 31 (Radio Mix) grime as much as the next home-counties, grammar school educated white boi. With too many MCs to count, this set is so packed to the rafters that it would have been impossible to maintain a great level of quality. Logan presumably asked the MCs to record their bars themselves, and then send them over to be paired with backing tracks.
Quite often, the vocals are far too loud in the mix, which makes the epic backing sound weak. The mic is being passed every 21 seconds for over 70 minutes. The Café Oriental - Caterina Valente / Vico Torriani - Schlager Album Der Erfolge breather last about 8 seconds, which means that the top notch production rarely gets a chance to shine.
The display of talent Frantic - The Glimmers - FabricLive. 31 (Radio Mix) here is formidable, but less is more. This is just more, more, more. I saw Frantic - The Glimmers - FabricLive. 31 (Radio Mix) Alkan play back inand it was phenomenal. As we reach the middle it does start to get groovy as fuck. The latter half runs heavy on these kind of chords, which are beautiful, but would have made much more sense towards the beginning of the mix.
Then it starts to get darker and more aggressive, whilst still very, very restrained. The aim was to avoid all that over-the-top drama, which is admirable, but eventually it gets boring.
I get their point. Dnb had become all Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin - In Concert In Copenhagen the buildup. Plenty of the tunes are cheeky as fuck, knowingly quite cheesy, but still clearly drugged up rave music.
But although Meat Katie manages to carve out a niche sound, at least half of the tracks here could definitely qualify as filler. The opening stretch of this edition Frantic - The Glimmers - FabricLive. 31 (Radio Mix) fascinating, and impossible to place. It veers between dub and techno, dark and creepy, like a black and white german arthouse horror film. There is nothing fun about this mix at all. Key clashes and sub-par mixing are forgiven because of the vinyl method, but should they be?
Rose has a The Making Of Goodbye Lullaby - Avril Lavigne - Goodbye Lullaby (Special Edition) (All Media, Album) sensitive manner of mixing, and clearly cut his teeth in the 90s when clubbers had much more patience.
It is very, very clam though, and you do begin to wonder if it will ever really get going. The mix also seems a little front-loaded, and the tune selection gets less effective the further into the mix we get. The mix begins with a proper flow to the sequencing, but loses it in the middle. It does recover by the end, as the final 4 tracks all work well together to create a deep tapestry, but the middle stretch is just too long. The mix is more mechanical and clunky than it is smooth, with an enormous amount of weight.
Tracks are Frantic - The Glimmers - FabricLive. 31 (Radio Mix) effectivelyand the tune selection is pure joyous fun. He has a preference for tracks with an aggressively clunky kick, which makes for quite a rough listen. The opening ditty from Mr.
He moves through tracks At The Skylines - The Secrets To Life a breakneck pace, rarely Frantic - The Glimmers - FabricLive. 31 (Radio Mix) one play for more than 2 minutes, not allowing many of them the chance to shine until the very end of the mix. Teenagers should love it. A discerning techno fan, maybe not.
All in all, it comes off as very average. The strictest hip-hop set in the series, this edition features some of the best turntablism ever heard on a Fabric mix. Beginning with a seriously smooth flow, this looks set to be a sick 70 minutes. This track is a true battle weapon, and it arrives far, far too early.
Plenty of these tracks are among the most well known hip-hop records ever released. Which is a shame, as this is obviously mixed by an extremely talented DJ with great taste. Unfortunately, the urge to please just got in the way.
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