Feeling The Fabric: One Blogger’s Foolhardy Attempt To Review Two Longstanding DJ-Mix Series

Jul 30th, 2008 // 8 Comments

200px-Fabric_01.jpgA while back, a colleague IM’ed me to ask why no one had ever written a guide to the Fabric and FabricLive DJ-mix CD series.* I suggested that since he was connected to a music blog, he let me write it for him; he demurred. That was a while ago, but the idea has stuck with me ever since. So I’m going to do it here, every Wednesday, because I’m curious about how the Fabrics stack up as a whole. No guarantee how many titles I’ll get to per week, but there will be a minimum of one. (How’s that for promises I can just about keep?) Things will be very loose: in many cases I will only have heard the titles once or twice. I will also feel free to go back to earlier volumes if I have sufficient a reappraisal, though I won’t skip ahead chronologically, while feeling free to allude to future volumes within the write-ups. As such, I guarantee nothing, even that I’ll finish this project to catch-up time. No grades, based on the aforementioned time crunch. I’ve doted on a number of these titles, which will arrive when they arrive. For now, let’s begin at the beginning.

Fabric 01: Craig Richards (November 2001)
An interesting start, not great, but it’s freaky and has verve. Richards, as you’d expect, was a Fabric regular, and judging from this he liked things tracky but also colorful and percussion-heavy. The tracks don’t announce themselves much outside of whatever repeated slurpy overlay he’s throwing onto drums that meld the played and the programmed more or less expertly; because they don’t, they mesh nicely, and a peek at the track list reveals a couple folks I’ve admired elsewhere (SCSI 9, Antonelli Electr), who like their fellows on this disc are “techy” in the sense of technology, not as in Detroit techno. Pick hit: Roman IV’s “14x7x4,” a slow-mo acid roll over fast-mo techno (yes to Detroit this time) kick drums, hard on the snare accents, sliding into Wavescape’s not especially self-explanatory “Silicon Jazz.”


  1. Norman

    Honestly, this one bored me in a Minimal-101 kind of way — especially considering how totally groundbreaking the first Tyrant mix was. That mix was house, techno, tribal, electro, and breaks in a totally seamless blend; this mix was more of a one-note wonder.

  2. highlifer

    OOOH this is gonna be fun! Lesse, I only OWN Ellen Allien in the Fabric, and John Peel and Diplo in the Fabric Live, but I look at all of them all the time. They’d all look sexy sitting on a cd shelf! If I came into $$$ it’d be a great collector nerd thing to have!

  3. the rich girls are weeping

    Yes, I love the packaging so. But! So expensive.

    (The Ellen Allien one is rilly good!)

  4. Anonymous

    Oh, thank God you’re doing this so I don’t have to. I’ve been kicking this
    idea around for a few months and I keep pulling myself away.

    Kevin J Church
    beaucoupkevin.com | therackcomic.com | whiskeyandfailure.com

  5. sparkletone

    @highlifer: If you’ve got those, you would also probably love #29 (Cut Copy) and #36 (James Murphy + Pat Mahoney). And who isn’t excited for Simian Mobile Disco’s soon-to-be-released entry?

  6. Anonymous

    The recently-released DJ Yoda one is absolutely amazing. The intro is humorous, but some of the mash-ups, like a hip-hop Violent Femmes, or Bonde do Role and Minnie Ripperton make this one a classic.

    best long-player since the Ellen Allien one.

  7. Anonymous


    they’re pretty good value for money over here in the UK, and I would have thought they’d have licensing in the US so they’re not import prices? I may well be utterly wrong so feel free to correct me, just curious :)

  8. I saw your webblog and its really informative. Well written. ;) Simon Hillesland

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