A 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.”