Feeling the Fabric: Big Beat Strikes Again

Aug 13th, 2008 // 2 Comments

alibbbbb.jpgDJ-mix series come and go, but the paired Fabric and FabricLive mixes have so far issued 80 CDs. To see how they stack up as a whole, we’re reviewing them in numerical order.

FabricLive 02: Ali B (February 2002)
Have you ever feared looking silly while dancing to funk? The worst moments of this mix are like those fears made aural flesh: DJ Spice’s “Groove Operator,” which borrows the bass line of Chic’s “Good Times” and surrounds it with limp “liquid”-sounding synths mimicking the bass melody and a gimpy beat; the Drummatic Twins’ frat-electro remix of Dreadzone’s “Believing in It,” the kind of record I spent far too much of the late-’90s thinking was “pretty good” and filing away, never to play again. What’s telling about them is how generic they make everything else sound, and it’s not as if the other stuff needed the help. I’ve long been fascinated with the kind of DJ-tool 12-inches propagated by labels like AV8 (are they even still around? No idea)–looped breakbeat tracks with occasional chants and lots of chopped-up samples, perfect for dancers to let loose and to spell DJs and audiences from rap vocals for a while. They’re also a major building block of big beat, the style Ali B’s mix probably falls most cleanly into. But if you’ve got Fatboy Slim’s On the Floor at the Boutique (hell, if you have Lo Fidelity All-Stars’ On the Floor), there’s no reason to bother with this.

  1. nulldevice

    It’s kind of odd about the disc – I bought it shortly after actually seeing Ali B spin at FabricLive one saturday night (Ed Rush and Optical in the main room, too! Crazy night) and he was just fantastically good. I picked up the disc immediately after and felt really elt down.

    Thankfully, my subscription delivered the Freestylers disc to my house shortly thereafter, which eased the pain.

  2. cassidy2099

    I’d completely forgotton about those On The Floor mixes. I recall they were awesome, but it has been years.

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