Published Oct 09, 2018Fabriclive, the long-running mix series that initially began as an outlet for rhythms that fell beyond the confines of the Fabric mix series, is ending. For its final instalment, Hyperdub's commander-in-chief, Kode9, and its most glittering of protégées, Burial, commandeer the decks together. Steve Goodman and William Bevan initially appear to be a match made in heaven, but in practice, the results are less clear cut.
Indeed, listening to Fabriclive 100 occasionally yields more questions than answers. How much of what I'm hearing is Kode9? How much is Burial? The now-ubiquitous vinyl crackle makes an appearance at several points in the mix, usually as a transitional tool between disparate pieces of music. Where the distorted crackling has historically been known for periods of respite in the skeletal nature of Bevan's music, here, there are several moments, like when DJ Rashad's "Let It Go" cuts into ONTHEGROUND's "Fallen," where the listener may scratch their head and wonder: "Was that really the best way to do this?"
The selection itself is less of a head-scratcher, given the nature of the Fabriclive mixes. It should be expected that on its concluding voyage that a lot of ground would need to be covered. Tracks like Luke Slater's "I Can Complete You" straddle the line between happy hardcore, and '90s Euro-dance. Other tracks like Jungle Buddha's "Drug Me" feel like peak time weapons at an early '00s era Fabric Friday. The start/stop rhythms and intermittent crackling soundscapes that bridge the gaps certainly resolve into a unique listening experience, but can also be awkward and ungainly. This all proceeds at a frenetic pace, with higher BPMs being the main focus throughout a mix where the selections are the strongest aspect.
Tackling Fabriclive 100 is no small feat, and incorporating such variety in music would be a challenge for anyone. Goodman and Bevan's take does an adequate job of representing the variety that has spanned over the Fabriclive mix series, but unfortunately manifests as being somewhat unkempt. This is not to say that Fabriclive 100 is beyond reproach, on the contrary, but rather that more finesse may have done the project better. In a sense, the mix series' final entry reflects Fabric's recent history as an institution of London's nightlife: tumultuous. (Fabric)