VA: Fabric 56: Derrick Carter

Listening to Chicago house pioneer Derrick Carter's contribution to the long-running Fabric series, a Merry Melodies-styled image comes to mind of a Tasmanian Devil trapped inside a sealed box whose sides are distending as said creature tries to punch his way out and then finally does so, with all the mayhem one would expect to ensue thereafter. Though a different kind of animal, Carter's mix is as wild and frenzied, and rarely lets up for a moment during its seventy-six-minute run. The set isn't remotely minimal, techno or otherwise, but instead a frothy and sweaty mix rooted in slamming grooves and bass thunder that makes occasional nods to jazz, soul, funk, and even gospel; organ, guitar, trombone, saxophone, and clarinet solos surface during the album, with an alto sax blowing a fierce storm through Cricco Castelli's “First Love” and an organ raging through—what else?—Roger Sanchez's “My Organ.” New Orleans swing, klezmer, and even zydeco rear their heads during Abraham Inc.'s blistering closer “Moskowitz Remix.”

Mixed (not programmed) by the veteran of multiple house music labels (Blue Cucaracha, Rhythm Vision, Classic) at home, Carter's chugging seventeen-track set is a dynamic blend of old, new, and unreleased tracks wherein vocal motifs appear and then re-appear in funky and fluid fashion. Carter's trademark ‘boompty boomp' sound gets a full workout in the opening minutes when Jody Fingers Finch's “Jack Your Big Booty” and Almost September's “Love” roll out a gurgling acid-jack boogie and hip-hop-inflected house bomb, respectively. A tornado of vocal edits renders Cajmere's “Percolator” the mix's most dizzying moment, while torrential cuts by Nick Garcia (“Playin Tricks”), Scope (“8 Track”), Iz & Diz (“Cosmid”), Scrubfish (“Testify To The Soul Provider”), Tripmastaz (“Back on My BS”), and Légo (“Bang Bang”) stoke a ferocious blaze thereafter, leaving one spent by disc's end. Score Carter's full-bore party mix low on subtlety and understatement, but give it high marks for energy and exuberance.

April 2011