Maya Jane Coles: Fabric 75
Probably the biggest challenge facing Maya Jane Coles in her contribution to Fabric's celebrated compilation series doesn't concern so much the idea of producing a credible follow-up to her recent debut full-length Comfort as matching the quality level of her superb 2012 DJ Kicks outing. It's been a rapid ride (and rise) for the twenty-six-year-old, a veritable whirlwind of gigs, sessions (including a Boiler Room set), production projects, and remixes (for the likes of Bonobo, Massive Attack, The Orb, Maceo Plex, and Tricky), and the mere fact that she's been able to fit it all in in such a short period of time is in itself amazing.
With only one previously unreleased track of her own included in the seventy-three-minute mix, Fabric 75 shifts the focus from Cole to the work of other producers, with familiar names such as Dapayk, Mathew Jonson, Heiko Laux, Flowers and Sea Creatures, and Paul Woolford (aka Special Request) appearing among them. Seventeen house and techno cuts alternate with fluidity during the heavily atmospheric mix, and the listener is easily pulled along by the music's kinetic flow.
Coles wastes no time getting things up and moving, with Trus'me's rousing “Somebody” and its thudding kick drum leading the techno charge. At this early juncture, a raw quality is exemplified by the music's primal, crackle-speckled groove, though Coles soon softens the set's tone by threading in Dapayk & Padberg's “Close Up” (in an Exercise One remix) and its hushed, dream-like vocal. Things take an affectingly melancholic turn with the advent of DJ Yellow & Flowers and Sea Creatures' “No One Gets Left Behind,” another track that stands out for its entrancing melodic and vocal details.
In the mix's first half, Coles' focus is less on hard techno than something softer and more sensual. Eschewing beat fury, the set breezily skips through her own “Premonition” and a Ripperton remix of Baikal's “Why Don't Ya?” before digging into the hypnotic sultriness and motorik thrust of Woolford's “Erotic Discourse,” Paride Saraceni's “Dissolute,” and Negru's “Concubinaj.” But a marked change occurs as the mix moves into its second half, with its seriously stoked groove going deeper and growing ever more raw and forceful, and as it gradually builds up steam, the mix follows a clear trajectory that's faultlessly executed by Coles.