Dub Phizix: fabriclive 84

Dub Phizix's fabric mix sounds pretty much exactly as you'd expect—though that shouldn't be construed as disappointment. On the contrary, the forty-track mix offers as comprehensive a travelogue through grime, drum'n'bass, ragga, jungle, and other bass music-related forms as any listener could possibly desire. With a discography listing releases on Exit, Soul:R, Samurai Music, Dispatch, Ingredients, and his own SenkaSonic, the Manchester producer, born George Ovens, brings no small amount of experience to the mix, which boasts twenty-two previously unreleased cuts (twelve of them Dub Phizix's own) and collabs with DRS, Skeptical, Xtrah, Chimpo, and Strategy. Though Dub Phizix and DRS ease the listener in with the understated elegance of “Break the Chains,” switch-ups occur rapidly thereafter, with almost every one of the tracks sticking around for only a minute or two before the channel changes.

Yet while the pace is head-spinning and relentless, the mix retains coherence in the way Ovens maneuvers it from one cut to the next. Transitions are often effected seamlessly, such that multiple tracks flow together and give the impression of being a single, shape-shifting whole; Ovens bolsters that effect by having elements from one track re-appear in the next, such as when James Sunderland's vocal carries over from Ulterior Motive's “Muted” into Subtension & Minor Rain's “Sklep,” and he also sometimes combines tracks, a memorable example being the merging of his own “Dummeh” with Chunky's “Ooh Ahh.” Standouts include Dub Phizix's slinky “Bounce” and sultry “Rainy City Music,” Chimpo's stutter-funk throwdown “Atlanta,” and Matthew David Scott's closer “What's Next?,” which includes a heartfelt tribute to Ovens' hometown by the poet, and raw cuts by The Rum Baba, RIOT, Fixate, Sam Binga, Skittles, Basement Jaxx (in a Dub Phizix remix), Xtrah, and Skeptical bring the requisite thunder. As dizzying and occasionally wild as the mix is, it's not an incoherent mess when Ovens's at the controls; certainly it would be hard to imagine nodding off when the level of stimulation and intensity is at such a consistently high level.

December 2015