Nina Kraviz: fabric 91
fabric Records / trip

An initial scan of Nina Kraviz's contribution to fabric's renowned mix series hints that the set might amount to little more than a woeful exercise in channel-surfing, given the Siberian-born DJ-producer's decision to squeeze forty-one selections into the mix's tight, seventy-minute frame. The result turns out to be a whole lot more satisfying and cohesive than its appearance on paper might suggest, however, thanks to the seamlessness of the presentation and her deft handling of sequencing and transitions. It's no small accomplishment either, as the trippy set-list spans multiple decades and genres, with everything from minimal techno, IDM, ambient, and electronica to various forms of acid included.

Operating in full crate-digger mode, she plunders electronic music's archives for material and then offsets it with an abundance of unreleased tracks from the future. Familiar names such as Pete Namlook, Bedouin Ascent, Panasonic (eventually Pan Sonic), Air Liquide, and Aphex Twin rub shoulders with artists associated with her own imprint, trip (the label name in English), among them Bjarki, Nikita Zabelin, PTU, Biogen, Orange Juice Man, Species of Fishes, and Kraviz herself. In her own words, “The mix is an invisible bridge between the past and a future that is actually now.” It's not, by the way, her first mix, as a DJ Kicks installment appeared in 2015, though it does reflect where her head's currently at as a listener, DJ, and record collector.

Rarely does a track venture beyond the three-minute mark, and eleven cuts are each under a minute (Panasonic's “Murtaja” lasts but sixteen seconds, and another's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it five). That makes for an ever-scenic ride where changes happen fast, though not so fast that incoherence results when Kraviz is at the helm. Getting things grooving early, Bedouin Ascent's “Ruthless Compassion” rolls from the gate with an infectiously percolating garage-tinged swing, after which Woody McBride's “TV” and DJ Slip's “Jill's Meth” introduce the first injections of acid into her bubbly, action-packed mix (a vibe later perpetuated by McBride's “The Power Hour” and “Prolonged” and DJ Tuttle's acid-techno bomb “Universe of Love”).

Midway through, Frak's “First Snow In Harlem” brings the mix to a momentary halt, before the set takes to the skies with New Composers & Pete Namlook's “Tetra.” Banging cuts from DJ RX-5 (“Like A Boogie”), AFX (the previously unreleased “Fork Rave”), and Unit Moebius (“Radar”) keep one's attention from drifting, and as mentioned, a whole slew of unreleased tracks appears, among them Bjarki's seriously tripped-out “Denise It Ain't Easy 2,” Birk Brainwash's pounding “Deli At Night,” and the mixer's own hypnotic, smudged-out “Pochuvstvui.”

February 2017