VA: Craig Richards Presents The Nothing Special

Referring to a release as The Nothing Special would seem to be asking for trouble, but there is a reason why this 115th installment in the Fabric series is referred to as such. The name, it turns out, is given to the sets delivered in one of the three rooms at the Fabric home base overseen by long-time resident DJ and curator Craig Richards. Likening himself more a “chef, not a waiter,” Richards emphasizes unfamiliar and obscure choices in his mix selection, just as he does in the acts he invites to appear at Fabric's Saturday sets.

The mix's vibe is largely funky and house-flavoured, and the clubby cuts exude an underground and nightcentric, sometimes decadent spirit (e.g., Marcel Janovsky's “Vamos A Otro Piso”). A rollicking mid-‘90s cut from Two Lone Swordsmen, “Rico's Helly,” jumpstarts the mix with a jubilant, light-footed bounce that will carry on through much of the release. The mix then surreptitiously enters sensual deep house mode in pieces by Carl Finlow (“Reprise”) and Melchior Productions (“Come Closer (Dub)”) before getting funky with Gemini's “The Sound” and Housey Doingz' “Flying Saucers” and heavy with bass-thudding bangers such as G-Man's “El Jem” and Conscious Minds' ultra-deep “Expressions.” Joel Mull's “Leaving Ground” spritzes bubbly techno with dubby chords, while, sprinkled with acid, Loop Hotel's “Room 201” seduces with chugging house thrust. In addition, there's Latin-tinged house swing (L.I.E.S.'s “Comeback Dust”), lockstep machine-techno (Convextion's “Premiata”), slinky house (Neville Watson's remix of Semtek's “Lotos Eaters”), and iridescent future techno ($tinkworx's “Los Gatos Lloros”).

With twenty tracks jammed into a seventy-six-minute set, Richards' set is definitely a full-course meal. Though it's also no game-changer as far as mixes are concerned, it's satisfying enough and, at the very least, gives exposure to a relatively more left-of-center collection of tracks that do, in the final analysis, reward one's attention.

August 2011