Visionquest: Fabric 61

What's that old saw about too many cooks? The cliche doesn't hold up in this case, even if Visionquest's contribution to Fabric's esteemed mix series means all four of the group's members, Detroit refugees Seth Troxler, Lee Curtiss, Ryan Crosson, and Shaun Reeves, are involved. The name they've adopted for themselves as a production collective and for their label is in keeping with the very idea of a visionquest, which in Native American cultures refers to a spiritual quest involving new beginnings and revelatory journeys.

Though the mix eases gently into view with Tin Man's laid-back “Wasteland” (a speaker even uttering the words “Hey, man. Just relax, man”), it quickly leaves behind any hint of low-key restraint when the focus shifts to dynamic bangers from a variety of top-shelf producers. The intensity level gradually rises as the mix moves through broiling cuts by Soul Center (“Hal 2010”) and Seuil (“In The Moon”) before landing on the jacking soul of Cassius's “The Sound Of Violence” (in a Franco Cinelli remix), its lithe bass pulse a delicious anchor for the tune's hi-hat thrust.

Oozing personality and heavy on melody, Visionquest's mix shows itself to be sleek, sophisticated, and sexy as it makes its way through a gallery of elegant body-movers like Phreek Plus One's “Passion” (in a DJ T. remix), some of them from the Visionquest label itself (Konrad Black, My Favorite Robot, Footprintz, Tale Of Us). Vocals surface regularly, whether it be in late-night serenades (My Favorite Robot's “Forest Fires”) or sultry jams (Aquarius Heaven's “Can't Buy Love,” augmented by Dani Siciliano's ethereal whisper). Elsewhere, Footprintz's “Heaven Felt Like Night” offers a particularly spellbinding example of vocal-based club music, while Carl Craig weighs in with a memorably slinky overhaul of Catz ‘n Dogz “I'm Free.” Ignore the lame closer, Wildcookie's silly “Song With No Ending,” and instead focus on the seventeen cuts that precede it, and you'll come away more than a little bit impressed with Visionquest's atmospheric and polished style.

January 2012