Dave Clarke: Fabric 60
Being so pop-oriented, Jamie Jones' Fabric mix would seem to be a perfect way in for those resistant to mixes in general. Sure, it's groove-heavy, but many of its selections are vocal pop songs first and foremost that also feature a strong body music dimension. If the mix seduces—and many times it does—, it does for the potency of its hooks as much if not more than for its beats. Consider Cajmere's “God Sent (‘10),” for example: it's got an irresistibly skanky groove, yes, but even more memorable are the effervescent vocals and the tiny whistling motif that shadows them. Cuts such as Coat Of Arms' “Is This Something,” the pulsating Holy Ghost mix of Panthers' “Goblin City,” and soho808's silken “Get Up Disco” are just as hook-laden.
The presence of Ali Love and Kenny Glasgow gives Hot Natured's “Time Intro” an Art Department twist before the first of many vocal pop treatments appears, in this case Metronomy's mix of Sebastien Tellier's “La Ritournelle.” After settling into a soul-funk feel via James Teej's “Don't Appear (Redux),” things get seriously trippy with Jones' aptly named fly edit of Coat Of Arms' “Is This Something.” The tune's soulful vocal hook is hard to shake, especially when delivered with such fervour, and Jones serves up another edit almost immediately thereafter in the form of Karen Pollack's soulf-funk throwdown “You Can't Touch Me.” Though not a new track, Felix Da Housecat's “Madame Hollywood” nevertheless fits seamlessly into this context, what with its bouyant bounce and deadpan vocal treatment, while a French voiceover lends jennygoesdirty's “Amoureux Solitaires” an air of cosmopolitan charm and sophistication. The mix takes a few left turns when it moves into its second half. Crazy P's “Open For Service” and soho808's “Get Up Disco” are fundamentally disco tracks, with the former oozing soulful euphoria and the latter a dreamy, string-based slow-jam. Oppenheimer Analysis's “The Devil's Dancers” and Footprintz's “Fear Of Numbers” are synth-heavy cuts, with the latter channeling ‘80s New Wave with OMD in the verses and Depeche Mode in the choruses.
Jones contributes a few of his own tracks to the mix, including “The Lows,” which offers a preview of his forthcoming second album on Crosstown Rebels, and “Assimilation,” a track issued under the Hot Natured name and featuring Ali Love and Kenny Glasgow, a move that anticipates the release of a Hot Natured album (with Jones joined by Lee Foss, Ali Love, and Kenny Glasgow) scheduled for Jones' own Hot Creations label. The mix's “afterparty” vibe is warm, funky, and soulful, with the material armed with chunky house chords, fat bass lines, and grooving pulses. Fabric 59 is anything but one-dimensional, as Jones liberally works multiple styes into the mix—pop, funk, soul, New Wave, disco, et al.—with all of it infused with enthusiasm, personality, and imagination.
Dave Clarke's own contribution to the series is a different animal altogether. Without foresaking its allegiance to dance rhythms, his mix is an edgier affair that plunges headfirst into a futurist electro-swamp of gothic corrosion and bruising beat throb. The Brighton-born anarchist brings a raw and decadent vibe to his seventy-four-minute set, an experimental-electro-techno hybrid that blazes ferociously through seventeen tracks by electro outsiders like Scape One, Exzakt, Sync 24, Heliopause, and Dynarec. When Clarke does nod in the direction of a dance music convention, he twists it into viral shape, such as when he blackens the grinding acid of Cristiano Balducci's “Pride” into poisonous form.
The ominous industrial disturbances oozing forth from Raudive's (aka Oliver Ho) “Shiver” signify immediately that Clarke's mix will be a different kind of trip. In an aptly named “Mr. Pauli Monster Bass Guitar Remix” treatment, Crotaphytus's “Cnemidophorus Sexlineatus” gets much of its drive from the New Order-styled bass playing that powers its synthesizer-heavy pulse. The clubbier, Detroit-styled side of the recording comes through in pieces such as Kenny Larkin's remix of Marc Romboy vs. Paris The Black Fu's “Dark N Lovely,” whose drawling voiceover (“City streets … city beats … Detroit decay …”) makes the track's jacking pulse all the more enticing, and Ray 7 & Malik Alston's “I.D.F.D.F.I.,” whose “If it don't fit, don't force it” tag-line can't help but invoke the infamous line uttered by OJ's lawyer Johnnie Cochran.
Fabric 60 reaches its peak when the raucous electro-fire of Exzakt's “Clarity (Lethal Agent Remix)” rolls out four minutes of apocalyptic frenzy, though the mix's pulsating electro side also resonates powerfully in tracks by Gesaffelstein (“Aufstand”), Scape One (a slamming Dynarec overhaul of “Time Falls”), Heliopause (“Destination Planet Earth,” a seeming descendant of “Planet Rock”), and Dez Williams (“Foreign Object”) before the cool control of w1b0's “Alternate Sequence” and the sinuous slow dance of Baz Reznik's “The Attic” bring the mix back down to earth. Beyond electro, traces of Chicago house, Detroit techno, industrial, and New Wave surface during the rule-breaker's set, all of which helps make Clarke less conventional DJ than sound alchemist intent on drawing listeners into his dark bunker.