Released 28th September
Available on: CD/Vinyl/Download
The anticipation couldn’t have been greater when the final instalment in London nightclub Fabric’s legendary DJ mix series was announced over the summer. Fabriclive 100 is a collaborative effort between Hyperdub label founder Kode9 and the elusive producer Burial, whose ‘Untrue’ album remains one of the finest LPs of the 2000s. Excitement for this release was built up even more with a diverse mix for BBC Radio 6 DJ Mary Anne Hobbs. But, is this well-anticipated LP a fitting end to 17 years of these iconic metal tins?
Kode9 and Burial are both known for being pioneers of dubstep but this mix has little directly to do with that idiom. This is a kaleidoscopic release encompassing a vast array of genres from jungle and grime to South African gqom. It features a healthy dose of the Chicago footwork style that Kode9 has championed via his label with artists such as RP Boo, Jlin, and the late DJ Rashad. The ominous cover of Fabriclive 100 hints at the contents contained within as there is a strong Blade Runner-style future noir vibe to the mix. Atmospheric sounds such as rain, mechanical noises, and vinyl crackle, familiar from Burial’s own productions, are sometimes used to segue between tracks. However, this is not a po-faced record as is made clear when Luke Slater’s vocoder and retro synth-driven “I Can Complete You” drops at about 12 minutes in.
Internet comments have appeared bemoaning the aforementioned use of ambient sections to transition between tracks complaining that it’s ‘not mixing’. Personally, I felt this technique gave the record a distinctive character. I very much enjoyed these two innovators taking me on a journey across 70+ minutes of forward-thinking electronic music, which is what the Fabriclive series was all about. It is a shame that this is to be the final chapter. Nevertheless, this is a great release to bow out on and the UK and global rave scenes explored in this mix will no doubt find new ways to flourish.