Ben Klock, Fabric 66

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As with his Berghain 04 mix, Fabric 66 frames Ben Klock within a relatively unfamiliar context. A DJ famed for his extended sets, Klock’s club output relies heavily on the absence of temporal restriction, using deep, hypnotic repetition to forge his connection with the crowd. A CD, however, is not a dance floor. Squeezing 24 tracks into 73 minutes (as many as on Fabriclive 64 by Oneman, a DJ known for his party-led, quickfire transitions), Klock instead opts to use the medium’s digital confines as a means of simply showcasing some of the rarer, dustier, and in some cases unreleased records in his extensive collection. Long on content but short on time, one gets the impression Ben Klock has a lot he wants to convey with Fabric 66, and that’s before you’ve even pressed play.

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Opener, “Ratio 1,” by Truncate kicks things off with a sense of mellow urgency, the deep drone of the bass and immediate 130-BPM pace voiding any suggestion of introductory waffle. By the time the lively claps of DJ Bone’s “Gemini” enter the foray, followed shortly after by the mix’s first wonderfully dynamic, slinky synth line, Fabric 66 is officially up and running. Thick, full-bodied techno cuts courtesy of Trevino and Technasia edge the energy levels up, diligently tempered by the classic, melodic thrust of DVS1. Within the Klock context, this is him still warming up. However, as the mesmeric acid swirls of K-Hand’s “Starz” give way to the pumping, stony-faced sobriety of Klock and Nina Kraviz’s interpretation of Octave One, the listener all of a sudden finds herself nodding to the beat of full-on, militant Klock.

Not for long though. With one eye on the time, Ben weaves his way quickly and craftily through several slices of more sombre, headstrong techno before moving onto more accessible fare. The varied, undulating pulsations of Sagat’s “Few Mysteries Solves in a Year of Contact” ease effortlessly into the gruff, industrial warmth of Head High’s remix of Power House newcomer Sigg Gonzalez, culminating in the sudden outburst of sharp, penetrating stabs and eerie, childish laughter of Robert Hood alias Floorplan. Slowly but surely, Klock cranks up the intensity.

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Klock’s edits of well-worn classics from the likes of Burial and Josh Wink keep energy levels at a heady peak, the latter’s cacophony of 90s rave breaks and feral acid tweaks proving to be one of the highlights of the mix. As the CD inches its way to a seemingly apocalyptic crescendo, Klock uses the seeping, metallic hiss of Planetary Assault Systems and the big-room, synth mania of Steve Rachmad to ensure a gratifying climax. While the listener now lies half-strewn, exhausted across his or her living room, Klock still has records to play. Primed using Staffan Linzatti’s soft, soothing melodic loops, Klock brings Floorplan back into the mix, this time employing his own edit of “Never Grow Old,” a beautiful, balmy house number, complete with rich, subdued pianos and sensuous female vocals. In a haystack of techno, this single needle of deep house adds another dimension to the mix and importantly conveys just what separates Klock from his hard-line contemporaries: an underlying and undeniable love of old house. Seeing out the mix with some electrifying and cleansing beatless soundscapes from sonic visionary Alva Noto, Fabric 66 provides Klock fans with a unique, concise window into the mind, and the bottomless crates, of one of the scene’s most thoughtful artists.

Fan  on November 9, 2012 at 9:10 AM
Derek Miller  on November 9, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I always adore your art choices, Steve.

adi  on November 12, 2012 at 11:09 AM

i dont “get” klock, for some reasons.
I consider him widely overrated, of course this is a VERY personal opinion.

absolutemoron  on November 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Thanks for this review. I love that you’ve used one of my favourite images of Buzludzha Monument. Sorry if I’m revealing your sources, but the further images and story are too interesting to keep private: http://humanplanet.com/timothyallen/2012/02/buzludzha-buzludja-bulgaria

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