Martyn, Fabric 50


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We all know about the current state of mix CDs. Fabric, however, stands strong in the face of adversity with milestone release number 50. Fabric has cemented its position as one of the mix CD series of all time, not only for its longevity but for containing classics like editions 13 (Michael Mayer), 36 (Ricardo Villalobos) and 39 (Robert Hood), just to name a few. How the London club would celebrate release number 50 was a source of much speculation, and their choice of Martyn was both an inspired and daring one. Shaking up the rigid 4/4 that has defined pretty much every Fabric CD, Martyn’s dubstep sensibilities and love for techno breathe fresh air into a series that has struggled to maintain its cutting edge cachet.

Kicking off with Hudson Mohawke’s wonderfully weird “Joy Fantastic,” Martyn spends the first third of the CD in stepping territory. The beats come quick, with tunes like the saccharine “Lost on Tenori Street” from Maddslinky and Altered Natives’ awesome “Rass Out” providing plenty of forward propulsion until Zomby treats us to a nice bass rinse care of “Little Miss Naughty.” Ben Klock’s remix of “The Clock” provides the first hint of more straightforward techno and continues with DJ Bone’s pseudo-stepping “We Control The Beat.” Martyn’s only real misstep comes with his mix out of obvious climax “Brkln Clln” by Joy Orbison into the downtempo “Feeling You” by Cooly G. Both are good tunes in their own rights, but it just seems to kill the momentum building since the beginning.

Picking up the pieces, we soon get to Martyn’s own “Friedrichstrasse,” a killer techno-fied record that further widens the producer’s definition of his own “Martyn sound.” After an old-but-new-to-me Levon Vincent jam (“Air Raid”) we’re treated to a couple more remixes from Great Lengths in the form of Klock’s warehouse re-rub of “Is This Insanity?” and Redshape’s absolutely monster-sized revision of “Seventy Four.” Martyn lets the raid sirens blare in the mix’s victory lap with Jan Driver’s “Rat Alert” and the madness of Dorian Concept’s “Trilingual Dance Sexperience.”

After having not really felt the need to revisit a Fabric CD for some time, it pleases me to find Fabric 50 has yet to get the least bit stale after ten or so listens. Martyn’s sound is one that incorporates loads of styles, and while his Fabric mix is certainly all over the place it still maintains a unified vision. Where the Fabric series heads from here is anyone’s guess, but if more inspired choices like Martyn are to follow (as the choice of dBridge and Instra:mental to mix Fabriclive 50 suggests) fans have even more reason to eagerly await their next releases.

Daragh Byrne  on January 21, 2010 at 12:55 AM

You can stick Fabric 23 – Ivan Smagghe – on the classics list, as well as the Ewan Pearson one. I’m quite partial to the Ellen Alien and John Tejada mixes too. I love this one though, freshest one in a while!


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