It's been a fine old start for 2010 for the people at Fabric. Not simply content with hitting the big five-oh in style with mix CDs from Martyn - and now Instra:mental & dBridge - they've also put out a serious early contender for unmixed compilation of the year in Elevator Music. A decent way to spoil aficionados of UK-centric bass music's ongoing evolution then.
Instra:mental & dBridge's Fabriclive 50 mix is worthy of the position it's been given in the series' history. Less a dancefloor oriented artefact than a document of the d'n'b innovations that the Autonomic crowd have been pushing over the last couple of years, it's a reminder that there are still producers of interest working in a medium that seems increasingly hackneyed. Stripping drum 'n' bass back to its bare bones, and subtracting that horrible 'emphasis on dance energy at the expense of pretty much everything else' tendency, it strikes a well-pitched balance between sit-down listenable and jump-around-your-bedroom fun (in the last twenty minutes or so, at least).
I reviewed the record in full for DiS - it's up here.
"The moment Autonomic drifts hazily from the speakers, the first thing you become aware of is just how immaculately programmed it is. Such is the careful dedication with which this mix has been put together that it’s nigh on impossible to pick apart consecutive tracks. In fact at times it’s almost possible to detect the ghostly remnants of a tune that went by three or four tracks hence – the melancholy strains of Loxy & Genotype’s ‘Farah’s Theme’ weaving into the backdrop of D-Bridge’s stunning remix of Scuba’s ‘Tense’, or the tightly interlocked trio of Instra:mental tracks that form an early highlight. Its impressive 31 track length doesn’t allow much time for any individual to take centre stage: Autonomic flows like a night out, a series of short, interconnected but often ambiguous vignettes that together constitute a formidable whole."