Various Artists ‘FABRICLIVE.73 – Pangaea’

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Title: FABRICLIVE.73 - Pangaea
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Sporting both heavyweight kick drums and a tangible assuredness, the only Hessle Audio boss not to contribute to the ongoing chapters in Fabric’s mix album book sets the record straight. After stand out editions from label comrades Ben UFO and Ramadanman it seemed as though the crew’s third effort was always going to be pretty good, though we didn’t expect to be saying thing like ‘best of all three’.

Which is probably unfair, given Pangaea’s well established reputation for delivering the goods in DJ sets. Starting as he means (and does) go on, there’s a fractured four four feel to almost everything that follows opener Recreational Slumming (from Pangaea himself), wherein funk is dished out with sledgehammers and reference points are equal parts Detroit, UK rave and dubstep, to name but a few. The kind of sound Plain & Simple label favourite Icee Hot offers a light-hearted (or at least fun) version of pervades throughout, meanwhile at certain points we’re not too far from Robert Hood-esque business either (Bodega V2 from Truncate, for example).

In fact, classical, stripped and decidedly futurist techno becomes something of a constant once the mix, which is pretty much a club set through and through, finds its gear proper. Speedy J’s timeless Something For Your Mind, and Oscar Mulero’s 46 being just two examples (the latter being a mere seven years old but nevertheless more traditionally structured than, say, the thundering off-beats present in Arcade from Psyk). Not that new school names don’t play a significant part too, hence the overwhelmingly fresh feel to the whole experience, providing further evidence that the most fertile and exciting end of the production game right now cares little for genre blueprints, other than keeping things dark, sweaty and decidedly solid- even if there is always space for ethereality (as exemplified by Mumdance and MAO’s Truth, with its lunge from soaring strings to staccato emptiness). Still, techno is the easiest label to apply, and it continues to fit, so let’s stick with that. Definitely one for the pile marked ‘quality’ then, along with Ben Sims’ recent excursion it also stands amongst the best Fabric discs we’ve heard in some time.