Ben UFO - Fabriclive 67

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  • It's hard to review Fabriclive 67—Ben Thomson's latest commercial attempt to "contextualise music for people at a time where information is spread pretty chaotically"—without referencing his Rinse:16 mix. 67 is certainly darker, perhaps narrower in its focus. Moments of joyful release are few. It doesn't conclude as boldly as its predecessor did, with a blast of ungodly noise from Andrew Coltrane and How To Dress Well. Instead, the tone here is that of funky dread, night terrors, merciless mechanised brutality. With Ben UFO, it's all a matter of degrees. If 67 has a more coherent thrust than some of his other mixes, it still goes to places that most DJs would never think of, much less navigate so successfully. Thomson is authoritative, and very intimate with his source material. He understands it. Early on, we move, if not seamlessly then deftly from a typically distorted barrage on L.I.E.S to the bongos 'n' bleeps of Tim "Love" Lee's "The Tortoise." Later, in a passage where time seems to stop for a moment of reverie, "Mukuba Special," Shackleton's African hi-life throwdown with the Kasai Allstars, laps back and forth like water into Mr Finger's "I'm Strong" and then into the acidic grooves of the meditative "Zug Island." Elsewhere, though, Thomson goes hard. There was a lot of talk last year about how the leading lights of bass music were "going techno." But Ben UFO is doing much more than that. He is forging an essentially UK hybrid which, even at its most steely, is not techno in the sense of steady forward momentum and patient evolution. The UFO sound is far more Brixton than Berghain, with a non-stop sensory assault of subby, slithering garage basslines, snatched R&B vocals, grimy electronics, juddering rave-continuum riffs, and beats that are forever busting with fresh counterpoints and bumpy fills. Rhythmically, Ben UFO is giddy, ebullient even. Which is why, even at his most corrosive, he is not just a very smart "crate-digger," but also a phenomenal party starter.
  • Tracklist
      01. Mix Mup - Dub 02. Delroy Edwards - Feelings 03. Pev & Kowton - Raw Code 04. Tim 'Love' Lee - The Tortoise (Sex Tags Mania NYC Mix) 05. Elgato - Zone 06. Gesloten Cirkel - Twisted Balloon 07. Chicago Skyway - It's OK 08. K Hand - Project 5 (Untitled B1) 09. Fluxion - Pendoulous 10. Minimal Man - Consexual 11. Jam City - Club Thanz 12. Herbert - Take Me Back 13. Lowtec - Looser 14. Pearson Sound - Clutch 15. Mr. Fingers - I'm Strong (Instrumental) 16. Shackleton vs Kasai Allstars - Mukuba Special 17. Kyle Hall and Kero - Zug Island 18. Circuit Breaker - Ping 19. Osborne - Bout Ready to Jak (Shake Remix) 20. Juniper - Jovian Planet 21. A Made Up Sound - Malfunction (Despair) 22. Grain - Untitled 23. Bandshell - Perc 24. Blawan - And Both His Sons 25. Pangaea - Release 26. Joe - Studio Power On 27. Floating Points - Danger (Locked Groove) 28. Grown Folk x Main Attrakionz - I.C.E. (Kuedo Remix)