- Maya Jane Coles didn't have to change her sound to hit the big time. The big time came to her. Coles' productions, built around sleek drums and attractive melodies, have always had a pop appeal. She's a killer DJ, too, as she proved with 2012's DJ-Kicks. Her personality used to bleed through everything she touched, but that's been less true as of late. Her debut album, Comfort, relied too heavily on guest vocalists, and now her fabric mix is similarly middling. Lacking any tricky detours or standout moments, fabric 75 is a careful tech house mix that's just a bit too prim and proper.
When Coles is at her best, you always know it's her playing. She has a keen curatorial sense that makes her sets more than just records mixed together, picking out tracks that fit perfectly with her own late-night grooves. But there's something missing here. The lone Coles original, "Premonition," is the kind of blandly functional cut that might be the digital-only bonus on an EP. Even her on-point selections don't carry the oomph that they should. Strong tunes like Dixon's remix of Mathew Jonson's "Level 7," Ripperton's rework of Baikal or Dense & Pika's version of "Erotic Discourse" are all highlights in themselves, but they're mixed without aplomb, listlessly fading in and out to make way for one another. In the right hands "Erotic Discourse" is explosive—here it feels almost mundane.
The main problem with this mix is not that it's bad, because it isn't. It's just that it's so glossy and even-keeled that Coles feels completely absent, like she set her CDJs to autopilot. The moody closing number, Fran Von Vie's hummable "Lonely Nights," best demonstrates fabric 75's flaws. The rippling groove is a dead ringer for one of Coles's own tracks, as if the record were a stand-in for a real Maya Jane Coles production. It's a strange and complacent way to end the mix. Coles says she holds fabric in the highest possible regard, but with fabric 75 she's given them an effort that's passable at best.
01. Trus'me - Somebody
02. Ksky - Madness (Volta Cab Remix - Maya Jane Coles Edit)
03. Dapayk & Padberg - Close Up (Exercise One Remix)
04. Mathew Jonson - Level 7 (Dixon Remix)
05. Heiko Laux & Alexander Lukat - Lucho Part 2
06. DJ Yellow & Flowers And Sea Creatures - No One Gets Left Behind
07. Konstantin Siboid - Romin
08. Maya Jane Coles - Premonition
09. Baikal - Why Don't Ya? (Ripperton Remix)
10. Paul Woolford - Erotic Discourse (Dense & Pika Remix)
11. Paride Saraceni - Dissolute
12. Negru - Concubinaj
13. Shall Ocin - Forgive Me (Edu Imbernon Remix)
14. Yenk - Bassment
15. Chesus feat. Kofi Tarris - Monster
16. NT89 - Purple Garden
17. Fran Von Vie feat. Cio May - Lonely Nights