- Though many know Erol Alkan as the crossover DJ from Trash and Bugged Out!, famous for blurring the lines between indie and dance music in the mid-'00s, he's also the man behind Phantasy Sound, the label responsible for introducing the world to Daniel Avery. Thanks in part to his protégé's success, it feels like we've been reintroduced to Alkan over the past two years—after all, it was only in 2013 that he released his first solo EP. Now we get a long-overdue Fabriclive mix to remind us what a distinct selector he is. For better or worse, not much on Fabriclive 77 could be considered trendy or particularly cool. Instead, it just sounds like Alkan—eminently accessible, sometimes dated, and without a hair out of place.
The first half of Fabriclive 77 is about as Erol Alkan as it gets. Spiky, electro-tinged beats from the likes of Cowboy Rhythmbox and The Emperor Machine bob by inoffensively before the mix takes a turn with Phreak's "Acid On," an obscure Uwe Schmidt track taken from a 2004 compilation. Alkan's new tune, "Sub Conscious," shines in the middle of the set, especially with its pillowy breakdown—but then we're thrust back into the thick of it with bangers like Andre Bratten's "Trommer Og Bass" and Boot & Tax's "Acido." Building up then breaking down methodically, these tracks are pleasing but boilerplate, and mixed without flair. Overall, the first half of the mix rarely rises above average.
That makes the closing run all the more jaw-dropping. Alkan strings together Voiski, Claro Intelecto, Ghost Culture and Daywalker + CF into one long and incredible run that feels like an ascent to the heavens, dipping in and out of floaty synth passages. Here, with these more spacious tunes, his mixing style flourishes. Finishing off with a mashup of his own "A Hold On Love" and Saint Etienne's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," the mix ends on a high note that captures Alkan's enduring crossover appeal in one perfect blend. Even if it isn't the most exciting Fabriclive in recent memory, it has enough high points to make it all worthwhile.
01. Maurice & Charles - Sofa Love (Jamie Paton Remix)
02. Cowboy Rhythmbox - We Got The Box
03. Carisma - Talento Matemático
04. The Emperor Machine - RMI Is All I Want (Erol Alkan's Extended Rework)
05. Manfredas - Square Lights (Zongamin Remix Take 2)
06. Phreak - Acid On
07. Erol Alkan - Sub Conscious
08. Andre Bratten - Trommer og Bass
09. Tom Rowlands - Through Me
10. Fumes - Jack2000
11. Victor Shan - How You Want It (Shan's Warehouse Version)
12. Boot & Tax - Acido
13. Erol Alkan - Bang
14. Ben Jenkins - K3M
15. Todd Osborn - Put Your Weight On It (Chicago Mix)
16. Voiski - From White To Red
17. Claro Intelecto - Tone
18. Ghost Culture - Red Smoke
19. Daywalker + CF - Supersonic Transport
20. Erol Alkan - A Hold On Love + Saint Etienne - Only Love Can Break Your Heart