- Since he and Machinedrum launched Ultramajic in 2013, Jimmy Edgar's music has sharpened from loose, playful funk to incisive techno that leans on repetition more than melody. The focus on straightforward club sounds has made him a better DJ, and his label-mates have provided him with an arsenal of new tunes. That's what Fabriclive 79 is all about. A nearly comprehensive look at Edgar's current musical universe, it's made up mostly of Ultramajic releases, and outlines the borders of that sound he's created: skeletal, twitchy and brittle. In the flesh, he mixes these tracks like a madman, funnelling the repetition into an exhilarating barrage. On disc, however, it feels a little too streamlined.
Edgar's selections have a lot of space, and they tend to fit together like jigsaw pieces, smoothly trading one minimalist hook for another. It's so uniform that each small change feels massive. The airy bassline in Edgar's clever mashup of Patrice Scott's "Raw Fusion" with L-Vis 1990's "Hard Drive" is one such moment, and it works like a gust of wind thrusting the mix forward. Edgar methodically piles on the tracks from there, slowly notching up the energy before letting it plateau halfway through with "Fern Portal." After that, Fabriclive 79 settles into a casual trot that doesn't pick up until two of Kris Wadsworth Uranus tracks close the mix.
While Edgar shows off some new tracks here—among them the stellar Truncate collaboration "Submission" and the stuttering "Tik Tok"—the real star is Crystal Bandito, an "unknowable entity" according to the label (though in terms of style he might as well be an alter-ego of Edgar's). What makes the Bandito tracks stand out is how they happily recycle clichés, taking infectious vocal samples and structuring hard club bangers around them. They're so well-built—take a second to admire the bendy synths of "Work It"—that they transcend their own well-worn tropes, and the celebratory divas are a foil for the monotony of Edgar's robovoices. Every time a Crystal Bandito track comes in, Fabriclive 79 perks up, providing the most exciting peaks on a mix that otherwise stays flat and safe.
01. Terrence Dixon - The Electric
02. POL Style, Vin Sol & Matrixxman - Power Top
03. Patrice Scott - Raw Fusion + L-Vis 1990 - Hard Drive
04. Crystal Bandito - Let It All Out
05. Truncate & Jimmy Edgar - Submission
06. Jimmy Edgar - Tik Tok
07. Crystal Bandito - EEEwalk
08. Jimmy Edgar - RS2000
09. Crystal Bandito - Work It
10. Jimmy Edgar - Fern Portal
11. Jimmy Edgar feat. DJ Rashad - Walk Show
12. Crystal Bandito - Feel So Free
13. Danny Daze - Ready2Go
14. DJ Godfather & DJ Starski - Another Freaks
15. Crystal Bandito - Be With Me
16. Kris Wadsworth - Uranus 444 (Side A)
17. Jimmy Edgar - Atlantiz
18. Kris Wadsworth - Uranus 333 (Side B)