Matt Tolfrey - fabric 81

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  • Matt Tolfrey seems to have a strong sense of loyalty. As owner of the Leftroom label, he gave artists like Laura Jones and Sub-ann some of their first breaks, and still supports them today. Despite leaving Nottingham for London years ago, he continued to throw parties in the city where he first made his name in the '00s as a resident at The Bomb and Stealth. And rather than turning up at any club in the capital that would have him, Tolfrey pretty much restricts his London gigs to appearances at fabric, where he's been a regular since Craig Richards first spotted him in 2004. Tolfrey's stayed pretty faithful to his DJ style, too. By and large, he's now playing a chunkier form of house rather than the minimal techno that was once his forte, but fabric 81 still bears that genre's mark, especially in Tolfrey's technique: he swerves around any obvious breakdowns and carefully deploys his basslines rather than slamming them out. This is a set of pleasurable purring rather than orgasmic screaming—from the coquettish come-on "I have some feelings I'd like to share with you" on Rednail Kidz's "Do My Thing" through to the blend from Pure Science's "It's Magic" into Cassy's "Idle Blues," where her voice is draped across otherwise mechanistic tech house. Tolfrey pulls a decent selection of old school house out of his bag as well, nodding to his Nottingham roots with Nail's "I Think It's Love" and the DIY remix of Someone Else's "Jena Jaz." The final payoff, in the form of Soichi Terada's "Tokyo XXX," should send your endorphins bouncing. But while fabric 81 shows the best aspects of both minimal and house, it also has some of their worst. There are sections that dawdle along when you wish they'd step up a bit, and the mix is not without a few nondescript fillers, like Phil Weeks' "Social Club." The fabric series has been a bit hit-and-miss for a while now, and while Tolfrey's contribution is much more the former, it still falls well short of must-have editions like Martyn's or Levon Vincent's. But even if it never completely blows you away, fabric 81 shows Tolfrey could do worse than stick to his guns.
  • Tracklist
      01. Rednail Kidz - Do My Thing 02. Dan Beaumont - The Bath House 03. Gideon Bouwens - Life Stories (Part 3.2) 04. Genius Of Time - Tom Jam 05. Aaron Carl - My House (Doc Martin & Eddie Amador Wax Dub) 06. Skat - Nightlife (Kenny Hawkes & David Parr Remix) 07. Bell - File One 08. Nail - I Think It's Love 09. Someone Else - Jena Jazz (DIY Remix) 10. Jon Convex - Zero 11. Dott Farm - Gettin' Bullied 12. Jozif - A Million To One (Kerb Staller Edit) 13. Phil Weeks - Social Club 14. Gregorythme - (R)evolution 15. Pure Science - It's Magic 16. Cassy - Idle Blues 17. Hector - A Clown Called Snapper 18. 2nd Shift - Somethin' Else (This Year's Peasant Look) (feat. Heather) 19. Marschmellows - 2 8 3 4 (Richard Wolfsdorf Remix) 20. Minimal Man - Treatment Feel (Soul Capsule vs Tan Ru Mix) 21. Sam Russo - Your Call 22. Matt Tolfrey - Lost In Space 23. Kevin Yost - Istanbul 2 24. Soichi Terada - Tokyo XXX 25. Lansdowne - Question Time