- Even if you knew zilch about Gerd Janson before listening to his fabric mix, you could figure a lot out after one spin. He enjoys sonorous, dopamine-releasing chord progressions, as well as tough, loopy tracks. He's well-versed in dance music from days gone by, with vestiges of '70s New York and '80s Chicago popping up periodically. He loves 303s, pianos and percolating synths, and appreciates rhythms that thwack as much as those that flow. He's also not afraid of a little darkness, though he tends to maintain an optimistic vibe.
These proclivities have been clear in Janson's DJ sets for years. What's striking is how the Running Back boss indulges all of them over fabric 89's 16 tracks, and that he does so in a way that makes perfect sense.
You won't get all that from the opening passage, though. Luke Abbott's bell-filled remix of Todd Terje's "Snooze 4 Love," John Talabot's haunting "Voices" and Traumprinz's melancholy "Love Is" are all effective, even beautiful on their own, but there's a flatness to that stretch. A subdued moodiness runs through the tracks, starting the mix in a somewhat linear fashion. The fun arrives with Shan's "The City Never Sleeps," with its classic house bassline and a wailing, Peech Boys-style vocal sample. From there, Janson rifles through an array sounds and moods. Glenn Underground's mix of "Mess Of Afros" by Q-Burns Abstract Message blends jazz and joy in equal measure. Inner Sense's "MoTP" is a loving, piano-banging ode to Terrence Parker. Joe Claussell's Afro-Latin "Rhythm" weds hi-hat hiss and conga fury. "Maruader," from Australian artist HMC, blends EBM and warehouse techno.
Once things get moving, there's very little repetition in style. The nervous acid of Boddika & Joy Orbison's "Severed Seven" segues smoothly into the Kraftwerkian synth run of Mateo Murphy's "Apex." That song's ecstatic chords glide easily into the tom-heavy jack of Catz 'N Dogz' edit of Geeeman's "Wanna Go Bang."
That fluidity is at least partially because of Janson's way with transitions: he knows when to ride the mix or go for a quick cut. But it's mostly thanks to his selections that the pivots work—he simply knows which tracks will complement each other. Maybe he could have stepped out of his comfort zone a bit more, but fabric 89 is still clear evidence that Janson is one of the best house DJs out there today.
01. Todd Terje - Snooze 4 Love (Luke Abbott Remix)
02. John Talabot - Voices (fabric Edit)
03. Traumprinz - Love Yeah
04. Shan - The City Never Sleeps
05. Boddika & Joy Orbison - Severed Seven
06. Mateo Murphy - Apex
07. Geeeman - Wanna Go Bang (Catz 'N Dogz Edit)
08. Q-Burns Abstract Message - Mess Of Afros (Glenn Underground Remix)
09. Inner Sense - MoTP
10. Mike Ash - Return To Acid
11. Nick Höppner - Relate (The Black Madonna Remix)
12. HMC - Marauder
13. Joe Claussell - Rhythm
14. Roger Van Lunteren - Hills, I Want You
15. Scott Grooves - Finished
16. Caribou - Sun (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)