- Eric Estornel's fabric mix debut bears the name of his big-room, Ibiza-friendly alias, but it reflects the music he's made under various guises—including Maetrik and Mariel Ito—over the last 20 years. Coming on the heels of the latter alias's revival this year, fabric 98 feels like a reevaluation of what Maceo Plex represents. The mix digs all the way back to the late '90s for old favourites and gathers up new tracks from young producers that are deeper and weirder than you might expect. It should surprise anyone who associates Estornel only with cavernous rooms and festival stages.
fabric 98 is seamlessly mixed but never sterile, moving easily between techno, electro and Maceo Plex-style house tracks. It starts majestically. The symphonic electro of Perestroika's "Searchlight" gives way to Peter Benisch's gentle "Sabine's Song," a Swedish IDM cut from 2002, which morphs into the tough techno hybridism of Pinch's "Walking With Shadows." In the space of three tracks, Estornel segues neatly across several decades and styles. (The way he layers the tracks from Sebastopol and Jensen Interceptor, teasing various elements in and out, is equally impressive.)
From there, Estornel digs deep into his record collection. There's a Joel Mull track from 1997 with an explosive bassline. A mid-'90s tune from the Texas breaks group Paradigm Shift has a low-slung bounce that adds a stomping rhythm to the mix's early section. That's eventually layered underneath a plaintive edit of Iron Curtain's new wave jam "The Condos," the mix's most uplifting moment. There's an appearance from a little-known Wolfgang Voigt project, Vinyl Countdown, which introduces vintage Detroit techno strings and a funky bassline. It later melts into a gorgeously textured highlight from another obscure alias, Dold, whose track was taken from a digital-only EP released last year.
fabric 98's older selections also catch the ear. An unreleased cut by Fiberroot—it sounds like an Estornel track—paints big, sludgy chords over ticking electro rhythms. Brame & Hamo's "Space Dub" tempers tough techno with an affecting vocal sample. The elegiac closing section that follows climaxes with an epic trance throwback from Voiski. These tracks' decadent melodies would soar in main stage sets, but the rhythms are far more dynamic. They're contrasted by two less convincing "fabric dubs" of Maceo Plex tracks, in which throbbing big-room basslines and vocals are drowned in thick reverb and atmospherics.
fabric 98 seems like an attempt to remind people of Estornel's roots. The mix hinges on tracks with a deeper sound than what he's been known for lately, and its electro introduction—in addition to a new Mariel Ito track—places him in the midst of a trendy revival. But he already has the cred: Estornel was making IDM-influenced electro as far back as the mid-2000s. fabric 98, then, feels honest rather than opportunistic, infusing the syncopated funk of electro and out-there, atmospheric techno with the more polished sounds he's become famous for as Maetrik and Maceo Plex. It's a style where underground meets big room, adding new shades of depth to the crowdpleasing sound that has helped make him one of the world's biggest DJs.
01. Perestroika - Searchlight
02. Peter Benisch - Sabine's Song
03. Pinch - Walking With Shadows
04. Sebastopol / Jensen Interceptor - Manethon / Haze feat. Skee Mask
05. Carl Finlow - Veiled
06. Mariel Ito - Xten
07. Fiberroot / Northlake - Trindello / Ditch Drive
08. Iron Curtain - Condos (Maceo Plex Edit)
09. Paradigm Shift - Requisition
10. Maceo Plex - Mutant Magic (fabric Dub)
11. Versalife - Portamento Quints
12. Maceo Plex - Mutant Quasar (fabric Dub)
13. Brame & Hamo - Space Dub
14. Architecural - Movement
15. Maceo Plex - Mutant Radio
16. Jon Hester - Corridors
17. Joel Mull - Backoldman
18. D-Vince - Resource 1
19. Vinyl Countdown - Ride
20. Dold / Orbe - Revolution / Focus
21. Voiski - Megatrance 2
22. Hiver - Zwicky