- There are two types of DJs: the prospective ones and the retrospective ones. The prospective DJs are all about making the listeners discover obscure tracks. Think of Ivan Smagghe as the prototype: they have impeccable tastes, although you’d have a hard time finding the tunes they play on your own or even be able to hear them ever again. On top of that, the day a song is officially released is the day the prospective DJs stop playing it. The retrospective DJs, on the other hand, make a career out of giving the public what it wants: they usually go for the huge head-bangers and well-known tracks, are definite partiers and sure crowd pleasers. They still love ‘Rocker’ and ‘Washing Up’ to death. They are probably linked somehow to Skint Records. In other words, this is where the underground goes to die. Indie disco Aussies Cut Copy, although they would love to be the former, unfortunately ends up, on their first ever mixed compilation, sounding more like the latter.
I actually love the track selection on ‘FabricLive 29’: the mix is very “now” in the way it doesn’t make any distinction between indie rockers (Ciccone Youth), arty popstars (Roxy Music), disco punks (NY Pony Club, Munk, Who Made Who, The Faint) and house luminaries (Daft Punk, Fred Falke). Cut Copy are the ultimate self-proclaimed “into the 90’s and beyond” band, and if you liked their first album (‘Bright Like Neon Light’, released on Modular about two years ago), then you have all the ingredients it was made from: they’re not hiding any influences, it’s all here. They’re definitely wearing their dancing shoes on their sleeves. And if you saw them live, you obviously know they know their way in a club.
Unfortunately, the mix also feels like arriving too late at the party, since some of its most shit-hot tracks all previously appeared on other DJ mixes. BHW’s Italo semi-hit ‘Stop’ and Severed Heads’ spooky ‘Dead Eyes Opened’, for example, were already rejuvenated on some Smagghe-championed compilations more than two years ago, while Daniel Diamond’s bouncy ‘Champu’ and Tiga’s remix of Soulwax’s ‘E-Talking’ have already been, well, everywhere. You do feel Cut Copy want you to be impressed, but anyone who has been following recent developments in house music and who is remotely aware of the main DJ mix series available out there probably won’t be that much.
But at the same time, I personally didn’t know Daft Punk’s ‘Face to Face’. What seems to be a pretty rare single from 2002 is stuck between a Super Discount remix and a MSTRKRFT tune: it reminds you of how Daft Punk will always be relevant, how perfect they are at doing cheesy gay pop, and how their influence is still feel up to this day. See, sometimes, some things are worth being retrospective about.