- The concept of One + One seems simple enough: take the talented James Zabiela and Nic Fanciulli, put them together and let them mix, create, rework, scratch and abuse music. A simple concept where the answer invariably should be two, but it took a night at Ministry of Sound to show me that the two separate elements do not always add up. Their music clashed at times, the edges were a bit jagged. But the partnership isn’t just a DJing one; they’ve also teamed up in the studio, which is more of an unknown quantity. Production-wise, Fanciulli seems to have a golden touch – his recent cut ‘Lucky Heather’ updated both ‘French Kiss’ and the progressive genre – but Zabiela is more of an unknown quantity (he’s been hit and miss: the robot voices in ‘Robophobia’ were especially out of place and irritating).
Back to the dancefloor at Ministry, where towards the end of the night the delightfully smooth strings and floating melodies of ‘No Pressure’ put the confusion and directionless of the rest of the night into perspective. It combines James’ raw gritty side with popping digital effects and Nic’s traditional ear with some beautifully crafted string patterns. It’s a great production: it has direction, it has emotion, and it is the result of James and Nic hitting the same wavelengths in the studio. ‘Rover’, however, isn’t in the same league. There’s some nice frog like croak effects here, a low-end booty shaking bass there, but much like a book that builds to a dud ending, it leaves you wanting.
So the jury is still out on James and Nic as a DJ pairing, and as a production duo too, but the quality of ‘No Pressure’ proves the concept of One + One has merit. If ‘No Pressure’ is the evidence, there is no reason why adding one and one shouldn’t regularly double the outcome.
A No Pressure