Claude VonStroke - Fabric 46

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  • If further evidence were needed of Europe's love affair with Stateside house, it's Fabric's continued run of CD releases given over to American DJs. Coming after Metro Area, John Tejada and Omar-S, and before 47's Jay Haze, you'd be hard pressed to find any common thread here aside geography, and VonStroke's jam-packed set is as jumbled as any—at least on paper. With 22 tracks, and many more doubling-up, there's a lot of activity here, but Crenshaw keeps a tight leash, creating a coherent, compelling narrative from what frequently threatens to bubble over into a frothy mess. This jigsaw method is achieved digitally, Hawtin-style: "Everything is really tailored; the tracks aren't really the tracks, it is all cut up, chopped and twisted." It's the antithesis to Omar-S's seemingly on-the-fly all-vinyl session. But while VonStroke's layered, maximalist approach may not find favour with purists, the result is so cleverly crafted, so moving and groovy, that it's difficult not to enjoy. The emphasis here is on bumping tech-house ala VonStroke's labels, laden with hip-swinging lows and warped sweeping mids, Crenshaw's nudge-wink sense of fun(k) joining the dots. This is clear from the off, a few chuckles breaking the ice before Ekkohaus barge in, a medley of "Cry Baby" and "The Healer" blending sax riff, vocal bites and bass bounce, a perfect lead-in to VonStroke’s own classy Bootsy rework "Yabadabadooza." The Playhouse cowbells of Holger Zilske's "Mes Yeux" fit beautifully, and a few bumps and kinks away so does Stimming, the tribal oompah "After Eight" effortlessly joyous, all two minutes of it. But VonStroke is careful, breaking up these hectic pile-ups, Voodeux's stunning "Just a Spoonful" bringing space and linearity when most needed. (Following with Italoboyz's gleeful gimmick "Bla Bla Bla" is equally just right.) This delicate balance—between frenetic hyperactivity and measured depth, menacing gloom and jaunty skip—is gripping, particularly when VonStroke nearly blows it. By the time we reach Clara Moto's "Silently" the mood is frantic—vocalist Mimu madly babbling, Dinamoe's "Maceo" crashing away on top—and when all goes tilt, it's just the breather we need. The road home is similarly well-pitched: Studio Eins minimal from Donk Boys, Robag Wruhme's kitsch piano house and more Stimming before VonStroke's own curtain call, twinkling Detroit house cut "Aundy." It's an exhausting sugar-fuelled dodgem ride, but incredibly well-handled, and a delight from start to finish.
  • Tracklist
      01. Ekkohaus feat. R. Wurz – Cry Baby / Ekkohaus feat. Mensa – The Healer 02. Claude VonStroke & Bootsy Collins - Yabadabadooza 03. Rob Van Valen – Trampen 04. Holger Zilske – Mes Yeux 05. Detroit Grand Puhbas - Big Onion (Joakim Remix) / Roman Salanger - Galaxius 06. DJ Deeon – Shake It / Isomer Transitions - Downtime in the Hangar 07. Stimming - After Eight 08. Peter Lauer - Free Entry for Girls (Robag Whrume's Drikkibass Remix) 09. Voodeux - Just A Spoonful 10. Italoboyz – Bla Bla Bla 11. Varoslav feat DOP. - Inside Ways (Boris Werner. Remix) 12. Kiki – Immortal (Instrumental Dub) 13. Xpansul & Daweed - Pilsnerd / Marc Houle – Dirty Dirty 14. Dinamoe – Maceo / Clara Moto feat. Mimu – Silently 15. James Braun - Symphonia 16. Donk Boys – One Tooth Missing 17. Robag Whrume - Guppipepitsche 18. ICS – Espagnol 19. Markus Schatz - Running / Catz N' Dogz – SF 20. Marc Miroir - Kraft 21. Stimming - One Weekend 22. Claude VonStroke – Aundy