- Shocker of the year: Radio Slave's turn at the Fabric helm is great. Sorry to anyone betting the long odds that it might end up otherwise. Radio Slave on Fabric is such a fitting match, it's basically the Reese's Pieces of club mixes. Like a number of previous Fabric mixers, it seems like Matt Edwards had it in his mind to pay a bit of tribute to the London landmark, and the Radio Slave sound, a kind of deep rolling boil that manages to sound locked in place yet flush with movement at the same time, would seem to have an ideal home in the fine-tuned space cave that is Fabric Room One.
As for what awaits you here, I hope you like tribal beats, because you're headed for a jungle plunge. The result is a stream of dense, percolating tracks, upbeat and impassioned, brimming with insistent conga flutter and bursts of Latin-folk singing. An abundance of nimble, complex rhythms provides fertile ground for floating samples, like the tantalizing ribbons of piano on Michel Cleis' remix of Spencer Parker. It's one of three times Cleis shows up here—he opens the set with another equally distinctive remix, and appears towards the close with "La Mezcla," which you've no doubt heard dropped by basically everyone since the Winter Music Conference.
Such a selection might elicit a groan from those whose ardent love for dance music invites an obsessive relation to novelty. More than other genres, dance music accentuates the unique joy of getting lost in a tune you've never heard before, and this can make the prospect of hearing "Mezcla" again a tad unexciting. But what would a rainforest house 2009 mix be without it? While the tune may feel a bit worn now, its presence here along with a few other tried-and-true bangers paradoxically ensures the mix a longer shelf-life—imagine how good it will still sound three years from now.
Rest assured, though, there are still a number of fresh revelations to be found here, including an unreleased RS gem "I Don't Need a Cure for This," and the recent Rekids addition Nina Kraviz, whose seductively deadpan vocals on "Pain In My Ass" are a mix standout. More tunes culled from RS's own catalog further flesh out the sense of Amazonian adventure: See the "Rekids tribal remix" of "My Time" by Dance Disorder, which barrels like a freight train through an underbrush, haunting vocals hanging like flashes of sunlight through the canopy, and Steve Lawler's mix of "Koma Koma," a welcome kin to the "La Mezcla" template. All of these contribute to a well-executed expression of the Radio Slave/Rekids sound in 2009, vividly evoking a style in a particular moment in time, but without coming across as overtly topical. It's a mix for right now, but also, it seems, easily capable of withstanding obsolescence even if rainforest house doesn't make it to 2010—odds are you'll be playing this one long after other Fabric installments have passed their expiration date.
01. Baeka - Right At It (Michel Cleis Deeper Remix)
02. Radio Slave - DDB // Cabin Fever
03. Radio Slave - I Don’t Need A Cure For This
04. Dance Disorder - My Time (Radio Slave’s Rekids Tribe Remix)
05. Brothers’ Vibe - Platter Sugar
06. Spencer Parker - The Beginning (Michel Cleis Remix)
07. Nina Kraviz - Pain In The Ass
08. DJ Boola - Balada Redo // Cabin Fever
09. Radio Slave - Koma Koma (Steve Lawler Remix)
10. Spencer Parker - My Heart (Daniel Sanchez Easy Noise Remix)
11. Michel Cleis ft. Totó La Momposina - La Mezcla
12. 2000 & One - Wan Poku Moro
13. Nate William’s Club Patrol 'Maximum Overload' (Roy’s Death Wish Mix)