Surgeon - Fabric 53

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  • There is a tracklisting to Surgeon's mix for the fabric mix series, but it's often more Cliffs Notes than anything else. By the fourth minute or so of fabric 53, I'd venture to guess that there are at least three different tracks playing at once. Maybe even more. The Birmingham techno pioneer has pushed the art of digital DJing further than almost anyone, cutting and piecing together tracks into a larger whole so expertly that you hardly think about the parts. Some DJs use laptops to spin records, Surgeon uses a laptop to transform them. What makes Surgeon great, however, isn't that he piles tracks upon tracks. Any digital DJ these days can easily do the same. It's that he's a natural-born storyteller. A master of suspense. Someone who knows when more exposition is needed. Someone who knows when the rug needs to get pulled away completely. Right when you're getting overwhelmed in that opening crush, he clicks the mouse to bring in Robert Hood's "Superman" and clears the deck of almost everything else. Guess how well Mark Broom & James Ruskin's "Hostage" and Stephen Brown's "Stress Free" work in tandem with one another solely by their evocative track titles. Genre-wise, fabric 53 is the dark to fabric 50's light. Whereas Dutch dubstepper Martyn explored the intersection of four-four and breakbeat records at or near 130 BPM with a deft touch, Surgeon comes at it from the opposite side, ready to pummel from the off. As someone who once recorded as one-half of a group called British Murder Boys, this is to be expected. Surgeon is into going faster. That said, the Slugabed remix of Starkey's "Stars" feels like a weird inclusion until Anneka's ethereal vocals gets twisted, tortured and eventually subsumed by Luke Slater's remix of Cari Lekebusch. It's hard to say it's an odd inclusion exactly. The only thing boring to Surgeon, most likely, would be to follow the expected route and keep vocals out of the mix entirely. But it does take you slightly out of the intense pocket that Surgeon has crafted for the previous hour or so. Then again, the two epic techno tunes from Russ Gabriel and DJ Overdose that eventually close things in stirring fashion, aren't all that "Surgeon" either, until you realize that maybe his mastery of digital DJing has made Surgeon more "Surgeon"—literally and figuratively—than he ever has been before.
  • Tracklist
      01. Location recording from Kuramae Subway Station, Tokyo, Japan 02. Scuba - Glance 03. Surgeon - Bad Hands (Drums Only) 04. Marco Bernardi - Giro (Exium Remix) 05. Instra:mental - Forbidden 06. Forward Strategy Group - Applied Generics A 07. Reeko - Agile Movement 08. Surgeon - Bad Hands Part 2 (Drums Only) 09. Robert Hood - Superman 10. Planetary Assault Systems - X Speaks To X (Al Tourettes & Appleblim Remix) 11. Ritzi Lee - Black Star Ritual (Ben Sims Remix) 12. T-Polar - Crab People 13. Ital Tek - Spectrum Falls 14. Surgeon - Klonk Part 1 (Drums Only) 15. Subeena - Picture 16. Fran Hartnett - It Was Written In Vapour 17. Mark Broom & James Ruskin - Hostage 18. Stephen Brown - Stress Free 19. Ancient Methods - AM04B1 20. Surgeon - Compliance Momentum 21. Greena - Tenzado 22. Starkey - Spacecraft 23. Starkey feat. Anneka - Stars (Slugabed Did A Remix) 24. Cari Lekebusch - Spindizzy (Luke Slater's L.B. Dub Corp Remix) 25. Surgeon - The Crawling Frog Is Torn and Smiles 26. Orphx - Threshold (Substance Remix) 27. Gatekeeper - Blip 28. Mark Broom & James Ruskin - No Time Soon 29. Russ Gabriel - El Juan 30. DJ Overdose - What