Tony Humphries

Fabric 04

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The fourth in a series of mixes inspired by the rangy East London club provides an opportunity (always welcome) for seminal garage DJ Tony Humphries to prove that his mellow, celebratory style of house music is one of the most natural-sounding fusions of dance and R&B. Though the "Drafted By:" credits and the fact that this isn't slotted in the FabricLive series means there's a small question of whether Humphries ever actually played these records on a turntable in this order, the parade of lush selections does much to calm any fears regarding authenticity. Humphries gets into the Garage (with a capital "G") vibe with "Play Back" by Yukihiro Fukutomi and "Tafina" by DJ Fudge, both sporting mad flute solos (which, on the latter, deliciously morphs into the main line of the next track, Partial Arts' "Canopy"). Humphries occasionally detours into darker house territory -- even grabbing a Force Tracks production -- but always returns to his disco roots, best of all when he resurrects what should've been a sure-fire classic from 2001: the sweet, disco-fied "Drive On" by Soldiers of Twilight. Though he (perhaps unwisely) seems to be controlling his urge to drop some seriously unhinged American-style house for this staid British audience, Fabric 04 is still an excellent mix of rangy deep house by the style's giant talent.

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