Fabric 13

Michael Mayer

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Fabric 13 Review

by Andy Kellman

Michael Mayer temporarily leaves the comfy confines of his good ship Kompakt to deliver the 13th release in the Fabric series. One might consider this the proper follow-up to 2002's Immer, since the Speicher mix -- released earlier in the year -- was more of a specialty showcase for the bangin' techno/shuffle-tech side of Kompakt's personality. This is of the same high standard as Immer in every aspect, from selection to sequence to mixing, and its features are dissimilar enough to circumvent mere sequel status. There are glints of the romantic, noir-ish undercurrents that gave Immer its nocturnal glow, but the sentiment is often playful in comparison and more tailored to a club audience. That said, one of the mix's most chilling moments might give a few people an Immer flashback. Richard Davis' "Bring Me Closer" is as dramatic and haunting as Phantom/Ghost's "Perfect Lovers" -- with its druggy vocals and multiple string elements providing a gloomy balm and a morose tug in tandem -- but the tracks surrounding it are two of the peppiest, most pop-oriented on the disc. WestBam's "Oldschool, Baby," the track that follows it, features its own set of frosty synthetic strings, but it's a piano-led house tune with Nena (yes, that Nena) contributing a sort of resilient battle cry on vocals. Recent Kompakt releases are heard throughout, including a track where Superpitcher twists an elegant melody out of what sounds like globules of rain hitting thick leaves; additionally, the dark neo-trance of Magnet's "Abendstern" shunts out of Villalobos' classic-upon-release "Easy Lee," and two separate mixes of Heiko Voss' heart-melting "I Think About You" bookend the disc. But the most thrilling moment of all might be when the slinky neuromanticism of Thomas Schaeben & Geiger's "Really Real" is made to mutate into the grinding brontosaurus shuffle of Le Dust Sucker's "Love Me." Referring to this as the best mix in the Fabric series would be very obvious. But there it is.

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