Levon Vincent

Fabric 63

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This might be more of a coup for the Fabric label than it is for Levon Vincent -- a venerated house DJ and producer active for a decade through his More Music NY, Deconstruct, and Novel Sound labels. Seven of these 15 selections are Vincent's own, and they include recent and new material. The other productions come from some of the man's peers: Joey Anderson, Jus-Ed, JM De Frias, DJ Qu, Deconstruct partner Anthony Parasole, and Black Jazz Consortium (of one, namely Fred Peterkin). The mixing is measured, devoid of flash and protracted beat matching, but it's never jarring -- an ideal approach to exhibiting contemporary house and techno that is physical and pared down yet superbly contoured. During the latter half, there's a 28-minute progression that kills just about any stretch of similar length from the other exalted Fabric mixes. In terms of shrewd gear shifting and striking content, not much contends with "Fear" (wielding a meaty dread-funk bassline), "Double-Jointed Sex Freak, Pt. 2" (an undulating mutation of Berlin dub), Anderson's "Hydrine" (a stealth spell caster), Parasole's "Tyson" (a cyclone of stuttering hi-hats, growling bass, and stern EBM synthesizer lines), and "The End" (lean, deep dub techno). The original version of 2011 knockout "Impression of a Rainstorm" would have made for an astounding, dramatic conclusion to the mix. Vincent instead installs a relatively jacking sequel/variant as the setup for a BJC ambient piano ballad, which finishes it off in sci-fi lullaby fashion. Vincent's resistance to peaks and easy theatrics, combined with some singular productions, makes Fabric 63 one for the ages.

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