The Herbaliser

Fabriclive.26

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AllMusic Review by

The Fabriclive series has suffered few misses -- nearly every volume has featured high-class DJs mixing more dangerously and adventurously than they would anywhere else, with better results than appear on any other commercial releases. Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba of the Herbaliser certainly haven't lacked for opportunities to host freewheeling mix albums -- they do record for Ninja Tune, after all -- but another chance is always welcome. Fabriclive.26 is equal to their 2003 mix Herbal Blend for the Solid Steel sessions, and that's heavy praise. Differences, though, are apparent, beginning with an indication that the Herbaliser is less willing to dredge the vagaries of pop culture than on Herbal Blend. This is a straight hip-hop mix for all practical purposes, with only a few choice funk nuggets strategically placed when necessary. And for energy, it's unmatched by any recent hip-hop releases, beginning with the opener, "Dogsz N Sledgez," where Million Dan punctuates his dancehall raps with interjecting growls and whistles. An up-to-the-minute track from Blufoot with Yungun moves into a golden-age classic from Hurby Luv Bug and Antoinette without pausing a beat (or sounding like they're reaching for material). Most of the transitions are quick cuts that fit the mood perfectly, even when they drop their own "None Other" (featuring Cappo) in the middle of the mix. British rap specifically, and underground rap in general, never get enough exposure (and don't think the grime fad solved anything), but with any luck, hip-hop fans will be hearing a lot more of British producer Blufoot and 7L & Esoteric disciple Apathy (who might get an album out on Atlantic if the White Stripes don't mind the sample).

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Million Dan
3:33
2
feat: J. Sands
3:15
3
3:38
4
feat: Blufoot / Yungun
1:17
5
2:11
6
3:00
7 2:55
8 1:43
9
1:44
10
feat: J-Rocc
1:32
11
feat: Eric B. / Rakim
3:05
12
feat: Demon Boyz
4:49
13
feat: Cappo
2:47
14
3:34
15 2:19
16 4:50
17
2:47
18
3:53
19
feat: Flying Fish
2:23
20
feat: Hero No. 7
1:10
21
feat: The Roots
2:21
22
feat: Dynamix II
2:31
23 2:48
24
6:08
blue highlight denotes track pick