Marcus Intalex

Fabriclive.35

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When Marcus Intalex observes that "the direction drum'n'bass has gone has put us out on a limb," he's not kidding. Over the past ten years the genre has gotten steadily darker, harder, and more minimal, to the point that it's set to disintegrate altogether. And if Intalex is known as something of a curmudgeon for his no-compromises musical attitude, well, the music's so much the better for it -- and there's no trace of attitude or self-righteousness to be heard on his contribution to the Fabriclive series of DJ mix albums. His love of old-school breaks -- richly manifest on the opening track, Calibre's "Over Reaction" -- doesn't prevent him from incorporating darker, edgier material as well, such as Lynx's "Global Enemies" and Jonny L's acidically sharp "Come Here." But the common denominator throughout most of this program is an elegant loveliness that is often quite subtle -- if you don't listen carefully, you may well miss the harmonic beauty hovering just beneath the roiling beats of "Smash V.I.P." by Amaning vs. Dubwiser, or the similarly understated juxtaposition of pretty and hard on Duo Infernale's "Feeling Blue." The brooding orchestral chords and bassline on Soulmatic's "Self Belief" become too repetitive after a while, and the jazzy "Synesthesia (Theory Remix)" by Deadly Habit doesn't quite leap out of the speakers the way one might like. But overall, this mix is a solid winner. Highly recommended.

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