Kasra

Fabriclive.62

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Kasra Mowlavi's background is in drum'n'bass, but what you hear as much as anything on Fabriclive.62 is the influence of dubstep and post-dubstep: you've got your dark and brooding ambience, your shuffling, off-kilter grooves, and your throbbing cyborg basslines thrown in there, alongside the skittering busy-bee breakbeats. Some tracks hark back more than others to the glory days of post-jungle drum'n'bass: "Tribute VIP" brings back the evergreen double-speed bongos, and "Killswitch Engage" has that great slapback back-beat feel to it. Kasra runs the Critical label, so there are plenty of dub plates from his own catalog on this program, and so much the better. But there are also some surprises, including top-notch unreleased tracks from the emerging Russian artist Enei (a fine remix of Foreign Concept's "Mob Justice") and the album-opening Alix Perez remix of Rockwell's "Underpass." For those whose tastes run to the really old-school, there's even a quick sample from the insterstitial music on Steel Pulse's "Tribute to the Martyrs" thrown in as a sort of secret-handshake gesture at the beginning of "Play This Game." But what strikes you more than anything is both the rich diversity and the consistently, bangingly high quality of this mix: "rich diversity" is not a quality that one necessarily automatically associates with drum'n'bass productions of the last ten years or so, and that makes Kasra's contribution to the Fabriclive series all the more impressive and welcome.

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