Craig Richards, Terry Francis & Keith Reilly - fabric 100
Since its inauguration in 2001, the fabric mix series has provided a physical realisation of the club’s mission to support underground culture, documenting crucial developments in style and genre with an extensive list of artists. As a dependable stamp of quality, the invitation to participate in the series marks a career peak for many. Providing a reflection of the scene in London and beyond, a hundred unique entries detail the progression of electronic music in multiple directions over seventeen fruitful years.
fabric’s co-founder Keith Reilly opened fabric nightclub in 1999 with simple requirements - good sound and space to dance. Craig Richards and Terry Francis came on board early on and remain as fabric’s longstanding Saturday night residents. Both internationally respected DJs, they are known for their unique mixing styles and encyclopaedic music collections cultivated over many years of peak time sets in room 1.
Wrapping up the series in its current format, fabric 100 is a triple disc package drawing on almost two decades of parties at the club. Distinct in style the three artists invited for this instalment are fused by their devotion to the electronic music scene. Craig Richards, also the name behind the inaugural fabric 01 mix, delivers an electro-infused trip that traces its way through little-known tracks from his contemporaries. Terry's contribution, many years on from his fabric 02 compilation, nods to all 3 rooms at the club - the main dancefloor, techno room 2 and the experimental room 3. The third volume sees founder Keith leading the historical series to its century with upbeat moving soulful house.
i0 (Mulen) – Point of Warm [RAWAX]
Minimal has become a bit of an obsession to many of late. Browsing the line-ups of the UK festival circuit, only one or two names may stick out, but in the flesh it’s plain to see just why. These are underground heroes hailing predominantly from their Eastern European homes, captivating and transfixing small crowds of devoted followers. Amongst quite literally the Romanian rockstars are some names likely to chime – Raresh, Petre Inspirescu, Rhadoo, Priku, Barac, Melodie; however, there is one true King hailing from the East; Alexander Voznichenko aka. i0 (Mulen), aka soon to be your favourite Ukranian since Andriy Shevchenko.
At risk of doing the genre a severe disservice, its pulsating and incessant undertones sort of carry you along without really knowing what’s just happened but you feel weirdly pretty damn good. This almost translates directly to Alexander’s career with the latest project as i0 seeing him gain the greatest notoriety with the least fuss. ‘Point of Warm’ is the first of his two releases this year on Frankfurt based label RAWAX and comes in more uplifting on the spectrum than perhaps his greatest work – the 09 (and counting) series of M0i – Untitled releases. The title track on the A-side stands out for its nagging, teasing bass rift finally ushering in the melody. And whilst the label itself has an overwhelming discography working with artists from Ricardo Villalobos, to Roy Davis Jr. with Ron Trent somewhere in the middle – they have most certainly added some serious quality to the roster in the form of their latest recruit.
Tommy Guerrero - Road to Knowhere [Too Good]
It is difficult to do justice to Tommy Guerrero’s latest LP, Road to Knowhere, a compilation of tracks that have something beautifully tranquil about them. The San-Fran artist is originally known for his laid-back style in professional skateboarding amongst the Bones Brigade skate team. Since then, TG has made movie appearances alongside working on various contracts with up-market skate brands such as Levis, Vans and Converse. We love him however for his insatiable hunger for nimble musical texture, soulfully exhibited in this latest release, which is inspired by bits and pieces of Ethio-Jazz , Afrobeat , Highlife Spiritual Jazz and dusty funk 45’s. The laid-back melodies permeated throughout by TG’s trademark guitar is as soulful and groovy as it is endlessly listenable. Each unique track effortlessly rolls into the next, resulting in an exotic musical journey to get lost to.
TG's investment in the formation of layered soundscapes is exceptional, such as in track three ‘White Sands’, where listeners follow a percussive spiral, guided by the agility of his guitar. The bitty exploration of different rhythms and textures in ‘Headin West’ and the congenial smoothness of ‘Silent Miles’ make us grateful for the addition of the bonus tracks. ‘Slow Roll’ and ‘Postcard Home’ are further odes to TG’s laid-back, yet playful style, reminiscent of the character he was known for in his skater days. Aptly-named album finisher ‘Endless Road’ tentatively smooths the musical journey off, leaving listeners in a state of wander wonder. We may be going nowhere TG, but boy what a ride.
Auntie Flo – Radio Highlife [Brownswood Recordings]
Auntie Flo joins the Brownswood roster to deliver his third and most ambitious album to date. The Glasgow-raised producer, of Goan-Kenyan heritage, has often featured collaborators from different spots he’s visited, and this new record takes that approach to another level. Contributions come from a globetrotting cast of friends, including Laurie Pitt, of Glasgow’s Golden Teacher, Senegalese multi-instrumentalist Mame ndiack, UK producer and singer Andrew Ashong and Cuban percussionist Yissy Garcia.
It arrives as the natural companion piece to his Radio Highlife show on Worldwide FM, the online station run by Brownswood boss, Gilles Peterson. Regularly touring to DJ in various cities around the world, it’s a pursuit that’s gone hand-in-hand with the global slant of his music – with the local radio often being his first introduction to new cities. It follows in the path of Glasgow’s Highlife club night which he co-founded, playing music from West Africa and Latin America which broke out of the city’s house and techno mould. Likewise, his own music has always been laced with percussion, ideas and inspirations that reflect a far-reaching perspective.
Nachtbraker - When You Find A Stranger In The Alps [Quartet Series]
This album is by Maurits Verwoerd aka Nachtbraker, who is releasing his first full length excursion on his own Quartet Series label. He's had a fair few decent releases on Detroit Swindles Heist and on Dirt Crew Recordings so you know the quality is going to be high. Nachtbraker is a good humoured Dutchman who has always stayed away from the obvious and this is evident in this piece of work. The album (the title being from the Cohen Brothers movie) is a testimony to Nachtbrackers studio prowess and his drive to explore new sonic styles.
‘The Dream Sequence’ sets the mood with a lo-slung hip-house groove that relies heavily on field recordings, like the sound of one of the capital’s trams. ‘Flambo’, a delectable slice of up-tempo French filtered house, is aimed straight at the dance floor. Nachtbraker dims the lights on ‘NSFW’, cleverly manipulating samples from adult oriented flicks, and turns in a hilarious skit with ‘LOL’. Flip over for ‘Randy’, a quintessential Nachtbraker track, morphing from a Balearic, tropical disco shuffler to a dance floor banger. ‘Driving me Lazy’ starts out as a downtempo number but changes into a full-on drum ‘n bass workout. The driving ‘You Can’t Run’ features drunken chords over a sober beat, conjuring up visions of running circles in a dark maze. ‘Just Doing My Thang’ rides a classic broken beat, while Nachtbraker pushes the boundaries again on ‘Innaspace’, which starts out as an instrumental hip hop track yet finishes on a jungle tip. ‘Aliens’ is a choppy, heads down groover, with cheeky UFO-geek samples that wouldn’t be out of place on a mid-90s West Coast Deep House compilation. ‘Horsepony’ finds Nachtbraker on a sultry Nightmares on Wax tip. Finally, it ends with where it all started; it’ll be the moment “When You Wake Up”.
Watch the album teaser.