FABRICLIVE 57: 30 Min Radio Promo Mix
Bit of a change in tack around here, this week’s review goes not to the next bright-young-DIY beatmaker, but a tastemaking Glaswegian DJ without a single record to his name. Yes, you heard me right; we have here a release by a selector armed with nought of a production discography: the very rarity of such an occurrence, testament to the industry’s general penchant for ignoring DJing as a worthy craft of its own.
With FabricLive.57 however, Jackmaster shows all them budding Virtual DJ enthusiasts out there exactly how it’s done. The mix CD sees him live up to his burgeoning cult rep with a near-watertight demonstration of his fabled knack and ear for getting a party up, running and rocking hard. From the drop, it’s a gleefully unrepentant frolic that at the same time embodies a fairly extensive chronicling of dance music landmarks.
Digging deep into his arsenal, Jackmaster slams together vintage Detroit techno/electro (Model 500, Anthony Shakir, Inner City); classic American house (Todd Terry, DJ Funk); current UK ‘bass’ music hype (Addison Groove, Martyn, SBTRKT) and the odd ‘80s groover, all in view of one ultimate design – to make damn sure your body moves.
But screw genre protocol anyway. This is a DJ reaching across musical and temporal spectra, whipping up a storm of raw energy into a recipe for sheer good times. Nothing particularly elaborate or groundbreaking on offer, but the real sorcery lies in Jackmaster’s clean, brisk but well-timed programming, transitions and layering.
Take the introduction of Jook10’s ‘Emotions’ over ‘Dougswana’ by Doug Willis – with the flawless melding of funkin’ drums and jubilant strings for over a minute, its where the album really hits full flight. The DJ’s moment of glory, though, belongs to the priceless vocal sandwiching of Thomas Bangalter’s amusing house-humper ‘What To Do’ between the Motor City regalia of UR’s ‘Jupiter Jazz’ and ‘Flash’ by Fix. Closing highlights belong to a dulcet Hudson Mohawke interlude before the bittersweet melodies of AFX’s ‘VBS.Redlof.B’ and last of all, the unexpected - if rather uncomfortably mixed in – dramatics of Radiohead’s ‘Idioteque’.
Given his status, Jackmaster could have easily chosen to unleash an entire stash of forthcoming dubs and exclusives. But his preference for the classics of his upbringing instead lends the mix a noticeable bias toward jilted vocal house of the Larry Heard and Kim English ilk. It’s all good, though, for FabricLive.57 will undoubtedly expose and drive many a punter to want to own these vital pieces of dance music past.
This is an album that essentially succeeds at soundtracking a killer night out – even if truncated into an hour, you can bet on it rinsing the repeat button on home stereos everywhere. After all, in his own words, he set out to mix “a CD that girls would put on at house parties rather than boys sitting in their bedrooms smoking weed to it”. From the looks of it, playa’s got it working just the way he wanted… and all while providing living and inspiring proof that there’s still such a thing as the DJ’s DJ.
01. The Fantastic Aleems – Release Yourself
02. Inner City – Big Fun (Magic Juan Remix)
03. Gregor Salto – Classic Beat Tool
04. Model 500 – Night Drive (Thru-Babylon)
05. Kim English – Nite Life (Retail Club Mix)
06. Anthony Shakir – Plugged In
07. Martyn – Alldayallnight
08. Geiom feat. Terrible Shock – 2 4 6
09. Doug Willis – Dougswana (Audiowhores Beats)
10. Jook 10 – Emotions
11. Larry Heard presents Mr. White – The Sun Can’t Compare
12. Addison Groove – Make Um Bounce
13. SBTRKT & Sinden – Seekwal
14. Splack Pack – Shake That Ass Bitch
15. Mad Mike featuring Davina – Don’t You Want It
16. Sia – Little Man (Wookie Remix)
17. CLS – Can You Feel It? (In House Dub)
18. DJ Deeon – The Freaks
19. The Outlander – Vamp
20. Splack Pack – Scrub Da Ground
21. Underground Resistance – Jupiter Jazz
22. Thomas Bangalter – What To Do
23. Fix – Flash
24. Hudson Mohawke – Fuse
25. Machinedrum – La Bomba
26. DJ Funk – Pussy Ride
27. AFX – VBS.Redlof.B
28. Skepta – Doin’ It Again
29. Radiohead – Idioteque