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Album of the Week: Friction 'FABRICLIVE.70'

Mum's not going to like this one... guaranteed.


Artist: Various Artists
Album: FABRICLIVE.70 by Friction
Label: Fabric
Release Date: 15/07/2013

The compilation mix, designed “for a more knowledgeable drum & bass crowd” according to its compiler, Friction, has completely hooked a relative drum & bass novice – that's me. Drum & Bass was actually the first dance music genre I was properly introduced to (baptism of fire or what) back in the rare ole times when Pluto was still a planet. I've enjoyed being the most casual of fans for some time, but never got myself involved in the scene or learnt the names and tunes a true fan is supposed to learn.

So when I read the press release that this was a mix for the real fans, the knowledgeable DnB heads, I guess I was a little intimidated. The excellent news is Shogun label head Friction is such a master at his craft that, though you may not recognise the identity and significance of each track choice, all you need is a willing appreciation of this grizzly genre to get fully involved in FABRICLIVE.70. You will also need some speakers that can take a punch.

The energy in this mix is ridiculous; tracks are heavily overlapped, so that the texture is almost always full and busy and transitions slide by without registering as the listener is led across different soundscapes with his or her feet barely touching ground. An explosive and abrasive opening mellows into something more liquid with Nympho Suddenly and for a little while everything stays quite smooth, even slowing down to a straight out rnb number with Alix Perez's Annie's Song. The melody and silkiness is eventually shaken off with Break Steam Train and Friction pulls us into an aggressive and industrial drum & bass dystopia from which we never emerge until the album plays out. There are moments where the dissonance borders on ugly – that's where I reveal myself as a drum & bass outsider – but for the most part this mix has energy, flow and lots of guts.

To what extent did you plan this mix out, and what did you have in mind?

"The planning and working-out of the tracks is a major part of the CD. To be honest, once you have this settled in your mind, the mixing of the CD becomes easy. I've just tried to make a CD appeal to core drum and bass fans."

Where do you imagine people will listen to it most, and does that affect how you create it?

"I didn't really think about where people will listen to it, I tried to create something that fits in with how I look upon the FabricLive Series."

How was the album launch at fabric last weekend?

"The album launch was an amazing night! It was a great feeling headlining Room 1 with lots of my friends and peers, also playing on the night."

What influence has Fabric had on your career?

"Fabric has had a huge effect on the drum and bass scene, as well as my career. I love the way they've stuck with drum and bass through thick and thin."

Why do you think drum & bass has yet to find a home in Ibiza?

"I don't think drum and bass has taken off hugely in Ibiza, I think Ibiza will always predominantly be about House Music. Although last year I had a couple of great shows at Privilege and Amnesia, and I'm doing the same this year. I, like most other people love the island!"

Tracklist:

01. Optiv & BTK feat. Sam Wills - Understand VIP
02. DC Breaks - Swag
03. Enei & Emperor - Liberation
04. Joe Ford - Instrument / The Upbeats - One Step
05. InsideInfo & Mefjus - Mythos
06. Nymfo - Suddenly VIP
07. Badmarsh & Shri - Signs (Calibre Mix)
08. Technimatic - Bristol
09. Alix Perez feat. D.Ablo - Playing Games VIP
10. Villem & McLeod - Another Star
11. AI - You Can Dream
12. Total Science - Still Waiting
13. Technimatic - Sphere
14. Chords - Biting Point
15. Technimatic - Intersection
16. Alix Perez feat. Sam Wills - Annie's Song (Original vs S.P.Y Mash-Up)
17. Dramatic - Keep Pushing Me
18. Kove - Searching
19. NZShapeshifter - Gravity (Lenzman Remix)
20. Break - Steam Train / Mefjus & Kasra - Cypher
21. Icicle feat. SP:MC - Dreadnaught VIP
22. Ulterior Motive & Judda - Timekeeper
23. Friction & K Tee - Jupiter (Mefjus Remix)
24. Icicle - Minimal Funk VIP
25. Rockwell - Detroit
26. Icicle - Anxious
27. Usual Suspects - Killa Bees (InsideInfo Remix)
28. Donny & Audio - Horribly Ribbed VIP
29. Ulterior Motive - Lost Contact
30. DJ Hazard - Time Tripping
31. Phace & Misanthrop - Desert Orgy VIP / Noisia - Diplodocus

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