Fabric 61, the latest entry into a decade-long series released under the aegis of the notorious London super-club, is a comprehensive and powerful mix demonstrating both the aptitude of the producers involved and perfectly encapsulating the essence of Fabric as a nightspot and as a label. While it is true that the several mix series released on Fabric have, in general, often been uneven (the concurrently running “Fabric Live” series, for example, is of very variable quality), this particular record is lush and beautiful: a veritable mass of energy.
The DJ collective behind the tech-house orientated mix is the emerging Visionquest, composed of Seth Troxler, Ryan Crosson, Shaun Reeves and Lee Curtiss, all of whom hail from Detroit, Michigan. Talented artists in their own right, together, under the auspices of Visionquest they form a promising and versatile unit. The producer’s individual releases under various monikers, remixes as a group and consistently diverse and intriguing DJ sets have been recognised by many publications. They are praised in the press most notably by pre-eminent electronic music magazine Resident Advisor, who has called them “the most innovative and exciting new breed of DJ/producers to come out of the city of Detroit in a generation”. While this may appear just a little hyperbolic, in practice it seems realistic for one to argue that on Fabric 61, Visionquest more than live up this sentiment.
The record is finely poised between a decidedly club-oriented first half and a second half which is designed more for home listening…
In terms of track selection, the collective’s choices are sublime. The record is finely poised between a decidedly club-oriented (and, in fact, a decidedly dub-oriented) first half and a second half which is designed more for home listening – minimalist selections from artists who have been associated with the genre of microhouse, such as DVS1 and Footprintz, confirming this. Truthfully, this balance may seem a little ill-advised to some observers, mainly due to the fact that most listeners will hear the mix exclusively through home systems. However, the record remains successful both due the breadth of influence on Visionquest’s choices (which in some cases also demonstrate a prominent sense of humour on Abduction by Green Velvet and Can’t Buy Love by Aquarius Heaven Feat. Dani Siciliano) and also thanks to the mixing on Fabric 61 which is, in general, consummate and assured.
To be candid, Visionquest could be (and, in some cases, have been) criticised for the length of some of the crossfades on Fabric 61 (a few tracks are allowed to beat-match and mix into each other tantalisingly slowly), however many of the transitions are so sumptuously executed that it seems fair to forgive any missteps. About a third of the way into the record, a flawless rework of French electro-house giants Cassius‘ track The Sound Of Violence by Argentinean tech-house producer Franco Cinelli is beautifully crossfaded into Ekaterinburg by Terje Bakke, the Norwegian stalwart of soul-house.
The newest offering in the Fabric mix series is one that implores a listen. Adaptable both to the most isolating of headphone monitors or the loudest speaker-stack, Visionquest’s Fabric 61 offers, at the very least, partial affirmation that they are to be (and indeed are already becoming) a vital contingent in the future of global tech-house.