05 April 2011
A good DJ mix is like making love. I don't mean fucking, I mean actually making love, properly, taking your time, with someone you care for deeply. There are peaks and troughs, there are highs and lows, there is giving and there is most certainly taking - it should be a fluid situation which ebbs and flows as the situation develops. Legendary Chicago DJ Derrick Carter is famed for his ability to lay down erotically charged funk-infused house music ideal for getting juiced up to, but, sadly, his Fabric.56 mix is devoid of emotion, personality and sensuality, instead relying on hard, jacking beats and the usual cliches of house music - big vocals, piano hooks and simple loops - to keep asses shaking. Sure, we all enjoy a rampant quickie now and then, but be aware: there is no making love going on here. If you like it hard, heavy and repetitive, bend over, baby.
In stark contrast is the startlingly relevant and exciting mix courtesy of UK reggae's most infamous hypeman, David Rodigan. Unlike Carter, Rodigan's focus is on keeping the listener's interest by ensuring the tunes are fresh and the selection tight throughout - so much so that he barely bothers with mixing, instead concerning himself with quality, placement and avoiding any obvious choices. This is no bad thing at all, as many a DJ has fallen into the trap of relying on showcasing their turntablist skills rather than playing good music (see review above). Fabriclive.54 features an impressive an informed blend of the new and the classic old school, with a clutch of rare tracks and unheard dubplates from Rodigan's travels in Jamaica across the decades and a lifetime of digesting reggae, dub and dancehall music. This is a properly crafted mix and a crucial selection which comes very highly recommended.
Derrick Carter 1 & 1/2 stars from 5
David Rodigan 4 stars from 5