Last year saw London-based nightclub Fabric close off two of their long-running mix series, fabric and Fabriclive, a decision which coincided with changes in the focus of the club’s weekly programmes of events. Kicking off the new series, fabric presents an eclectic mix from Bonobo (a.k.a Simon Green) perhaps marking an identity shift away from the underground club music and independent UK releases which previously characterised fabric’s reputation in the global dance music scene.
Instead, it is locating itself as a more mainstream and accessible club with such a heavyweight of electronic music. Yet, regardless of what this decision could signify for the club’s future, Green’s mix is a well-crafted selection of beautiful tracks with all the qualities of a rousing and entertaining performance.
Although he is arguably better known for his live sets than his DJing, anyone who has seen Green spinning live will agree on his calibre as a selector. Many DJs like to say they want to take people on a musical journey when they play, but Green is undoubtedly one of the few who live up to this standard in performance, who is always somewhat narratorial in presenting a sonorous and groovy array of tunes.
Fabric presents Bonobo is no exception; Green strikes a balance between structuring the mix as a movement through different peaks and troughs – notably the emotional crescendos of Ame’s ‘Nia’ and Titeknots’ ‘Buzzard Walk,’ as well as new single ‘Ibrik’ – and allowing each track to speak for itself. One criticism of the mix is that it veers away from the principles of minimalism which are often championed in dance music (and in previous entries to fabric’s mix series), but this is one of the things which makes Green’s work such an enthralling listen.
The mix contains such diverse musical elements, from the harmonious vocals of Dan Kye’s ‘Focus’ and the textured drums of O’Flynn’s ‘TKOTN’ to the lush ambience of John Beltran’s ‘Collage of Dreams,’ yet nothing seems irregular to the overarching feel of the music. This mix is one for clubbers and casual listeners alike.
Image: Ministry of Sound Group Limited via Wikimedia