Kode9 and Burial – FABRICLIVE 100

fabriclive100This latest contribution to the FABRICLIVE series from Kode9 and Burial has been greeted with surprisingly mixed reviews. One high-profile entry in particular, by respected journo Will Lynch on Resident Advisor, sums up the ambivalent reception.

“A lot of the music here is amazing, from the slinky grooves in the opening stretch to the neon footwork at the end and the haunting Burial precursors sprinkled throughout. But this strange tug-of-war prevents the mix from finding a satisfying groove,” he writes.

“Fabriclive 100 is without a doubt an inspired effort, an ambitious and highly creative attempt at capturing its selectors’ musical lineage. But it’s also a bit of a mess. It feels like the wild second-to-last draft of a creative project, the one that gets canned following an epiphany by the teapot and replaced with something far simpler.”

Lynch is a marvelous writer and a studious observer of electronic music. But as someone who produces a weekly radio program dedicated (in part) to the avoidance of simplicity, I’m lining up behind Kode9 and Burial.

This 76-minute epic covers a metric ton of ground. The differences between the two artists – not to mention the wide variety of sounds they’re each interested in – is precisely what makes FABRICLIVE 100 a must-listen.

If you think about the pioneering efforts of hip-hop DJs like Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash, it was their ability to weave so many different sounds into their sets that made the work so culturally resonant. They juxtaposed styles, and in the process invented a new music.

Electronic music DJ sets are too often constrained by a preference for evenness. Beat matching is only the most obvious example. (Mea culpa, by the way.)

What makes efforts like this one – to push a variety of styles up against one another – valuable is that they contribute to the evolution of the genre. DJs have long been as important to electronic music as the producers themselves. The great potential of the long-format mix is to present the unexpected. To surprise, and in the process introduce new ideas.

I talked with jazz artist Stefon Harris about a similar idea last week. Obviously there’s a long history of jazz greats challenging one another with new and unexpected sounds.

“We want conflict because then we start to dig into the spaces in between those potentially brilliant ideas,” he said. “[T]he space in between those brilliant ideas is where we find innovation. It’s where we find creative ideas that are so far beyond the mind of any one individual. It can only come when you have diversity of thought.” (Please watch for that Q&A on All About Jazz soon.)

Heard with all this in mind, FABRICLIVE 100 closes out the long-running series with a bold, progressive statement. It deserves to be celebrated for its complexity.


  1. Untitled – Untitled
  2. Klein – Hurry
  3. Cooly G – Magnetic
  4. Julz Da Deejay – Deaths Effect
  5. Roman Rodney – Triple Beat
  6. TLC Fam – Skim Sam (Dbn Dance)
  7. Nazar – Konvoy
  8. Lechuga Zafiro – Agua Y Puerta
  9. Hyph11e – Black Pepper 炎 (Tzusing Remix)
  10. Luke Slater – I Can Complete You
  11. Virgin – B9
  12. Nut-E-1 – Underwater Fireworks
  13. David Hykes – Rainbow Voice
  14. Jungle Buddha – Drug Me
  15. Black Acid – Black Acid
  16. Vladislav Delay – Otan Osaa
  17. DJ Spinn – Make Me Hot
  18. Mr Fingers – Spy (Kode9 Remix)
  19. Scratcha DVA feat. Clara Le San – Pink 33 (DJ Phil Remix)
  20. DJ Tre – A House Hybrid
  21. TEDDMAN – Baby
  22. DJ Rashad – Let It Go
  23. ONTHEGROUND – Fallen
  24. Intense – The Quickening
  25. Genecom – Polyphonic Raid
  26. Clementine – The Opening
  27. Victim Rebirth – Metamesonyxtia Narkogyra
  28. Friends Lovers & Family – The Lift
  29. AK1200 feat. Junior Reid – Junior’s Tune (Digital Remix)
  30. Okzharp & Manthe Ribane – Treasure Erasure
  31. Ben Frost – Ionia (Jlin Remix)
  32. DJ Taye – Nu Summer Shit / Babyfather – Prolific Deamons
  33. Jacob’s Optical Stairway – Solar Feelings (Claude Young’s Kyoto Soul Dub)
  34. Proc Fiskal – Dishwashing
  35. DJ Chap – Brujeria
  36. DJ Tre – A Hammond Jam
  37. RP Boo – Wicked’Bu

Kevin Press

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