Some background info: it has been some time since BlackPlastic last enjoyed any drum 'n' bass. A long time in fact. After the popularity of the Movement scene and a period of stellar tracks and artists around 2002 nothing quite felt right.
There just didn't seem to be anything new. Sure, there will be those that disagree but the truth is: DnB died in 2004.
LTJ Bukem's FabricLive mix doesn't really do anything new. So, in principle at least, there is nothing to see here. But... Golly, it is hard to turn your back on this disc. Flowing in through your speakers like the one that got away FabricLive 46 isn't just good - it's wonderful and undeniable. It's a reminder of what was so interesting about drum 'n' bass in the first time.
FabricLive 46 is summer barbecues, beers in the garden, dancing in the sunshine, killing time in the park and staying up all night to watch the sunrise. Maybe it helps that BlackPlastic is reminded of empty summers as a student when hearing this style of music but there are some wonderful feelings in the first half of this mix.
The sound itself is what you would expect if you are familiar with Bukem's work. His trademark 'intelligent' sound is combined with the some slightly harder, rolling bass lines (on the Madcap mix of Villem's 'Inflated Tear' for example) and there has been a lovely, warm development into a slightly more liquid DnB sound.
Admittedly things tail off a little in the latter third before coming back again for a nice climax in the filtered 'So In Need' by Syncopix. The album isn't perfect by any stretch and it still fails to match the heights of the early Movement mix albums or the superb Soulful Behaviour mix from Defunct. One thing is for sure however - this is the best drum n bass mix Fabric have released in years... Bring on the summer.
FabricLive 46: LTJ Bukem is released to Fabric First members on 1 June and goes on general release on 15 June. Subscribe to Fabric First at the Fabric London website.