Jamie Jones' album Don't You Remember The Future was reviewed on BlackPlastic.co.uk two years ago and it felt a bit like drinking Diet Coke when we'd rather go all out and fill our gut with The Real Thing. It's an accusation you could level at a fair number of contemporary artists but it's a fair one - who wants to settle for 'not quite as good as...'?
Jones' Fabric album is a bit of a surprise. Firstly because it isn't the fairly minimal tech I've come to expect from artists associated with Crosstown Rebels, the label Jamie calls home. But even more surprising is that fact that it is the most easy-going, celebratory Fabric albums in ages. But this isn't a thinking person's mix - the track listing is pretty obvious - but it's a great collection of disco and house cuts to soundtrack a party to.
There is a mixture of newer and older records on Fabric 59 but Jamie clearly isn't afraid to be obvious. There was a time when finding a new mix album without Felix Da Housecat on it would be more difficult than with. Despite that Jones drops 'Madame Hollywood', from Felix's defining Kittens and Thee Glitz LP, immediately before plunging into the reverb heavy 'Body Shiver' by Waifs & Strays. Thankfully it has been long enough since Felix mania that it just feels great to hear it again. Similarly Metronomy's mix Sebastien Tellier's 'La Ritournelle, shows up in the mix early on.
Fabric 59 is at its best in the closing third. Crazy P's 'Open For Service' is bonkers disco that feels every bit as classic as it aims to, with the most glamorously over the top chorus I've heard in ages. Holy Ghost's mix of 'Goblin City' by Panthers is the show stealer though. It's another track that has been around for an age but it never seems to have quite as much recognition as it deserves. If you haven't heard it you need to and it is here, at eight-minutes long, in pretty much full form. It melds house and disco like champagne and liquid gold, the inevitable guitar solo peak and subsequent break being one of the best things to feature on any Fabric album.
The pace is kept up through to the end. On Oppenheimer Analysis' 'The Devil's Dancers' Jones drops a track that harks back to times when the future sounded like the future rather than the past (just don't tell anyone it's only six years old). Soho808's 'Get Up Disco' is exactly as it says - a gorgeous loose rhythm and sparkling melody - and the stark 'Fear of Numbers' by Footprintz rounds things out.
Fabric 59 is almost in danger of being undermined - Jamie Jones has played it so obviously that it almost veers into parody, yet the final third of the album is so gorgeous I can't help but celebrate it.