heaven 17

Album Review: Fabric 43 - Various selected and mixed by Metro Area

Metro Area's breed of obscure disco and raw 80s funk is always a little in danger of coming across as chin stroking wankery. When it works, as on the sublime 'Caught Up' on their self-titled début (in reality a compilation of EPs), it is utterly fantastic but a mix album just might be a case of over-egging the pudding if it takes itself too seriously.

Which is why Fabric 43 is odd, on two counts. Firstly it features a Fabric first as far as BlackPlastic is concerned: a comedy intro. And secondly because, despite this, it still falls flat.

There are glorious moments - World Premier's 'Share The Night (Breakdown Mix)' is everything that can be right about Metro Area. It is light, funky and impossible to not dance too. The instrumental of Disco Four's 'Move To The Groove' is so ridiculously camp that it is irresistible and the juxtaposition of the pop of Heaven 17's 'Penthouse and the Pavement' plays off the inherent disco of one of Sheffield's whilst loosening up the mix.

The problem is really one of sequencing. BlackPlastic hates to say it but there is too much here and too much of it sounds the same. These cuts are ALL good and within the right mix could standout and be a high point. The problem is that there is a lack of navigation, no peak and no development.

On a more positive note the mixing goes some way to making up for this as the blending between some fairly different tracks (in terms or rhythm and melody if not always style) is considered and smooth.

And so Fabric 43 is good.  It will happily see you through a car journey or a dull morning in the office. It just isn't as great as a mix from Metro Area should be.

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