Radio Slave's Fabric album has it's moments of pleasure but still ultimately disappoints.
If you read regularly you likely know that BlackPlastic has long championed Eskimo Recordings' compilations - frankly they are the best producer of compilations currently around - and as such maybe it is too much to expect Fabric 48 to live up to Radio Slave's release for that label, entitled Creatures of the Night (check the BlackPlastic review of that album here). It wouldn't be the first time someone has struggled with a compilation for another label having thrived on Eskimo - just check the Glimmers' okay-but-not-fantastic mixes for DJ Kicks and Fabric.
But the problem is that Fabric 48 paints a very dry picture of Radio Slave. Where Creatures of the Night had a variety of styles, from shouty P Diddy through to The Osmonds via The Kills, Fabric 48 has, well... 13 cuts of tech-house. And not even the exciting, edge of your seat acid influenced stuff. There are tribal rhythms andloooooooong tracks and spoken vocals occasionally but at what point exactly are we supposed to get excited?
And the sad thing is that this is probably closer to what a current Radio Slave set sounds like. Where has the subversiveness gone from the early days where a Radio Slave remix would do something totally unexpected and still consistently turn out great? Why do DJs and producers think everyone is content with a safe set of four-four techno? What drugs are we supposed to be chomping on to make this do anything for us?
Maybe we are wrong. This might be very sophisticated and if you like tribal, deep techno and house, that might be enough. As far as we are concerned tou can keep it - BlackPlastic would much rather get rowdy to Creatures of the Night's dark corners and freaky sounds.
Fabric 48 is out now, available on CD from Amazon.co.uk [affiliate link].