Elevate Difference

Fabriclive 48

I was excited to review this album because I'm fascinated by the creative endeavor of mixing existing music together to create something entirely new. I'm a musician, but I know very little about being a DJ—I had heard that no one mixes like the Filthy Dukes, and that their albums were the next best thing to being at one of their events. So, I was intrigued—but I have to say that I expected more.

Fabriclive 48 sounds like a night of London clubbing minus the sense of discovery that often accompanies listening to talented DJs mixing it up. These guys are known as DJ demi-gods, but the album lacked the originality I expected from artists who are adept at creating "in the moment." Maybe the guys got a little lost without the dancing crowds to guide them. Or, perhaps the creativity of DJs and the energy of the dance floor share a symbiotic relationship that just can't be replicated on a recorded album.

I was a bit disappointed by the lack of what I consider to be an important aspect of a DJ's craft—discovering deserving underground groups to introduce a fresh sound to the club masses. There's not much surprise here; the Dukes rely on what could be called a "standards" list of the genre. Maybe I'm being harsh, as few would complain about the stellar list of artists included on Fabriclive 48. I just expected a few uncovered gems to be sprinkled among a group of artists that even I—a music fan with an admittedly meager understanding of the new disco genre—am already acquainted with. I was expecting some exposure to some up-and-coming groups or even artists who have created a new sound.

Even though the playlist felt a bit redundant, it does offer a wide variety of artists. From disco to techno, the lineup includes Popof, Zombie Nation, Muzaja, Daft Punk, Aphex Twin, and WhoMadeWho. On a more positive note, the album does provide a studied example of the electronic indie genre. Fabriclive 48 would make an awesome soundtrack to most any party, but the musical adventurer may want to look elsewhere.

Written by: Meg Rayford, December 31st 2009

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