Yet if Pinch and Shackleton arguably saw Pinch lose his own voice in the studio, he's clearly found it behind the decks for FabricLive.61. There's certainly no danger anyone's going to get this confused with Shackleton's 2010 contribution to Fabric's series. FabricLive.61 showcases a producer similarly disinterested in genre orthodoxy. But he's doing it in a different way. The mix might have its roots in dubstep's swampier side but is now intertwined with gnarled techno and thorny breaks. In fact, only with the obese bassline that crashes through Photek and Pinch's "Acid Reign" 11 tracks in does the mix sink into anything really recognisable as "dubstep." That track marks the start of a punishing second half that takes in the mechanical crunch of Pinch and Loefah's "Broken," the malfunctioning android footwork of Addison Groove's "This Is It" (VIP) and the sombre, almost requiem-like "Promise a Secret" from Illum Sphere.
But for the first half we're led from the pugilistic electro of Distal's "Venom"—which also ends the mix—through the Basic Channel-style dub-techno of Henry and Louis featuring Prince Green's "Love Like," the creeping unease of Deleted Scenes' "Natural Law" and the frostily beautiful "In Dreams" from Pinch and Quest, a moment of eerie calm which makes the following sudden rush of Boddika and Joy Orbison's "Swims" as shocking as a hefty dose of ECT. And it's moments like that which prove that, even though there's no shortage of DJs imitating his style of blending bass music with 4/4 these days, Pinch does it with an identity that's very much his own.