Fabriclive.62 is heavy on material from his own label, along with DJ Friction's like-minded Shogun Audio. The result is a smart mix of modern styles that deals in minimal precision without losing the keen razor's edge that defines Kasra and his Critical label. Beginning with a brooding Alix Perez remix of Rockwell's unforgettable "Underpass," things slowly perk up with a series of microscopic drum neuroses from the likes of Foreign Concept, Dub Phizix and Hybris, showing off a promising new wave of producers from the label. Kasra is stingy with the aggression, only letting it in at key points: even Noisia's early appearance with "Micro Organism" feels unbearably tense, like it's about to rupture but nonetheless trapped by Kasra's steady mixing hand.
When those corrosive basslines do start pummeling through the mix, they're a force to be reckoned with. Fabriclive.62's midsection is a thrilling ride through 170MPH drum & bass, from Kasra & Enei's menacing "So Real" through to Bladerunner's Vietnam war flashback "Back To The Jungle VIP." Things settle down to a simmer briefly (thanks to Icicle's techno-edged beats) before exploding back to life with June Miller & Proxima's "Killswitch Engage." The mix careens to a startling, sterling finish with Stray's "Timbre VIP." It might seem a bit odd to pin an entire mix's value on its closing moments, but something about the way the brutally time-stretched breaks in "Timbre VIP" rip a hole right through the mix (and the spacetime continuum) is eminently satisfying, a long-delayed climax of punishing energy after over an hour of edging and rising. If you weren't convinced up until this point, this'll grab you by the throat and show you what's what.
The real shame about Fabriclive.62 is that its audience is probably going to be limited to those drum & bass denizens already familiar with Kasra and his label, but the mix here presents such a varied view of the genre that it's worth the time of both neophytes and drum & bass dismissers. Where Autonomic revealed the genre's potential gentility and Goldie proudly displayed its melodic streak, Kasra shows how far drum & bass can be stretched into realms resembling dubstep, techno and jungle, and comes out in the end with a prismatic representation of the genre. Drum & bass can reflect so many colours, moods and ideas depending on the angle you look at it from, but here it's all one, cohesive piece.