Fabric had the unenviable task of following up both Levon Vincent's deep house triumph with number 63 and Guy Gerber's melodramatic album-length journey with 64. They've chosen to bring things back down to earth with something a lot safer in the form of Leipzig tech house DJ and producer Matthias Tanzmann, whose effort feels like autopilot rather than the adventurous explorations of his predecessors.
Tanzmann runs a decent enough deep-and-tech-house label in Moon Harbour, and is a resident at Circoloco, one of dance music's most beloved parties. Circoloco made its name on a particular sound—metallic drums, overheated basslines, pitched-down vocal samples—and there's a whole lot of that here on Fabric 65. Unfortunately, what we're presented with is among the more predictable and uninteresting of those tracks; 73 minutes of lazily grumbling low-end and a percussive backbone that almost never changes, touched with the occasional instrument or vocal sample. It's perhaps the most easily condensed snapshot of Tanzmann's style, but doesn't make for a terribly attractive one.
Each track plays out to lengths upwards of five minutes, with few moments sticking out in the mix's ambling trudge. Jeff More & Jamie Lie A Kwie's "Butt," proves a highlight, mainly because it introduces a new hi-hat into the mix. But try and remember many other stretches and your mind will likely turn to the omnipresent perfunctory snare/kick pattern. Tanzmann's mixing style means that transitions are seamless, yet they're almost imperceptible—it's difficult to tell where one track ends and the next begins. The effect is technically impressive in theory, but in execution it's a drain on the momentum, with little in the way of progression or lateral movement.
Of course, that thrumming hypnosis is a Tanzmann trademark, but over such a short timespan as a single CD it can easily turn into lifeless cycling. Tanzmann is a more capable DJ than Fabric 65 makes apparent—hell, there are recorded mixes of his floating around that wipe the floor with this one. It's easy to imagine what he could have done with another hour to stretch out. But as it is, Fabric 65 doesn't make for the most enthralling of home listening experiences. It's too brief to establish the languorous mood it needs, and as a result the unwavering crawl ends up feeling like one of the series' longest mixes.
Tracklist: Matthias Tanzmann - Fabric 65 01. Minimono - Venus
02. Clockwork & Avatism - One Trick Pony
03. Monkey Maffia - Sources From The Past
04. Maya Jane Coles - Not Listening
05. Matthias Tanzmann - Konoa
06. Shenoda - The Question
07. Davide Squillace feat. Alex Nazar - Do Somebody
08. Jeff Moore & Jamie Lie A Kwie - Butt
09. Silicone Soul - Right On, Right On (Matthias Tanzmann Remix)
10. Guido Schneider & Florian Schirmacher - In The Toilette (Philip Bader Remix)
11. Alexis Cabrera - Everything
12. MFD - MFD 1.3
13. Just Be - Rain Come Down