Ben Sims - fabric 73It might not always feel that way when you're trying to squeeze across the dance floor, but Room 2, with its steady diet of thumping techno, can be fabric's comfort zone. In that sense, Ben Sims' fabric 73 mix has achieved his stated aim of capturing Room 2's "perfect but elusive" vibe, delivering a set of pure 4/4 thump.
A DJ for nearly 30 years, the Essex-born artist has been in the game for twice as long as fabric, and he's hit upon a winning formula he sees no point in changing—namely, bouncy dance floor techno performed on three decks. It's a tactile and spontaneous style seemingly at odds with the way this mix was constructed: recorded in separate sections and then edited in Ableton in a similar manner to Richie Hawtin's DE9: Closer To The Edit. Yet on fabric 73, the rapid-fire cutting between tracks (which reflects Sims' past as a hip-hop DJ) couldn't be farther from Hawtin's long segues and molecular mixing. Sims simply zeroes straight in on the 90 seconds or so he needs of each track—almost always the parts that stomp around like an elephant in steel toecaps.
But while there are stretches where Sims seems to be sadistically piling on the pressure, he's far from forgotten the fun or the funk. He doesn't pull out anything as cheesy as his bootleg of Sylvester's "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)," but parts of this are just downright daft in the best possible way. The rubber mallet noise on Sims' "Break Glass" is more silly hardcore than serious techno. The rave revivalism of "Joy Rider" could be a blast from Sims' acid house past, and the elastic electro touches on the James Ruskin remix of Marcel Dettmann's "Corebox" should get you grinning like an acid smiley face. Like Room 2 on a Saturday night, you pretty much know what you'll get with Ben Sims. If that's what you're after then you won't be disappointed.
With over 20 years experience under his belt, Ben Sims has a well-deserved reputation as one of the world's most in-demand and leading techno DJs - a tight, energetic mixer who skilfully weaves together his own distinctive blend of tough funk and hardgrooves, often using three-deck wizardry and plenty of dexterity. View the full artist profile