Fabriclive 12 is a collection of 14 broken beat/2-step tunes some representing the soulful side of breakbeat such as Umod's Tromboline which opens the mix. Drum'n'bass heroes, 4 Hero take Focus' Having Your Fun on a beefed up, bass heavy broken beat vibe, while keeping the jazzy vocals laced on top of the manic rhythms below.
The mix soon moves to a darker, breakstepper vibe with Artwork's Red which was included on Zed Bias' Bingo Beats compilation from 2002. Lyric L displays her vocal gymnastics on Loose Lips with production from Seiji, while Zed Bias (using his Nu Design moniker) bridges the gap between the 2-step/UK Garage style he was known for and broken beats on Time To Skyank - a minimal production which relies solely on heavy breaks and a whispery vocal sample.
Members of Bugz In The Attic display their production prowess on tunes like Got Me Puzzled by Kaidi and Dego (of 4 Hero fame) and on remixes as well such as Viketer Duplaix's Looking For Love - yet again taking soulful vocals and lacing them on top of heavy beats, rich in texture while still allowing enough melody to sing a long to the lyrics.
Daft Punk's Harder, Faster gets remixed by Top 40 kings The Neptunes for a funky take on the electro tune - Pharrell adding new vocals to the tune - nice! It's a typical Neptunes production with the percussive breaks and melodic synths added to the mix, before the mix closes off with N'Dambi with Call Me - a laidback keyboard melody with stabs of horns on a swinging house beat, while N'Dambi lays down her jazzy vocals.
Bugz In The Attic create a different atmosphere with their mix for Fabriclive - deep and soulful while keeping the beats chunky. Good for lounging around to or just playing in the background. For those looking for a nu-skool breaks mix - look elsewhere, Fabriclive 12 offers listeners a more musical trip through the underground sound of broken beat. Not really a sound that grabs me first up, however given a few more listens this may be more appealling.