Volume 18 for Fabric sees the series take a different approach, this time embracing a jazzy, leftfield feel compared to the deep and tech house approaches as shown on previous volumes. Appearing on 18 is not 1, not 2 but three artists in the form of Baby Mammoth, Beige and Solid Doctor who also records as renowned downtempo artist Fila Brazilla.
Baby Mammoth takes the first steps on the mix kicking things off with the cheekily titled Elephunk. From an ambient synth intro dropping the occasional vocal sample, the tune breaks into a deep breakbeat infused number featuring percussive loops and a keyboard solo. Blind Date incorporates a jazz infused reggae bounce with soothing flute licks, a quirky electro hook and deep latin percussion riffs and finally Baby Mammoth closes with a Nickodemus & Osiris remix of Finale which sees a Hammond organ doing a solo on top of a funky percussion break as the mix moves into funky latin house perfect for lazy summer afternoons.
Beige takes over the mix dropping four unreleased tunes for the Fabric mix. Appearing in his Momma Gravy guise he begins his Momma Gravy set with the quirky disco infused Shut Up which features a calming synth hook combined with futuristic sci-fi noises and 80s style drum beats. Boy Without A Comb brings forth more retro 80s elements and has a distinct new wave feel about it, fusing together elements of 80s disco, rock and pop with cheesy 80s style vocals to boot. Beige finally brings his section to an end with the guitar led Did You Piss On My Guitar?. Again it's on a notable 80s disco tip embracing the sounds of 80s electro synths mincing with a guitar riff.
Solid Doctor then takes over with his brand of quirky leftfield beats kicking it off with Fila Brazilla's Bullshit. It's electronica with a quirky jazz feel to it as Solid Doctor combine house-style vocals with an acid-induced hook. J*S*T*A*R*S churn out a catchy bassline melody, disco guitar lick and an infectious rhythm on Spansules. Solid Doctor then brings the mix to a close with Mandrillus Sphinx's 70s style disco influenced, Pigeon's G-Spot. Don't really know how they came up with such a title (and perhaps it's best not to know) but the tune definitely has a sweet funky feel to it and makes for a great closer to the album.
For someone who really doesn't expose himself to the Fabric sound as much as he should have, I found this quite an enjoyable mix and it offers a lot of variety. Loaded with flavours of electro, disco, funk and hip hop, Fabric 18 is like having a brand of Neopolitan ice cream with flavours you'd enjoy.
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