Miami’s DJ Craze has long been a shoo-in for FabricLive, one of the last obvious choices as the series creaks toward its golden anniversary. FabricLive.38 is loaded with turntable trickery befitting the three-time World DMC champ and Fabric staple, and the tracklist seemingly tries to satisfy every kid who came to the club and danced their ass off to whatever he pulled out and chopped up. It’s an impressive balance of scratch technique, mixing skill, clever sequencing and major attitude. For the first half, that is, after which Craze’s mix loses the last, but equally essential ingredient to a top-shelf FabricLive mix: momentum.
Fans hoping to hear Craze scratch his drum n bass itch have little consolation here, besides a secret sample from last year’s anthem ‘Ladies Night VIP’ by Demo & Cease, and a loud ‘n proud intro by noted MC Armanni Reign. His smirky boast on behalf of Craze amps up into ‘Set It Off’ by New York rapper N.O.R.E. before settling down with two cool-as-a-cucumber tracks by old-school throwback rap duo The Cool Kids. After just four tracks he’s already scratched, cut, looped and beat juggled, which should make even the most frowny-faced, disappointed dnb heads crack a little smile.
So far, so good. All warmed-up and still effortlessly cool, MC Naeem Juwan of Bangers & Cash politely asks Craze, “Turn that beat up, nigga!” He probably wasn’t expecting to hear the Miami Vice theme, which seems grossly out of place but works perfect here, paying tribute to Craze’s home and underlining the mix’s overall ‘80s vibe. It also drops gorgeously into Miami Jam Crew’s ‘Pretty Girls’, which in turn makes a perfect beat for Blaqstarr & Rye Rye’s ‘Shake It To The Ground’ acapella.
At this point, the energy is through the roof and listeners should be eating up everything coming out of Craze’s golden hands. Coasting on his mix’s natural high, he glides it smoothly into the 4/4 beat of Chromeo’s ‘Bonafied Lovin’’, thoughtfully remixed by Eli Escobar with a hilarious rap courtesy of Pase Rock. But it’s not too long before the good vibes fade out, amidst the relentlessly cacophonous Switch remix of Coldcut’s ‘True Skool’. Here, Craze makes his mix’s first big mistake, by spinning out entirely on a Switch track and fading back in with a Bmore Club-infused soul song, which is exactly what Spank Rock did on their FabricLive.33 almost a year ago.
Making an unwelcome reappearance from Diplo’s FabricLive.24 is Debbie Deb’s bizarre electro-pop hybrid ‘When I Hear Music’, opening the door for Craze’s old-school Miami bass showcase, a quartet of tracks all sounding their age, none able to recapture the magic from the first half. ‘Lindsay Lohan’s Revenge’ shows up long after its expiration date—a mean-spirited, music blog novelty track that should’ve never, ever made it off the internets. It’s a toss-up for the worse half of Craze’s closeout: Kanye West sleep-rapping his way through the obligatory guest spot for ‘Pro Nails’ by Kid Sister, his tour DJ A-Trak’s girlfriend, or the stale message of hope to “keep pushin’, harder and harder to achieve whatever you tryin’ to achieve” from…Mr. “Ass-n-Titties” himself, the booty bouncing DJ Assault?! It’s a total crash ’n burn for a mix that started so pristine. Had Craze pinched it off after thirty minutes, this could’ve been golden, but as a full-length mix FabricLive.38 is only half-baked.
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Tracklist: Craze - FabricLive.3801 Craze – Intro Ft Armanni Reign
02 NORE – Set It Off Ft Swizz Beatz and J Ru$$
03 Cool Kids – I Rock
04 Cool Kids – Black Mags
05 Bangers and Cash – Loose
06 Tuff Crew – My Part Of Town
07 Jan Hammer – Miami Vice Theme
08 Miami Jam Crew – Pretty Girls
DJ Blaqstarr – Shake It To The Ground Ft Rye Rye (Acapella)
09 Lushus – Ho Fo Sho
10 The Beat Club – Security
11 Chromeo – Bonafied Lovin’ (Eli Escobar Remix Ft Pase Rock)
12 Treasure Fingers – Cross The Dancefloor
13 DJ Blaqstarr – Supastarr
14 Coldcut – True Skool Ft Roots Manuva (Switch Remix)
15 Earth, Wind and Fire – Brazilian Rhyme
16 Armand Van Helden – I Want Your Soul
17 Debbie Deb – When I Hear Music
18 Magic Mike – Magic Mike Cutz The Record
19 Quadrant Six – Body Mechanic
20 DJ Laz – Red Alert
21 Fresh Celeste and M4 Sers – Give It All To Me
22 Bangers And Cash – Shake That
23 The Pase Rock – Lindsay Lohan’s Revenge (Klever Remix)
24 Kazey & Bulldog – Big Truck
25 The Chemical Brothers – Get Yourself High (Switches Rely On Rub)
26 Kid Sister – Pro Nails Remix feat Kanye West
27 DJ Assault – Pushin’ (Deekline, Wizard & Freq Nasty Mix)
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