In fact, Fabric 42 often feels almost a-synthetic, the result solely of human hands, sunlight hours and machines that work only when you kick 'em. Mixworks' "Berlin Dub," which marks the mix's transitional point after a loungey start, is chewing gum pop compared to most of today's techno, getting room-sound out of thick lusty bass alone. So does STL's "Something is Raw," which stretches its simple, thick chested funk and an earworm synth melody into one of the mix's centerpieces. Murky and reverberant at once, Fabric 42 often seems refracted through a dense and cluttered space, one that resembles a museum storage hall as much as a dancefloor. There's so much synthesis between cuts that the age or relative freshness of the tracks gets cross-wired, the freshest vinyl feeling as though just pulled from crate bottom. The twinkle-eyed flute bursts of Linkwood's "Hear the Sun" segue shortly into the Wighnomy Brothers' swirling, almost-live remix of Minilogue and KAB's "That's a Nice Way to Give Me Feedback." Âme's own "D.P.O.M.B. (Version 1)" with Henrik Schwarz and Dixon melds in perfectly too, its chunky deep house rhythms, Amazonian yodeling and propulsive motion capturing the mix's inversions of musical eras.
As it slowly loses its radiant warmth though, Âme reinforces the mix's throwback feel with spoken-word recitals along increasingly anthemic techno. Armando's "Don't Take It" is an '80s blacktop feminist chant made to bounce on squelchy acid waves, while Âme layers the breathless soapbox poesie of "An American Poem" by Those Guys and Ras Baraka over the sticky grind of Edward's "Raw Structure." Though it closes with more foreseeable dance choices—the token tribal sample-techno of Marcel Dettman's remix of Gowentgone's "M.A.M." and the morning-after glow of LFO vs. Fuse's classic "Loop"—Fabric 42 is ultimately a testament to Âme's well-crafted texture and their talent for manipulating history, one that's playing sweat-in-the-eye tricks with both its own nows and its thens.