Buraka Som Sistema - FabricLive.49"It's all been done/ From New York to L.A./ From London to Paris/ You can do it," runs the line on Skream's "Fick," before the trash-can snares, palsied wicky-wicky rave-synth, double-time xylo-keyboard line get up and jet around the sound-field for a few minutes. It's exciting, and yet those words linger: It's all been done. Maybe it has. As exciting as 2009 has been for the try-anything post-dubstep that makes up a large part of Buraka Som Sistema's contribution to the FabricLive series—and as much as the Portuguese trio brings to the table—the endless recombination of fidgety beats and noises, not to mention loads of percussion, can seem like a dead end, however fast it flies by.
And I do mean fast. The beginning of FabricLive 49 whips by so quickly that even after a half-dozen plays I find myself unable to grab onto anything until the fifth track, DJ Znobia's "Pausa." By the time we get to "Fick," we've been pelted with ten more or less equally frantic pieces. So it's canny of BSS to follow it with a cool-down. Faster Music is the label DJ Riot's "Mermaid Dub" was issued on, which seems like a good joke, since its tempo downshift in this company allows the mix to breathe. Up after that, Zomby's previously unissued "Dynamite Sandwich" has the kind of gurgle and crunch that you might expect from him post-"Digital Fauna," only taken further left; I'm dying to hear a full album of this kind of stuff. After a quick dip into Crime Mob's "Rock Yo Hips" (which seems like a token rap nod on paper but works very nicely beat-wise), we're back into BSS territory, with their edit of DJ Znobia subtly upping the tempo again. Thanks for letting us walk for a bit, guys.
They do so again later, more relatively, when Djedjotronic and Harvard Bass take things to a slightly more controlled pace and the striking Afro-Peruvian breakdown of Novalima's "Machete" leading back into more squeal-riffage from the mixers. But the spell isn't broken—it's intensified. There's a lot to grab onto here, but in this case, more is more. And, if you find yourself slowing down, just remember that the words to keep in your head are also in that Skream track: You can do it.