Tapping legendary drum & bass pioneer Goldie to do a Fabriclive mix in 2011 initially may seem a bit odd. What's even stranger is how much of a triumph it is. Rather than focusing on a subgenre or his own camp of artists from his Metalheadz label, Fabriclive.58 is a thorough, relevant and diverse cross-section of contemporary drum & bass. The genre godfather flies from the poppiest material (Rido's "Twisted" and Lenzman's "Open Page" are practically pop songs) to the darkest and back again, brushing up against everything else in the process.
One of the most endearing aspects of Fabriclive.58 is Goldie's no-frills mixing: forgoing the rapidfire pace and lightspeed blends of most drum & bass DJs, Goldie has the sense to let certain tracks play out well past their allotted time when necessary. To be fair, this is partly down to Goldie not being much of a DJ. This works in his favour here, though. Marcus Intalex's stunning synth opus "Celestial Navigation" sets the tone for the mix, shimmering for almost five minutes before the mix later careens into a stretch of hastily mixed, sharper weapons like Enei's "One Chance VIP" and DJ Hazard's "Proteus."
Whenever Goldie lets one of these more accessible tracks ride out, the effect is not to kill the groove but rather to showcase the strength of the production. As Goldie envisions it here, drum & bass is not the soundtrack to angsty boys in hoodies nodding their heads, but rather a more cosmopolitan ideal of opposed subgenres and styles living in natural harmony—a place where melodies and vocals can carry as much weight as growling basslines.
While the mixing isn't anything to write home about, the tracks are so memorable that they win out by sheer force of persuasion. This is no narcissistic exhibition of DJ prowess. It's a selfless showcase of the best of what the genre has to offer. When he pulls in his own 1995 Timeless classic "Inner City Life" for the mix's finale it sounds just as fresh as all the unreleased dubplates surrounding it. Has drum & bass gone full circle? That's hard to say. What is clear is that deserves more attention now than it has in the past few years, and Goldie's mix isn't a bad place to start for anyone new to the tempo or looking to rekindle an old flame.
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Tracklist: Goldie - FabricLive.58 01. Rido feat. Thomas Oliver - Twisted
02. Marcus Intalex feat. S.P.Y. - Celestial Navigation
03. Lenzman - Lasers
04. Need For Mirrors - Lofar
05. Enei - One Chance VIP
06. Subwave & Enei - The Mines
07. S.I.N. & Mutated Forms - Right Now
08. Fresh - The Gatekeeper
09. DJ Hazard - Proteus
10. Critical Impact - Translation
11. Adam F - Metropolis
12. Mutated Forms - Crowlin
13. Jubei - Patience VIP
14. Rido - Focus
15. Basher feat. Xtrah - Convulsions
16. Mutated Forms - Doubts
17. A Sides - One DJ
18. Mark System feat. Youngman - Hold It
19. Icicle feat. Robert Owens - Redemption (Alix Perez Remix)
20. Lenzman - Open Page (Subwave Remix)
21. dBridge - Cornered
22. Jubei - Alignment (Boddika Remix)
23. Mikal - Higher Forces
24. Wickaman & RV - Ev's Dead
25. J Majik & Wickaman - Old Headz
26. Commix - Be True
27. Goldie - Timeless