Capriati is many things—accomplished DJ, proud ambassador for the Neopolitan techno scene (alongside Carola), icon to fans so fanatical they allegedly get tattoos of his face—but full of surprises he is not. His records have stuck to a strict template of stripped-back techno. Some might ask how much more of this stuff the world really needs, but the answer is probably "quite a lot" if you're regularly playing marathon sets of it, as Capriati does. It's in those extended sets that he's in his element, cranking up the tension so that even the slightest changes in tempo feel like major events. Trouble is, the dynamic has to be different when you've only got 70 minutes.
The problem with fabric 80 isn't just the plodding pace of the kicks, which trudge along at pretty much the same tempo for the first ten tracks. It's that they're also marching through flat and featureless terrain such as Alex Mine's "Entady." Even moments like the brief breakdown in Bastinov's "Ellipse" or the brooding bassline of Recondite's "Caldera," welcome though they are, can't shake the sensation that Capriati's stuck in a cul-de-sac.
Things do improve near the end, not because Capriati takes any wild diversions, but because he livens things up a bit. The beats rise in velocity after Joel Mull's "Wind It Up," just enough to stop you from switching off. Tracks like Johannes Heil's "Transition Six" feel like either sweet release (or simple relief that something's actually happening), but it's only Maceo Plex's remix of Odd Parents' "Learn To Fly" that provides any real light at the end of the tunnel. With its soaring synth and vocal, hearing this one is like stumbling onto the street outside fabric in the blinding sunrise—it only seems so colourful in comparison to where you've been before, and after a moment you realise you're actually looking at something very ordinary.
Fri / 6 Mar 2015
01. Clap! Clap! - Ashiko (Lurka Obeah Mix)
02. Aura Dub - Smells Like A Virgin
03. Joseph Capriati - Partenopeo
04. Bastinov - Ellipse (Proudly People Remix)
05. Alex Mine - Entady
06. Adam Beyer - Stone Flower
07. Phil Kieran - Hells Bells
08. Recondite - Caldera
09. Shlomi Aber - Helter Skelter
10. Hans Bouffmyhre & Kyle Geiger - Dispatch
11. 2000 and One - Plant 1
12. Joel Mull - Wind It Up
13. Gary Beck - Backward
14. Johannes Heil - Transition Six
15. Hinz & Ruhmhardt - Doch
16. Alan Fitzpatrick - Organic
17. Brian Sanhaji - Gyre
18. Odd Parents - Learn To Fly (Maceo's Flight Home Mix)