FABRIC 71 (fabric)
A few weeks ago, Maceo Plex contributed to a long and ignominious tradition – that of men telling women how to make & market dance music – when he criticised Nina Kraviz’s Between the Beats feature for Resident Advisor. In apparent contrast to Kraviz, Plex held up Cassy Britton as one of a few women he deemed to be “doing it right”; i.e, in his opinion, “not using their sex appeal” to sell records. In response, Kraviz was quick to post the cover for Cassy’s Panorama Bar mix, where she appears nude. Cassy didn’t get involved, perhaps because she didn’t care about what (yet) another man was saying about how she should/shouldn’t operate. Based on this, the new instalment in fabric’s long-running mix series, she doesn’t need to either.
Fabric 71 starts with Arttu’s Tune In, a sermon from Diamondancer propelled by a chest-perforating broken beat and soothing pads. Kuumba Project’s Black Thoughts meshes in nicely thereafter, lifting the tempo and lightening the mood before Livio Improta’s Mare010 kicks the mix into heads-down territory. Until the mid-section it’s a fairly deep mix, with intricate rhythms and looped melodies, slick transitions and smart selections. This is very much a showcase of Cassy’s mixing prowess, and a window onto the kind of music she selects during sets: analogue-sounding house and techno. The sandwiching of Pachanga Boys’ John Talabot remix between two Basic Soul Unit cuts is a particular highlight, and you’d be hard pushed to pinpoint where one begins and another finishes. Affie Yusuf’s Bring You Techno really does bring the mix “heads-down”, with the second half ebbing and flowing between full-blooded monsters and some more reflective breakdowns. Closing on Duster Valentine’s Against the Wall is a particularly soulful and satisfying touch, and we can easily imagine Cassy stood behind the decks, smiling, packing up her records, job done – not giving a fuck about Maceo Plex.
– – – – – – – – – – –
Words: Robert Bates