It’s hard to discuss Kevin McAuley without comparing his career trajectory to the other two-thirds of Hessle Audio. So we won’t. Let’s just say that with FabricLive.73, Pangaea clears the swamp of expectation and emerges with a confident statement of intent. Ostensibly a techno mix, there’s a sense of osmosis permeating the whole thing, with a number of tracks melting together so fluidly you’re not quite sure what happened, or when.
But it’s the bits between which reveal a rudeness informed by and indebted to the continually evolving canon of UK dance music. It’s there in the broken snap of Adam Jay’s Refraction, the dubbed-out momentum of Reeko’s … err, Momentum, and most notably Hodge’s snare-happy Resolve (a track which later re-appears as a ghostly techno-apparition in the form of Manni Dee’s Romantic Self). There are no troughs to speak of, only rolling tundras broken by the occasional huge, jutting monument. It also doesn’t feel like a journey in the way that traditional techno seems to pride itself on. Where most mixes of his stature tend to be bookended by thoughtful ambience, FabricLive.73 opens with a kick drum and ends with the fading-out of a record in full swing, charging in and out of our attention with a palpable confidence. Now can we judge Pangaea on his own terms?
– – – – – – – – – –
Words: Steve Dores