Daniel Avery sounds like he’s moving to every beat, feeding off crowd energy, turning every button push and cross fade into an aerobics class. Fabric’s route 66 selector is no idle focal point, though his hands don’t get carried away, trained to teach at tech-house central. With barely a discernible hook to grab hold of for the duration — the kind of set that you come away from buzzing, if completely unable to name a stand-out track or high point — the crowd are kept up for 76 eventful minutes. Featuring plenty of the DJs own stock (Avery’s “Naive Reception” ping-ponging between speakers), it pumps with relentless flavor without being manic, and funks with a tough outer shell that the spinner is unabashed about, eventually making it see the mix home.
Simian Mobile Disco’s “Supermoon” catches ears with its euphoric synth rockets to the moon, well set up by the party-feeding “You Think You Think” by Sneaker. After a literal pause trying to split the mix into sides, the second half feels less ‘interactive’ and with heads clamped down more. Avery’s “Water Jump” heavies up the vibe with bassy breakbeat leading into gruffness from James Welsh and Forward Strategy Group, and a deathly lull between Morgan Hammer & Matt Walsh swarms over the arena to turn the early grins into appreciative grimaces.
Another month, another Fabric mix, another Berlin selector at the controls. The sound of underground alliances at work, forced down and sealed airtight, snipping away constantly, twitching between new skools and old – it’s techno wanting your full concentration and investment in celebrating the human metronome. It almost drifts into ambience with K-Hand’s “Starz,” the lightest indication that Klock’s dominantly steely streak constantly issues warnings if not full-on rebukes. Sagat’s “Few Mysteries…” is like a flex of the cane without the subsequent whiplash, as Klock dangles a sword of Damocles over the dance floor. Steve Rachmad’s “Rotary” is another peering its periscope above the surface before retracting to its dark domain, with James Ruskin providing an apt finale with the brooding flourishes of “Detached” — which the mix has never apologized for being up to this point. Floorplan’s “Chord Principal” is the designated headmaster of techno rules, looking at Burial’s “Raver” talking up its outsider credentials.
The king moment though is Klock’s remix of Josh Wink’s “Are You There?” – the vocal comes twofold, asking to give yourself up to a dance floor man hunt or whether you’ve reached your climax, combined with breakbeats snapping the locks off straitjackets. Floorplan’s “Never Grow Old” adds some humanity to what has been a mechanical uprising, pieced together without so much of a fingerprint on the fader and creating that often imitated, rarely bettered Berlin body heat.
File under: DJ Bone, Marcel Dettmann, Terence Fixmer