5 Best Fabric Live Mixes | Features | MN2S

As the legendary Fabriclive mix series draws to its 100th edition, we look back on five of the best recordings.

Fabric, the legendary London nightclub that narrowly avoided permanent closure last year, is renowned for its stellar Fabriclive mix series, which has so far seen 99 DJs put together mixes that showcase their trademark style.

Every mix is top notch, so it’s difficult to choose a definitive top five. These, however, are definitely five mixes from the series’ upper tier.

DJ YodaFABRICLIVE 39

DJ Yoda got his start assembling cut and paste mixtapes comprised of pop and hip-hop tracks and selling them in record shops. These tapes quickly generated buzz, and before long Yoda’s career took off. His ‘How to Cut and Paste’ mixtape series is now a legendary example of the craft.

Despite this, there’s no cutting or pasting to be found on his entry to the Fabriclive canon. As the DJ explained to Fabric, “As much as the “How To Cut & Paste” mixes represent my style, the fabric mix is the first time you’ll hear what I sound like in a club, as opposed to me sitting at home in my bedroom fiddling around with tiny pieces of music. It’s music you can dance to.”

The tracklist is vintage DJ Yoda, with cuts from Ice Cube, Jurassic 5, and Gang Starr sitting alongside Bell Biv Devoe, Skream and the Chemical Brothers. Music you can dance to indeed.

Four Tet — FABRICLIVE 59

Renowned DJ-producer Four Tet really put in the effort for his Fabriclive mix. Not content with resting on his laurels, the DJ spent time tracking down rare records that even a crate-digger of his stature may have missed in order to shine a light on little-heard tracks from the 90s 2-step and garage scene.

“This mix is not about my DJing. It’s about London and fabric and nights out and my take on all that,” he said to Fabric. He crafted new tracks of his own for the mix, and used clips from inside the venue itself to add to the authenticity and atmosphere. The result is not only a representation of Four Tet’s creativity, but a representation of the club itself.

Pinch — FABRICLIVE 61

Pinch is known as one of the key players in the Bristol bass scene, pushing dub sounds to new limits with his own productions and DJ sets. One of Pinch’s most important concerns when creating this mix was that he use vinyl versions of every track. “I am a supporter of the sound of vinyl and the cultural associations I make with this format so it was important to me – even if I do ultimately end up abandoning my beloved format one day – to stick by my guns and record the mix like this.” The effort pays off, and the quality of the mix is clear. Tracks from Pinch’s then-recent collaboration with Shackleton join songs from the likes of Addison Groove and Deleted Scenes.

Best of all, the mix was intentionally constructed to work as an infinite loop. Make sure you hit repeat when you play this one.

FabioFABRICLIVE 10

One of the first mixes in the entire series, Fabio’s drum n bass-heavy offering features many of the best tracks from the 2003 scene alongside older favourites. Unsurprisingly, Fabio’s mix is worthy of a DJ who has been operating since the 1980s, often teaming with kindred spirit Grooverider in his endeavours.

Speaking to Fabric at the time of release, Fabio said, “I tried to combine liquid funk with a raw edge and feature some of the nu-skool; Calibre, Hi Contrast and Twisted Individual, that are making the scene so exciting.”

The Herbaliser — FABRICLIVE 26

The Herbaliser are one of hip-hop’s most successful DJ duos, working with big name artists, creating iconic soundtracks and, of course, playing no-holds-barred DJ sets. The duo told Fabric that, “This Fabric mix is very much something you could put on at a party and that’s the nature of the Fabric CD series. We didn’t want to make a chill-out CD, this is a real party mix.” And it shows. Old school hip-hop bangers from Eric B. & Rakim join more recent cuts from The Roots, and funk classics from James Brown and Jackson 5.

Check out the other 94 Fabriclive mixes here. Contact their agents to book The Herbaliser, Fabio, Pinch, or DJ Yoda to bring these master mixers to your venue.

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