Various Artists - FabricLive.45, mixed by A-Trak
Tue 31st Mar, 2009 Music Reviewsin
Since winning the World DMCs back in ’97 at the terrifyingly precocious age of fifteen, Alain Mackovitch AKA A-Trak has crammed plenty of nights, block parties and festivals into his career as party starter extraordinaire. The Fool’s Gold label boss has recently been widening his legion of hipster fans as the tour DJ for Kanye West and in the process educating the collage dropout rapper on the joys of electronic music.
Kanye’s journey from stage invading anti-*Justice* ranter to Daft Punk sampling, M.I.A collaborating, vocoder tweaking, electro blogger is in no small part influenced by A-Trak’s skills as a genre mangling DJ with his ears finely tuned to the latest beats. His rising profile has also helped out some of the friends and family on his speed dial, with his brother Dave 1 of Chromeo, Fool’s Gold’s Kid Cudi and girlfriend Kid Sister – whose much delayed album is sure to kill when it finally drops this year – all benefiting from the connection.
Despite his enviable list of connections, his mix for the London nightclub slash mix album empire avoids some of the more obvious inclusions – so there’s no Kanye, no Chromeo, no Kid Sister and only a handful of Fool’s Gold choices. Obviously keen to break out from the tag of being ‘Kanye’s DJ’, A-Trak has crafted a mix light on hip hop or soul loops in favour of a mix of ‘club music selected with a hip-hop ear’. This seventy minute mix takes in a spectrum of house tracks that merges disco, French touch and the stuttering wobbles of blog house with forays into Baltimore beats, Chi-town Juke sleaze and even the indie-electo of Metronomy and Friendly Fires.
Like his recent mix in Nike’s Running Man series, the Fabric mix kicks off with A-Trak’s own Say Whoa giving the low end a decent workout. The digitized Daftish vocals of his remix of Boys’ Noize’s Oh! take the baton before the French robots take over with their remix/rephase of Scott Grooves Mothership Connection. Grime maestro Skepta splices genres with Sweet Mother as soulful African harmonies clash against a wibbling clatter of beats – think DJ Majava’s Township Funk if it had visited a Soweto church hall on its path from South Africa to the world’s DJ booths.
DJ Class drops vocoded boasts on I’m The Ish – basically he’s the ‘shit up in this bitch’ – though the affair is short lived with Metronomy’s lovelorn Heartbreaker immediately bring the morning after reality. The ‘Always Anytime 24-7’ hook of Dance Area’sAA 24-7 offers the mantra of the international superstar DJ and devotees of the cow bell will worship at the altar of Daniele Papini’s Church of Nonsense.
Aeroplane’s remix of Friendly Fires’ Paris trades the original’s vocals for the gentle tones of indie sirens Au Revoir Simone with re-edits and remixes from Erol Alkan and Todd Terje keeping the mix smoothly laid back before the final sprint home, pushing through with DJ Gant-Man’s Juke Dat Girl From The Back and the baile funk of DJ MP4’s The Book Is On The Table.
Perhaps the fact that he had two mix records to deliver at roughly the same time saw him pushing to differentiate the selections, with the track listing of his Infinity +1 set for Thrive Records displaying a more typical choice of tracks from folks such as MSTRKRFT, Kid Sister, DJ Mehdi, Midnight Juggernauts and Little Boots.
This leaves Fabriclive 45 as yet another solid entry in the rapidly growing collection but, by lurking in house grooves, it lacks the diversity and block party rocking approach that we’ve come to expect of an A-Trak mix.
Check out the tracklist…
01. A-Trak – Say Whoa
02. Boys Noize – Oh! (A-Trak Remix)
03. Scott Grooves – Mothership Reconnection (Daft Punk rmx)
04. Voodoo Chilli – Get On Down
05. Skepta – Sweet Mother (House Version)
06. DJ Class – I’m The Ish
07. Metronomy – Heartbreaker (Diskjokke Remix)
08. His Majesty Andre – Peep Thong
09. Zombie Nation – Forza (Original)
10. Alex Gopher – Aurora
11. Dance Area – AA 24-7
12. Robbie Rivera – MoveMove (DJ Observer&Daniel Heathcliff Remix)
13. Daniele Papini – Church of Nonsense
14. Laidback Luke & A-Trak – Shake It Down
15. Nacho Lovers – Acid Life (Nachos 909 Dub)
16. Rob Threezy – The Chase
17. Friendly Fires – Paris (Aeroplane Remix)
18. Fan Death – Veronica’s Veil (Erol Alkan’s Extended Re-edit)
19. Simon Baker – Plastik (Todd Terje’s Turkatech Remix)
20. The Martian – Tobacco Ties
21. DJ Gant-Man – Juke Dat Girl From The Back
22. DJ MP4 – The Book Is On The Table
23. Jamie Anderson & Content – Body Jackin’
24. Raffertie – Do Dat
25. DJ Zinc – 138 Trek