Various Artists - Fabric pres. Elevator Music, Vol 1
Wed 17th Feb, 2010 Music Reviewsin
Fabric bills this CD as “bass music” or “dubstep”, and tey wax lyrical about the sweet 140 beats per minute tempo and act as if this is something new and exciting… However, if this CD was released 5 to 10 years ago it would have been labelled simply as “breaks”. Breaks, as it were, being such as wide genre, almost as indefinable as house, and certainly a lot more mutable than say DnB or trance.
But for whatever reason, breaks isn’t “cool” anymore, so A&R people and club promoters – along with journos who have to stamp their opinion on everything – come up with new terms to sell music to the kids. Not like many of them are actually buy it. The key drawcard here, however, is the Fabric name. Fabric’s mixes are held in high regard, and so this is a release sure to grab a lot of attention.
So, yes, Fabric have an enviable brand position, but why do they need to take it that one step further and break things into factions and sub-genres? I get that selling records is harder than ever in this day and age, but splintering music into smaller and smaller segments is not doing anyone in the industry any favours. It’s segmenting the audience, and moreover it’s making the audience dumb. People define music as dubstep, then suddenly people only like dubstep? That’s ridiculous!
Additionally, the music becomes boring and trite. Dubstep has – popularly at least – been around for about three years now, and already the majority of it is full of RnB samples and remixes of popular commercial tunes. There’s at least two Riverside remixes in the dubstep style, and probably more out there than I’ve had the misfortune of hearing. “Motherfucker” indeed!
But, I’m ranting… Luckily this CD has a litany of decent tracks on it. Some of it is kind of housey, some of it is kind of techy, and some of it is kind of dubby. None of those terms are real words. Just get this album, listen to it and enjoy the music on it without slapping labels on there. Hats off to Fabric for collecting all of this great music on one CD and getting it out there – hopefully to a wider audience. But they also shouldn’t be parading around like they’ve discovered a wonderful new sound. It is breakbeat, or if you wanted to cast the net a little wider it’s simply electronic music. Let’s stop pissing about with all the other genres and terms and get back to simply listening to and enjoying it for what it is.