Various - FabricLive 57: Jackmaster
Fri 1st Jul, 2011 Music Reviewsin
Some DJs believe you’ve got to start subtle and build from there. On the evidence of FabricLive 57, Jackmaster is not one of those DJs. As the man himself put it in an interview with FACT magazine back in May: “I wanted to make a CD that girls would put on at house parties, rather than boys sitting in their bedrooms smoking weed to it.” 29 tracks make the cut for Jackmaster’s ultimate house party mix, and toilet breaks are not an option.
While it’s generally accepted wisdom that productions equal profile, Jackmaster’s having none of it. Instead of releasing records, he’s mastered the art of playing them. The Glaswegian is a bona-fide DJ, a point that isn’t lost on the dancefloors he routinely fills around Europe. While his hometown allegiances with the likes of Rustie and Hudson Mohawke invite the ‘bass music’ tag, his sets are just as likely to lean towards vintage Detroit techno as the latest dubplate. What matters is the party, and you’ll find no better testament to that than his FabricLive rave-a-thon.
As far as exhilarating opening salvos go, the first 15-or-so minutes of this mix are hard to beat. “The time is right, we can live throughout the evening in the groove,” promises The Fantastic Aleems’ 1984 vocal house template Release Yourself, before Inner City’s Big Fun announces that the party has only just begun. Merely three minutes into the ride, the impulse to throw a hand in the air is hard to resist. It’s at this early stage that Jackmaster’s intensive mixing is most vital; flinging us from the squelchy funk of Model 500’s untouchable Night Drive into the rush of Nite Life, which will having you loving UK garage all over again.
After those throwback thrills, the switch to newer gear cools the euphoria somewhat. Regardless, the mix never stops bouncing, and tracks don’t tend to hang around long. Larry Heard’s long-played-out The Sun Can’t Compare doesn’t quite work in this set, Seekwal from Sinden and SBTRKT is a noisy misfire and some of the transitions jar, but you can hardly see a dancefloor arguing with the unbridled sense of fun.
At points it feels like Jackmaster is trying a little too hard to po-go between eras and time signatures, with the jump from Wookie’s Sia remix into Can You Feel It? particularly awkward. If he’d had it his way, though, the DJ would’ve thrown even more into the mix. As he told FACT, his original vision included major label juggernauts like Janet Jackson and Jay-Z. Alas, they didn’t come to the party. “The girl who handled all the licensing said it was the hardest job she’s ever done,” he admits in the interview.
One track that did come through at the last minute was the Underground Resistance classic Jupiter Jazz, a highlight of the mix’s final stretch. By this point of the night, the sweat is on the walls and bodies are jacking everywhere. Hudson Mohawke’s Fuse brings things down in a wonderfully off-kilter fashion, before we’re off and racing again. And few could argue with the slow-burning swoon of Idioteque as a send-off. Rough patches aside, FabricLive 57 should prove to be that rarest thing: a mix-CD you hold onto.
FabricLive 57: Jackmaster is out now on Fabric/Balance Music, distributed through EMI.
1. The Fantastic Aleems – Release Yourself
2. Inner City – Big Fun (Magic Juan Remix)
3. Gregor Salto – Classic Beat Tool
4. Model 500 – Night Drive (Thru-Babylon)
5. Kim English – Nite Life (Retail Club Mix)
6. Anthony Shakir – Plugged In
7. Martyn – Alldayallnight
8. Geiom feat. Terrible Shock – 2 4 6
9. Doug Willis – Dougswana (Audiowhores Beats)
10. Jook 10 – Emotions
11. Larry Heard presents Mr. White – The Sun Can’t Compare
12. Addison Groove – Make Um Bounce
13. SBTRKT & Sinden – Seekwal
14. Splack Pack – Shake That Ass Bitch
15. Mad Mike featuring Davina – Don’t You Want It
16. Sia – Little Man (Wookie Remix)
17. CLS – Can You Feel It? (In House Dub)
18. DJ Deeon – The Freaks
19. The Outlander – Vamp
20. Splack Pack – Scrub Da Ground
21. Underground Resistance – Jupiter Jazz
22. Thomas Bangalter – What To Do
23. Fix – Flash
24. Hudson Mohawke – Fuse
25. Machinedrum – La Bomba
26. DJ Funk – Pussy Ride
27. AFX – VBS.Redlof.B
28. Skepta – Doin’ It Again
29. Radiohead – Idioteque