DJ Sneak - Fabric 62
Wed 18th Apr, 2012 Music Reviewsin
The web has been awash with comment since DJ Sneak lashed out at the Swedish House Mafia a few weeks ago. Simon Dunmore, Felix Da Housecat, Dennis Ferrer, Roger Sanchez and Sister Bliss have all waded in since, either taking sides or trying to mediate the conflict caused by Sneak’s labeling of the Swedish trio as “DJ actors” in a magazine interview.
The resurgence of electronic music in the US, and the Swedish trio’s impressive ability to ride that wave all the way to the bank (a fact seized upon by Sneak) has, more broadly, provoked a debate about the state of the electronic music scene, as well as a rehash of the tiresome ‘underground versus commercial’ argument.
To be fair, the recent schmozzle is not the first time the Puerto Rican-born, Chicago-raised DJ producer has courted controversy with his comments. Over the course of his nearly 20-year career, Sneak has built a reputation for telling it like it is. Put simply, if it’s not house, it’s not fucking house, and Sneak will say so, regardless of who he might be talking to, or possibly offending.
I remember, while at a party in Miami for the Winter Music Conference in 2005, I saw Sneak ascend to the decks as his predecessor (who shall remain nameless) was mixing in his final track, it being one of those electro wafflers quite popular at the time. Rather than let the final track run through (as etiquette dictates), Sneak pressed stop, brought the dancefloor to a standstill and proceeded to put on his own house banger worthy of any Derrick Carter, Mark Farina or proper Chi-town set. At the time, I thought he was a rude wanker, but I’ve since learned, that’s Sneak.
He can — and does — say whatever he likes about house, because he remains one of the genre’s most passionate supporters. People know what they’re going to get from Sneak, both behind the decks and through his release output, and that’s straight up, quality, raw and rolling house music. Such a consistency demands respect.
And so it goes that, on Fabric 62, you know what you’re going to get, and it’s bloody good. This is Sneak in his element; the mix is ripe with contemporary house cuts, hand-picked from a range of independent labels and mixed up to create a fantastic, sweaty affair that is hard not to move to. From the opener, Strip Steve and Das Glow’s Calcium, to the set closer, Cause & Affect’s Beware of the Swingers (released on Australian Sonny Fodera’s own Beatdown label), Sneak keeps the intensity up, keeping the no-frills, Chicago sound at the forefront throughout.
There’s dancehall elements thrown in for good measure — on Joss Moog’s remix of Yeshua Murillo’s I’m Gonna Make You Mine and Luca M’s Funk My Sax , while Christian Burkhardt and Einzelkind’s jackin’ Cooper, with its dark, driving beat and filtered vocal snippets, conjures up visions of heaving bodies on the floor of London’s Fabric.
Tough, body-moving house music: there’s not much more that can, or should, be said. Sneak is an open book and Fabric 62 is his latest, hard-to-put-down chapter.