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Fabriclive 50 – dBridge & Instra:mental present Autonomic review

Artist: dBridge & Instra:mental
Title: Fabriclive 50
Label: Fabric
CD, Digital
Buy From: Juno Records, Juno Download

Being chosen to do a FabricLive mix CD is no mean feat. Over the years, the likes of James Lavelle, John Peel and LTJ Bukem have made their appearances on what is undoubtedly the most pre-eminent series of mix CDs to ever grace our ears. Now marking their half-centenary, D-Bridge and Instra:mental bring us the culmination of sounds from their respective labels, Exit and Non Plus, and their Autonomic podcast series.

Beginning the sonic journey with the uplifting, sonorous vocal work of Riya (who, incidentally is set for big things this year), in “Seems Like”, and moving through some minimal, downtempo numbers from Stray, Dan Habarnam and Vaccine, things get a bit more quirky and explorative in Consequence Lover’s “Shell and Genotype – Distorted Dreams”. Alix Perez’s “Self Control” is a particularly poignant and beautiful moment in the mix, as are the string of Instra:mental tracks – “End Credits”, “Watching You” and “Fist (Level 2B) mix” – which meld together seamlessly in a stream of sparse, melodic beauty. Separated off from the rest of the mix by two acapellas – courtesy of Meleka – “Go” and D-Bridge – “Inner Disbelief” – this middle section marks the ever-so-subtle movement into dubstep territory, which dominates the second half of the CD.

Here we see the likes of Hotflush head honcho, Scuba featured (with the dBridge remix of “Tense and Eclipse”) alongside the Hessle Audio-affiliated Pearson Sound; Code 3’s “Living Proof” and Skream’s “Fire Call” should also get a special mention, with strong contributions from both dBridge and Instra:mental cementing it all together. It’s a phenomenal selection of fresh, cutting-edge music that sets out to defy genre boundaries and re-introduce musicality, space and depth to production, and exceeds expectations on every level.

Review: Belinda Rowse