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Pearson Sound/Ramadanman – Fabriclive 56 review

David Kennedy, aka Ramadanman/Pearson Sound, undoubtedly one of the most talked about electronic artists of recent times, steps up with his highly anticipated mix, marking the 56th instalment of the venerable fabriclive series. Since he first appeared in 2006, Kennedy has released on numerous labels including Loefah’s Swamp 81, Untold’s Hemlock, Will Saul’s Aus and of course Hessle Audio, the label he co-runs with Ben UFO and Pangaea. Championed by critics, tastemakers and the bass music fraternity alike, he very much represents the sound of now and is an obvious choice for fabriclive, being a talented DJ as well as producer. Amongst the almost exorbitant 30-track selection are 10 of Kennedy’s own, signposted by explorations into dubstep, post-dubstep, house, funky, techno, grime, juke and beyond.

Throughout the album, tracks are spliced together in an ever-metamorphosing swell of sound. We are taken from the atmospheric, blissed out entrée, pottering about around 130bpm, through some hissing techno-laced moments and house rhythms – most notably the ultimate DJ tool otherwise known as “Late Night Jam” by Levon Vincent – to the immense sounds of Julio Bashmore’s “Battle For Middle You” which ups the pace, segueing smoothly and effortlessly into the infectious booty bass of “Grab Somebody” (surely one of Kennedy’s less appreciated offerings) and onwards through the Carl Craig re-edit of “Void23”, his collab with Bristol based producer Appleblim. Elsewhere the grandiose “symphonic refix” of latter day hero Joy Orbison provides another delectable soundbite before we are plunged yet deeper into the mix.

Bass fiends will get a kick out of the second half of the mix in which Pangaea’s “Inna Daze”, with its tribal pattering, wailing cries and deep, dubbed out soundscape foreshadows Pinch’s moody, melancholic “Qawaali” and the Benji B championed classic MJ Cole ft. Wiley “From The Drop”, which all occur in a delicious triplet with a Pearson Sound cut to shake things up. To top it all off there’s even a delicately placed smattering of Burial, before the mix deftly changes direction towards Bok Bok, Girl Unit, and ubiquitous underground anthem “Woo Riddim”. Finishing with a slew of super sharp cuts from Bristol based Addison Groove, dubstep pioneer Mala and London via Berlin producer Sigha, Pearson Sound’s selection for number 56 is both on point and seamlessly eclectic. Much like his electrifying DJ sets, the elements gel together beautifully, offering something very unifying and wholesome, making for an essential and very satisfying listen.

Belinda Rowse