Fabric offerings are so good on the whole, that it's with some weight of thought that I call this the best to date, along with Digweed's Fabric 20. But Digweed's masterful if linear approach differs obscenely from DiV honcho Richard Fearless' "mad scientist" approach, where predictability is a rude word and there is equally a propensity to chuck something away and jump ship to a new direction as to mix traditionally and abley.
FL23 has a definite aim towards your head as well as your body. Genres and tempos incessently switch to make sure you're taking this all in - 'if you want to switch off and boogey go to Ministry'. Indeed, 3 songs from the end, which is normally nicely-progressing-climax territory, DiV's 'Natja' shuts up shop and prods you with hippy-esq quartertones to make sure you're congnitively up to the job.
Logical sectioning of FL23 is a mean feat for any musicologist; a sci-fi-esq beginning, centring on repetitious development of motifs, gives way to Lost in Sound, a gorgeous example of electro sentiment akin to Royksopp's Poor Leno. Cheap Therapy is a teriffic switch towards dirty, bassey house with infectious vocal samples. Alleys of your mind comes out of and goes no where, Marionette is a beautiful minimalist track which which works a sinister motif to a moving climax ala Nathan Fake, and so the changability carries on to the finish.
But it works. Too often variety is cynically used to create something easy to call intelligent and difficult to criticse due to its scope for interpretation. Here, the genre-jumping is notable but not extreme as to be chalk and cheese, and the result is a fascinating, re-listenable mix which has few equals within its category - whatever that is.