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This is a collection of all new original productions from Villalobos himself, including collaborations with Jorge Gonzales, Patrick Ense and Fumiya Tanaka.
The sweet, microscopically detailed sound of minimal techno has been making great inroads on the dancefloor over the last few years; its elaborate textures and subtle approach to tweaking your pleasure centres the perfect antidote to the spirit of crass excess that rules elsewhere in clubland. One of the masters of the form is Ricardo Villalobos. Villalobos' mix for London superclub Fabric suggests this is a man with a very particular vision; because while most DJs use such a platform as a chance to show off the hidden corners of their record collection, the daring picks that make them the envy of their peers, this Berlin-based DJ/producer instead chooses to stuff Fabric 36 full of his own compositions. Egotistical? Perhaps, or maybe it's just a fact that Villalobos really does do it better.
His approach is easing, gradual, always tempered with restraint: on Perc And Drums, minimal glitches, clicks and shudders gently percolate over the jazzy snap of live drums, snare and cymbal; on M.Bassy, kick drums drop with a feathery weight, while a digital hand-clap lands all distorted and fuzzy. The first vocals appear almost twenty minutes in, guest Jorge Gonzales' sung-spoken narrative, a rambling monologue to the joys of a lost weekend - ''I say confusion is next to happiness - right?'' - part submerged in the fizz of 4 Wheel Drive, like frolicking in the midnight surf.
And it's not really until the album's twelve-minute centrepoint Andruic & Japan - a Latin-tinged pulse peppered with bursts of Japanese Taiko drumming and a Hispanic female voice talking about, amongst other things, the cooking of chicken giblets - that you realise you're utterly hypnotised, caught in the seductive gaze of Villalobos' claps and beats, clicks and cuts. The point being that the best minimal techno is microscopic in its design, but often all-consuming in its execution - a sound that sweeps you up and carries you away on waves of bliss. --Louis Pattison
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Top customer reviews
why ? well a total single artist mix of all your own tracks is either very brave or very stupid + here RL presents us with 15 self-produced tracks that do not change in tempo at all until track 9 - thats' 40 minutes into the mix ! can you imagine standing there (or shuffling a little ) to that on a busy Fabric night ? i don't think so .. tracks 9 onwards (particularly the final few tracks start to build really nicely into afro-minimal avenues then the cd ends..) that show some of the reason why the chilean dj/producer is so revered .
go for his "Fizheuer Zieheuer" extended EP for a quality experimental + eclectic Villalobos for far greater diverse minimal beats,textures,+ risk taking. this fabric ix is pretty dull + lacklustre i'm afraid. the Tyrant fabic 15 mix or the minus label compilations are far sronger than this cd. try them out instead for equally deep hypnotic but sexier beats.
Initial impressions weren't good. I kept waiting for it to get going, but it never really does. His mixes on Cocoon's Taka Taka and Green and Blue CDs are dancy, groove filled numbers and I was expecting more of the same.
However - after a few proper listens the Fabric mix has started to work it's magic.
Once you accept it as a chill-out and not a dancefloor mix and really listen, you'll find it's a trippy and interesting piece of music.
Don't just whack it on while going about your day, it'll just pass you by. You need to sit in a darkened room and give it your full attention to get the most out of it.
I'm sure many people won't have the patience to get to like this album, but it's a grower and finally won me over.
Don't get me wrong, I do like minimal techno but Villalobos can stray too far into shuffly, clicky nonsense which can get boring very quickly. I like his Alcachofa album, especially 'the classic 'Easy Lee' but none of the tracks on this CD have that kind of soul. It is all a bit self indulgent and I think no mixtape should feature a single track that is over 12 minutes long like this one does. I think sometimes he doesn't know when enough is enough as is evident in his epic 18 minute remix of Shackletons' 'Blood On My Hands'.
This mix never really gets going and as I've said in other reviews, minimal can still be funky and driving without being so boring.
Like this? Try: Fabric 27: Matthew Dear
Can you stomach thirteen minutes of nonsense recorded in a studio? If not, perhaps it's best you give "Andruic & Japan" a miss, although it's the vocal effects and subtle details (check out the way the drums gang up and assault your senses later on, and the single scream that breaks through the surface after that) that makes it an essential part of this composition, rather than an in-joke gone awry. It's "Primer Encuentro Latino-Americano" that steals the show though, as Ricardo combines his own unique brand of minimalism with a decidedly maximal excursion into Brazilian chanting that sounds like it comes straight from the streets of Rio. You could perhaps argue the coldness of this music, but to me that's an essential aspect to what makes this so great. Barely anything stays the same; constantly mutating from bar to bar making this project as admirable as it is a full-on celebration.
Fireworks, Villalobos style!
I have to say I was very surprised when I first whacked this CD on. The first track is just glitchy noise. It sets you up for what's coming though; a slowly evolving hypnotic mix of original material made just for this mix album (all made by Villalobos). I'm fairly open minded about music and I recommend anyone who buys this is as well (unless you're a microhouse junky), but don't let me put you off, this album (and specifically the track "andruic and Japan" with its African drumming) is infectiously funky. It's certainly not a party mix but it's class to chill out/do work to.
Free your mind and let this CD hypnotize you
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