This latest installment in the Fabriclive collection meanders down some questionable routes at times, but still manages to maintain the slick veneer that so many people have come to expect from this series of mixes. When listening to DJ Marky you expect a certain level finesse intermingled with rich slices of Brazilian cheese, and this mix certainly lives up to those expectations. Some downright tacky vocal tracks mixed with the trademark devil may care stylings of Marky usher you into this set with a tenderness similar to that of your local lollipop lady.
There’s somewhat of a guilty pleasure feeling from the start of this Fabriclive, your brain is telling you that it’s not ‘quality’ music but your ever nodding head will simply refuse to comply. ‘Bright Lights’ by Die & Interface in particular has a way of making you cringe involuntarily due to the epicene vocals of William Cartwright, but still retains the correct levels of oomph necessary to keep you listening. This trait is common throughout the first half of Fabriclive 55, but it doesn’t continue into the later tracks.
Gradually, and with exceeding guile, Marky slithers into more liquid styles of drum & bass. Tracks from Logistics and Marcus Intalex really make their mark as the set reaches its zenith. While ‘Nowhere’ by the recently vaunted Icicle showcases Marky’s ability to mix contemporary styles of D&B with incredible ease. Even though it’s Marky’s upbeat approach to mixing that he is famous for, this Fabriclive demonstrates his skill in the dingier side of things.
As the end of the mix draws near it becomes increasingly obvious that this is not a ‘club album’. This is for lounging at home on a Friday evening. It comes as no surprise then to find out that this was exactly what Marky had in mind when recording, as he notes “My concept with CDs is very, very different to in a club – I don’t want to make a banging, noisy CD. It’s totally different.”
Fabriclive 55 is really a mix split in two. The first half eases you in with Marky’s typically jovial South American antics. While the second half descends into deliciously dark areas of D&B that leave you feeling dirty and satisfied. Overall this mix shows potential but falls short of greatness. Fans of The Brazilian Job and In Rotation will be pleased with the album’s opening tracks but may get intimidated by the later ones. Similarly, admirers of more ominous styles will enjoy the latter half of the mix if they manage to stick out the earlier vivacious tracks. If you happen to fall in between these two varieties then this album is definitely one to get a hold of.