Skip to main content
A Magazine for

The Manchester edition of Now Then is no longer publishing content. Visit the Sheffield edition.


I've never been to Fabric. It's not like I didn't want to or anything. Who wouldn't want to stand on a dancefloor that vibrates the music through your bones? Your bones, for Pete's sake! The closest I ever got to that were those lollipops that played the radio through your teeth.

I just never got around to it is all. I knew exactly what it sounded like in there though. I've been an advocate of the Fabriclive mix range since I first heard Jacques Lu Cont expertly weave together Fabriclive.09.

After that Adam Freeland beat the grey stuff out of my head with his heavy electro and breaks driven Fabriclive.16, Aim hugged me through every quiet night shift with Fabriclive.17, Evil Nine made me feel a bit funny in the trousers with Fabriclive.28 and Justice made me appreciate camp French disco with the very different and frankly brilliant Fabriclive.37, which was rejected in favour of Caspa & Rusko.

For a long time these mixes were a platform for carefully selected DJs to entertain you with their ideal night out. They were always fun and never took themselves as seriously as their sister 'Fabric' mixes - all apart from No. 23, which we don't talk about because it doesn't fit in with what I just said and I don't want to look like an idiot.

It's pretty hard to extract artistic merit from a varied selection of songs that come from a varied selection of musicians, unless of course they're embarrassingly well mixed, or if the artist does what I like to call a 'Kalkbrenner' and just plays their own tracks for an hour and a half.

Neither of those things has happened here. Nor is it in the least bit fun. The tone of the release is dark and sparse, packed to the gills with a style of under-produced bass music that is somehow still popular. There's even a bit of 'wob' in the form of 'Blue Meanie' by Distance, which sounds even more out of place on this mix than that particular brand of noise does within the nation's collective psyche.

Having said all that, this is the only place you'll be able to get a full three minutes of Boddika & Joy O's 'Swims' for quite a while. Every cloud, and all that.

I've no doubt there are people out there who will thoroughly enjoy this mix. Unfortunately I just didn't have enough ketamine on me to really get the most out of it.