Album Review of Fabric 91 by Nina Kraviz.
Release Date: Dec 9, 2016
Record label: Fabric
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Techno, Club/Dance, Experimental Techno, Ambient Techno, IDM, Minimal Techno, Tech-House, Acid Techno
While Nina Kraviz was preparing for her last mix CD, 2015's DJ-Kicks, she dug out some old records from her collection, including Exos' Grass Hunter, from 1998. That rediscovery spurred the birth of her ???? label, a platform for ultra-deep, sometimes retro techno from a diverse but close-knit group of artists. In the time since her DJ-Kicks, Kraviz's style has become more adventurous, informed by the loads of new music she has lined up for her label and her continued record digging.
Highly skilled, sometimes controversial Siberian DJ Nina Kraviz provided the 91st installment of legendary London club Fabric's eponymous mix series (as opposed to their concurrent FabricLive series). The sprawling 41-track mix covers a lot of ground in relatively short time, and it's never less than riveting. Right off the bat, Kraviz reveals herself to be an obsessive, nerdy record collector with an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of techno, as she mixes 20-year-old tracks by artists like DJ Slip and Leo Anibaldi, which are well known to veteran DJs but hardly common names to anyone just getting into the genre in 2016.
Dip your head into the age-old and increasingly wearing debate about vinyl versus MP3 and before long you will hear someone harping on about the “warmth” of vinyl, a kind of catch-all term that no one seems willing to define but most people agree is definitely a good thing. Leaving aside the annoying vagueness of “warmth” as a compliment, it is an argument that suggests that all and everything above 20°C is superior in musical terms, while coldness is to be avoided at all costs. And yet, as producers as diverse as Wiley or Biosphere have shown over the years, an icy wedge of coldness can go a long way in modern music.