Drop the Lime FabricLive 53 Review

Released 2010.  

BBC Review

As a transatlantic cross section of bristling club scenes it's fairly on the button.

Matthew Bennett 2010

Aggression gets you places. The critically lauded but citrus-obsessed Luca Venezia has developed a dense DJ style that's violently noisy, generically cannibalistic and utterly obsessed with driving crowds towards dancefloors like cows to abattoirs.

As Drop the Lime's hip Trouble and Bass parties have traversed the Atlantic he has ignited parties at locales as diverse as super clubs in London and hidden rave holes found in the backrooms of Italian restaurants in New York. Wherever he lands, he serves up uncompromising if chaotic futuristic mutations of house, garage and dubstep.

Venezia has declared that the 26 tracks here are an attempt to forge a classic mix album. But whilst Venezia says that he tried to omit the obvious new hype records, there's little evidence that he achieved this. Most cuts are relatively new and their frantic, hyperactive tone certainly will mark out this mix as being from 2010, as club trends continue to evaporate faster than Vicks on sweaty shoulders.

As ever with such releases, this mix will appeal in different places to different tastes. Of his own tracks, the demented Sex Sax, with its lurid and ludicrous edits of brass, will massively grate; but his excellent Hot Sauce Grillz is a banger that should leapfrog its way through anyone’s DJ bags.

His desire for disc jockey immortality might actually break into the footnotes of mix-tape history thanks to his inclusion of Bill Hayley & His Comets’ Rock Around the Clock and The Strangeloves’ I Want Candy. But these incongruous selections expose how esoteric his sets are by their presence alone. They stand out starkly.

There are some distinct moments that suit the flow better, though. For example, hyped wonky producer Mosca finds the L-Vis 1990 remix of his Square One nestling beside Chicago classic acid track No Way Back by Adonis. Rarely has such an upfront tune met an old classic so beautifully.

For commentators on the ultimate DJ mix album, FabricLive 53 is hardly going to pester Coldcut's Journeys by DJ set, or even Michael Mayer's Fabric mash-up for a startling, game-changing experience. But for a transatlantic cross section of New York and London's bristling club scene it's fairly on the button, even if it allows the dumb weight of fierce dancefloor sounds to dominate a home listening experience a tad too much.

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