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Martyn Fabric 50 Review

Compilation. Released 2010.  

BBC Review

His way with a slippery beat holds this together very well.

Louis Pattison 2009

Like most of the artists that sign up to Fabric’s mix series, Dutchman Martijn Deijkers defies easy genre categorisation. Debut full-length Great Lengths fell nominally within the boundaries of dubstep, but like many at work within the form in 2009, Deijkers’ music was of interest mostly for the ways it wriggled shy of convention – a mellow and colourful twist on the sound, informed equally by his past in house and techno.

What this means for his Fabric mix, loosely, is a whole lot of variety. Deijkers claims it’s not specifically made to work on the dancefloor, but beyond the opening Joy Fantastic – one of the more Outkast-flavoured tracks from Hudson Mohawke’s Butter album – if anything, this mix is conspicuous for the upbeat tempos and exquisite complexity of its rhythmic programming.

While steeped in the post-UK garage and UK funky sound, it is nonetheless dominated by producers keen to put an individual stamp on their productions. So, Zomby’s Little Miss Naughty is a future-tribal bounce pockmarked with air horns and junglist slogans. Roska’s Without It is sparse UK Funky with blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em keyboard stabs. And Dorian Concept’s Trilingual Dance Sexperience is a splattery, scattershot take on hyped-up G-funk that’s almost quease-inducing in its wonky sensory overload.

Too much of this stuff can rot your teeth, though, so Martyn also dips a little into the more reliable step of 4/4. A Ben Klock remix of his own Is This Insanity featuring sometime Kode9 collaborator Spaceape is an appealing change of pace, while DJ Bone’s We Control The Beat is crisp Detroit techno that makes its home here chiefly thanks to the clean wooziness of its synths.

There are a few jarring moments – a Martyn remix of electro-pop trio The Detachments is an ill fit, the vocals standing out like a sore thumb – but largely, it’s testament to Deijkers’ way with a slippery beat that this holds together so well.

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