Nina Kraviz: DJ Kicks
Listeners familiar with the genre know that, appearances to the contrary, mixes aren't interchangeable, and that each, despite adhering to certain clear-cut conventions, will likely differentiate itself in some way or another from the rest. No better example illustrates this than new mixes by Nina Kraviz and Joseph Capriati: while each packs a large number of tracks into its seventy-minute set-list (eighteen for Capriati and twenty-nine for Kraviz), the two part ways in terms of overall tone and character, with Capriati's a lazer-focused club mix and Kraviz's a rather trippier and wide-ranging animal by comparison.
Neopolitan DJ-and-techno producer Capriati, who issued his 2013 Self-Portrait album on Adam Beyer's Drumcode label, distinguishes his contribution to Fabric's esteemed series with a fleet-footed mix that's got bounce, funk, and drive written all over it. Recorded live in his studio with two CDJs and a mixer, Capriati fashioned the recording so that it would reflect an hypothetical visitor's dusk-to-dawn experience at the Fabric club. Capriati certainly wastes no time getting things moving: though the opening Lurka Obeah mix of Clap! Clap!'s “Ashiko” begins with a purr, it kicks royally into gear at the one-minute mark with a dynamic snare-popping pulse that lays the groundwork for Aura Dub's even harder-grooving bomb “Smells Like A Virgin” and Capriati's own insistent throwdown “Partenopeo.” Steamy cuts by Bastinov, Alex Mine, Beyer, and Phil Kieran follow until the pace relaxes ever so slightly for the elegant atmospherics of Recondite (“Caldera”) before picking back up again with the relentless thrust of Hans Bouffmyhre & Kyle Geiger's “Dispatch” and 2000 and One's “Plant 1.” The mix undergoes a gyroscopic face-lift as it roars into its home stretch, with Gary Beck's dizzying “Backward” and Alan Fitzpatrick's Drumcode anthem “Organic” (with its “It's time for the revolution” vocal) leading into the soaring uplift of Odd Parents' “Learn To Fly.” Capriati's mix will leave you exiting the imaginary club frazzled and a tad disoriented as you make your bleary-eyed way home.
A mere scan of Kraviz's set-list reveals the wildly eclectic character of her mix, with artists such as Bradley Strider (an Aphex Twin alias), Baby Ford, and Steve Stoll rubbing shoulders with Polygon Window, Porn Sword Tobacco, and DJ Bone. Techno, house, ambient, and IDM are accounted for, and Kraviz includes three atmospheric productions of her own. Following a scene-setting, spoken-word overture by Egotrip (“Dreamworld”), Kraviz makes her first appearance with “Mystery,” a raw, stripped-down jam through which her disembodied voice drifts. Soon after a brief sampling of Prototype 909's acidy “Atma” segues into Goldie's “Truth,” itself a vocal-laced cut featuring David Bowie at his most ethereal. The trend continues elsewhere, as voices float through a number of tracks in Kraviz's mix, a move that in turn bolsters its trippy vibe. Steve Stoll and Freak Electrique weigh in with classic techno (“Corona”) and Italo disco (“Parsec”), respectively, while Plaid contributes two minutes of spookily melodic IDM (“Oi”) to the mix. A total of twenty-nine tracks means that most come and go quickly, and many are in the one-minute range (the shortest: at eighteen seconds, Stanislav Tolkachev's blink-and-you'll-miss-it “I Will Not Pee in the Pool”). It's a mix filled with surprising left turns, and Kraviz does an excellent job of holding the listener's attention with a shape-shifting set that's never less than interesting.