On Track: A-Trak In The Mix At The Independent
I love the way each installment of Fabric Records’ mix series, the recorded spinoffs of the London nightclub Fabric, so acutely reflects the sensibility of its makers. Its DJs, producers, and artists have roved widely in all sorts of electronic and dance music genres: house, grime, minimal techno, electro, microhouse, hip-hop, breaks and drum ‘n’ bass. Recalling the imprint’s releases -- from the 2005 turn by dancefloor legend Carl Craig and the acclaimed ‘07 offering by Ricardo Villalobos to 2008 disc by Get Physical founders M.A.N.D.Y. and a recent entry by SF producer and Dirtybird label honcho Claude VonStroke -- I really have to marvel at the overall quality of the productions: the Herbaliser’s 2006 mix continues to be a fave for its blend of classics like Eric B. and Rakim’s “Paid in Full” and smaller though no less intense fry such as Million Dan’s “Dogz n Sledgez.”
A-Trak, who performs Thursday, July 16, at the Independent, turned in a no less compelling mix for the Fabriclive imprint this spring. The Fool’s Gold label mastermind, producer, prodigy World DMC champ, Kanye West DJ and onetime honorary member of the Bay Area’s Invisibl Skratch Piklz crew -- known as Alain Macklovitch by those who tracked him way back when -- goes for maximum bounce and a startling smooth finish with the occasional playfully crashing segue. Here are my fave A-Trak-selected tracks from the disc:
- Boys Noize’s “Oh!” (A-Track Remix). Boyz Noize is something of a guilty kitsch pleasure -- and A-Trak sounds like he’s rejiggered the tune for itchy drama with airhorns, boom-baps and laser zaps.
- DJ Gant-Man’s “Juke Dat Girl From the Back.” I dare you not to succumb to this throbbing dancehall hook, especially as it melts into DJ Mp4’s staccato “The Book Is on the Table.” Busy, in a good way.
- DJ Rob 3’s “The Chase.” Props for chasing the chorus, ever so subtly, by the ironclad yip of old-school hip-hop classic, “It Takes Two,” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock.
- Voodoo Chilli’s “Get On Down.” Who is this mystery man named Herve, sounding for all the world like an unjustly lost ‘70s funk orchestra?