On-point selector journeys on the road less travelled...
'fabric91 - Nina Kraviz'

‘In her Fabric mix Kraviz takes the listener down the road less travelled’, the press release to Fabric’s 91st volume casually warns. Translated: this won’t run as smoothly as her DJ-Kicks bow of 2015, and it’s not a mix you’re allowed to get comfortable with, the Siberian’s non-conformist stance playing fast and loose with the ideals of cohesion, and letting the faders lead punters astray.

A squirmy, murky, bubbling broth both practises and rebels against the uniformity of underground techno; the little pull backs in momentum when in full flight, the expression then retraction of itself, the cutting short of mind expansion and exhilarated release… Kraviz’s ‘Pochuvstvui’ manages all of this on its own. 41 tracks in 76 minutes, with a host acting as you-snooze-you-lose thoroughfares, speaks for itself: the two longest tracks are the last two, but neither The Detroit Escalator Co’s ‘Fate’ or AFX’s rave randomiser ‘Fork Rave’ really create a definitive grand finale.

The in-and-out mixing, stitches interchanging with shunts, smooths edges and saws them off to jut and buffet into you through a built-up digital jungle, making the dancefloor repeatedly readjust its position in the midst of its jet black, low-ceilinged wrestle. The midpoint goes through four tracks in about 90 seconds like someone impatiently twiddling a radio dial: as a skills set, these switch-ups could probably never come off the cuff as some form of mix adhesive. PTU’s ‘A Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day’ is kind of the mix in a nutshell — fiercely underground, and a complete loop thrower.

#91 isn’t an abstract set of exclusives by a long stretch. Accusations of her not playing enough techno, as per recent complaints from Melbourne, don’t apply, as there are plentiful acid contortions and 4x4 horsepower here — enter Woody McBride’s ‘The Power Hour’ and Negative Return’s ‘First Light’. It can confuse, but if it does rile you, remember: “it’s where I [Kraviz] am as a listener, and it’s what makes me groove at the moment.”

6/10

Words: Matt Oliver

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