A mighty instalment from an always-essential series...
'fabric 87: Alan Fitzpatrick'

The fabric series was probably always going to be the next stop for Alan Fitzpatrick, with releases on the might of Drumcode, Cocoon, BPitch Control, Hotflush Recordings and Hypercolour, a fiery Radio 1 Essential Mix, and a long, worldwide history of treating ears to the Tyson treatment already in the out tray.

A tentative opening should not be regarded as towing the musical journey line. The considered topping and tailing of the mix is one helluva bluff of deep beats wearing a fascinated look, privy to the prevailing state of open throttles and states of emergency. Both are usually declared by a kick drum hitting you like a late tackle with both feet off the floor, Fitzpatrick rarely straying from the upfront as he goes marching in.

Reset Robot’s ‘Lolly Pop’ puts its best hobnailed boot forward into the hopes of Bjarki and Markus Suckut, a distress signal warning that the mix’s centrepiece of techno, both epic and ready to remove your front teeth, is incoming. Fitzpatrick’s own ‘Where Haus?’ loops a frantically massive hoover, instructing you that this is not a drill as it puts vertebrae at risk. Backed up by Mike Dehnert’s cyber fire ‘Meckwiki’ absolutely creaming the scene, and Fitzpatrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Open’ receiving a Mark Broom edit of pure Detroit pressure, and that look of anticipation from before is now a seat-of-your-pants gurn.

Fitzpatrick latterly allows breathing space by lessening the intensity to a measly 85% or so; the beats keep rolling to a ubiquitous clatter of hi-hats until you’re flintstoning your dancing shoes and moving Zombie-like to the less than subliminal command of Session Restore’s ‘Speak Out’.

Ilario Alicante’s ‘Forward’ and Operator’s ‘Flat Rotation Curves’ return to the techno aquarium of reverberating colours, and the finishing move of Fitzpatrick remixing DrewxHill asks whether all before was just a dream. It’s a survival of the fittest when the Fitz hits the fan.

8/10

Words: Matt Oliver

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