Fabric 25Carl Craigout 7 NovemberThink you don’t like techno? Have a listen to this release and you’ll think again. It’s strangely accessible and challenging, with something for those new to techno as well as aficionados.This new party mix ekes out the paradox that is Carl Craig, a musical genius. He sees himself as a producer first, but he’s celebrated as pure techno’s number one DdJ. He wanted to mix this record in an empty Fabric, although he himself is a banging club man. He’s unafraid of eclectic experiments and radical sounds, but has a serious careerist attitude to his profession. It doesn’t seem to make sense, yet somehow it comes together as a perfect whole.Looking at the track listing you’d think his diverse sources would make for a rough ride, but this record is highly structured. It opens with the Yang Yang Twins’ Wait [The Whisper Song] and Craig’s intense stage-whispering “Fabric 25”. Aand that’s all the introduction we’re teased with until track seven. You’ve got to love any DdJ who sculpts a party soundtrack like this for you, and then bids you a polite farewell at the end. It’s not perfect of course. The heavy urban-industrial feel to D’Malicious’ Alive is hard to listen to thanks to the massive amplification of Craig’s breathy whisper.You get the feeling that Craig is toying with you as you listen. In Soundstream’s 3rd Movement there’s a heavy western beat, with snatches of Indian melodies on top. Then Bar A Thym from Kerri Chandler is given an intense cowbell backing with rhythms that challenge you to sing along. With a lot of the tracks here you can feel a rhythm pumping them along and you want to find a natural groove to dance to. Detroit techno has no natural rhythm – it’s electrical, synthetic, artificial. But that’s not the same as fake. This is true music with real feeling.The real success of this mix is its vision and imagination. Techno is moving on from the days of horror flick samples and sci-fi quotes to expose modern life and technology. There’s still the paradox of celebrating and fearing modernity, but thanks to globalisation now the scope is worldwide.A couple of tracks have clear samba appeal. This way Craig can take today’s technological world and this season’s cinema, so now suddenly we’re in Delhi, or Bollywood, Brazil, Africa or the Holy Land.ARCHIVE: 4th week MT 2005