Having originally been a five-hour set, John Digweed’s compacted mix for Fabric 20 packs his reputable party skills into a relatively slim seventy-four minutes. Does it produce the same effect as the full five hours would? Presumably, only someone who’d had enough Red Bull to withstand the hellish temperatures and frantic energy emanating from the center of the floor at the legendary London Fabric club could answer that question. For now, Digweed’s contribution is tight and exciting enough to keep your guests indoors and moving.
Fabric’s massive doors (it’s got three bars, five sound systems) opened in 1999. The label rolls out mixes each month from an impressive stretch of artists, including Craig Richards and Swayzak, and now Digweed gets his digs. He began deejaying as a humble teenager, opening sets for the regulars in clubs in his hometown of Hastings. He’s remixed well-knowns such as New Order and the Orb, and his mixes with Sasha, including 1994’s Renaissance, are not only critically acclaimed, but some are also being re-released and remixed.
His picks for Fabric 20 escalate first from Pete Moss’s “Strive to Live,” where the beats eventually bubble into place after bursts of synths and the “make it better” vocal linger for the set’s three or four opening minutes. Infusion’s “Better World” gets the Josh Wink treatment, following the deep, buzzing “Knob Job” from Angel Alanis midway through. The Fabric 20 mix is nothing short of what Digweed is known for, and the production is as warm and unearthly as the selection: a lengthy, spacey set with room for little other than good beats and quality blend work.