It’s taken a lot to do this review, mainly because I didn’t really want to take the CD out of my player. Reviewing albums is something that’s normally straightforward. Listen to CD. Pick your favorite tracks. List the things you don’t like. Give it a rating. FabricLive 26 isn’t this simple. It’s a deep CD with hooks that are almost magnetic and beats that run through your head at all hours.
With some limited knowledge of The Herbaliser, I was already expecting something a little different from what we normally see for mix CDs on this side of the big drink. Normally, the so-called “mix” CDs is no more than a compilation of the current hot tracks. Being located in the far north of Canada, the skills of our bar DJs are limited at best. What does this mean? It means I was in desperate need of a quality mix. Luckily Fabric Live 26 did not disappoint.
The opening track is the only questionable one on the album. “Dogs N Sledgez” by Million Dan isn’t really representative of the rest. His rough flow is undoubtedly impressive but doesn’t fit well with the subtle old school party vibe found on the rest of the album.
But Ollie Teeba and Jake Wherry of Herbaliser recover quickly, providing a set of tracks that sound fresh while maintaining a classic vibe. The inclusion The Jackson 5, James Brown and Eric B. & Rakim (the awesome “Paid In Full -Seven Minutes of Madness – The Coldcut Remix”) only add to the groove that holds throughout the album.
To list the highlight tracks on this mix would be like listing my favorite parts of Harold and Kumar go to White Castle: ever-changing. Unlike most mixes albums, FabricLive 26 doesn’t fall apart at the end. It stays true to the concept and produces a solid effort from front to back.
In my memory only the Lazydog mixes have done this better. The Herbaliser mixes the Ninja Tune sound to it highest level. The soulful jazzy hip-hop beats found on this CD are essential for any fan of the Herbaliser or quality hip-hop in general.
For the record my favorite tracks of the moment are “Blufoot Feat. Yungun – Alphabet Man” and The Herbaliser’s own “Gadget Funk”. (Neil Patrick Harris, the cheetah, and fur burgers for Harold and Kumar.)
1. Million Dan – Dogz N Sledgez
2. J-Sands of the Lone Catalysts – Southern Lady
3. RJD2 – Ghostwriter
4. Dynamic Syncopation Feat. Mass Influence – Ground Zero
5. Blufoot Feat. Yungun – Alphabet Man
6. Hurby’s Machine Feat. Antoinette – I Got An Attitude
7. Harry Love Feat. Verb.T, Yungun, Mystro – Surprize
8. The Herbaliser Feat. Cappo – None Other
9. DJ Format Feat. Abdominal & D-Sisive – 3 Feet Deep (Instrumental)
10. James Brown – Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing 1
11. Lefties Soul Connection – Welly Wanging
12. J Rocc – Play This (One)
13. Eric B. & Rakim – Paid In Full (Seven Minutes of Madness – The Coldcut Remix)
14. Demon Boyz – Glimity Glamity
15. Cappo – I.D.S.T.
16. Nextmen Feat. Dynamite MC – Spin It Round
17. Jackson 5 – It’s Great To Be Here
18. Breakestra Feat. Chali 2NA, Soup, Double K, Wolf & Munyungo Jackson – Family Rap
19. Apathy Feat. Emilio Lopez – It Takes a Seven Nation…
20. The Herbaliser – Gadget Funk
21. Flying Fish – Mr. Matatwe (Keep It Up)
22. Hero No.7 – Keeping it Real?
23. The Roots – Boom!
24. Dynamix 2 – Just Give the DJ a Break (12” Club Version)
25. Diplo Feat. Sandra Melody – Newsflash
26. Bugz in the Attic – Booty La La