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A Magazine for Sheffield

Fabric 63

New York, New York, it's a helluva town! The gateway to the Land of the Free is a metropolis where they like their buildings big and their breakfasts even bigger, and where giant apes have felt too embarrassed to maraud ever since that incident in 1933. For those of you with little interest in the world of house music, for whom Shed is merely an outbuilding for storing bikes and the occasional hastily-filled jerrycan rather than a Teutonic techno mastermind, your experience of New York electronic music may not extend much further than Ross' experimental jams in that episode of Friends ("INFINITE TIME-IME-IME-IME").

While it may constantly play second fiddle to Detroit and Chicago in the house music history books, New York has a rich heritage of slick, sultry clubbing culture. With its unique garage house sound originating from the Paradise Garage discotheque in the 70s and 80s, the Big Apple has spawned dance music legends from Francois K to Kerri Chandler, with a couple of Todds (Terry and Edwards) along the way. Nowadays, New York house is typified by a smooth and refined pulse, often oozing understated class and ensuring that revelers don't so much dance as shimmer. Levon Vincent is arguably the don of the city's current scene, and for Fabric 63 he's pulled together previously unreleased work by fellow residents to brush the Fabric brand with a big fat slice of NYC.

Joey Anderson's 'Earth Calls' sets the tone of the mix with a steady throb that is gentle but focused. The key with this mix is that Vincent never 'drops' a tune. Each track is blurred into the next with the kind of stealth that the US Department of Defense invests billions of dollars in each year. DJ Jus- Ed's 'Blaze' ups the tempo, with newcomer JM De Frias' 'Intrinsic Motivation' providing a steady build of chiming tantalisation before Vincent introduces a couple of new tracks of his own - the whirring, uncompromising 'Stereo Systems' and the shuffling euphoria of 'Polar Bear'. The beauty of Vincent's body of work is his ability to craft tracks that can be devastatingly massive but with the most minimal of effort. 'Man or Mistress', one of the most lethal tracks of the past few years, is a prime example, and each of his unreleased efforts on Fabric 63 maintain the same qualities, while his established modern-day classic 'Double-Jointed Sex Freak II' sits resplendent at the core of the mix.

Fabric 63 leaves you with an education in both fluent mixing and the rich state of New York house. Charming both as an overall work and as a collection of songs, this entry into the London club's long-running CD series leaves you in no doubt that such products can still be thrillingly relevant. Now if you don't mind, I'm off to name my first-born child 'Double-Jointed Sex Freak II'.