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Fabriclive67

Fabriclive67

Ben UFO is one of those rare phenomena in the world of UK music in that he has made a name for himself entirely off the back of his DJing prowess. This is more common across the channel, but it is hard to believe that the man has got the same attention of his cohorts Ramadanman/Pearson Sound and Pangaea in the UK without ever releasing a track. This is in large part due to the fact that he is very, very good at mixing, and his style is edgy and exciting to hear, with tracks from multiple genres and eras flying past in a whirlwind of neatly executed blends.

Unfortunately this is part of where he falls down in this mix which, although at many points majestic, struggles to capitalise on some of the moments when it hits a real atmosphere. He is sometimes a victim of just how talented he is at mixing disparate genres with speed. There is still plenty of goodness here though, as a glance at the extensive track list will demonstrate (28 smoothly mixed tracks in a CD length mix, anyone?)

Things kick off with class, Mix Mup's 'Dub' providing us with warm synths and emerging syncopated rhythms that build nicely to the rough edged 4/4 of Delroy Edwards' 'Feelings', which remains established at the front of the mix for over four minutes, far longer than most of the tracks on here. This establishes a tough groove which continues through the first few tracks, before getting notably deeper with Elgato's 'Zone', a quality little number released on Hessle Audio. This establishes a moodiness that is broken with the brutal 808 workout of Chicago Skyway's 'It's Ok'.

It is the entry of the vocal house of K Hand's 'Project 5' that marks the first real let-down of the mix. For all the gathering gloom of the previous tracks, to burst into this grooving track would probably work on a dancefloor, and the track itself is good enough, but for CD listening at home it deflates the atmosphere he has created. This happens with a few more tracks as the mix progresses. Having seen the man play three DJ sets in the last year, this was like all of them trying to happen at once, when what was good about his performances was how different each of those sets were depending on the crowd and his mood on the day.

I am being picky though, and this is a perfectly adequate piece of listening fodder demonstrating superlative music knowledge and skill from a still-developing talent. It is perhaps because of the intensity he achieves at his best moments - such as the tracks that lead to the epically climactic midpoint of Shackleton's Kasai Allstars rework - that mean little slip ups in tune selection are magnified by the resounding class of the best bits. For a demonstration of how to showcase your DJing breadth in one mix without any fails, look to Fabric66. Ben Klock, another one famous off the back of his DJing skills alone, gave Ben UFO a hard act to follow.

by Now Then Sheffield