Taking the helm for fabric 94, Steffi has chosen to kick the regular mix CD standard up a notch by commissioning all the tracks exclusively for her mix. The curated group of close friends and collaborators were guided to produce tracks “with a certain mindset”, which Steffi has moulded and woven together. Considering each track was made especially for the mix - it’s musically cohesive with a mood and sound that followers of her career over the past decade will recognise as classic Steffi (if there may be such a thing). It’s a singular vibe; classic not retro, robotic but enveloped in warmth, low slung but twisted, bass heavy but never linear, playfully picking up key dancefloor elements to refine with lush soundscapes, vocal picks and hypnotic rhythmic effects. The result on her fabric mix is a tale that took the sound of Warp’s Artificial Intelligence CDs as an atmospheric starting point and then travels far beyond it as she flawlessly navigates her way through retro-futurist landscapes, using restraint to explore the more abstract, broken elements of house, electro and techno.
“fabric always offered full support for my creative wishes and it is such a great honour to contribute to the mix series. I have great respect for the endless amount of positive energy the whole team has put into this club over the years going through ups and downs, but still shining and sailing such a strong and important ship!” – Steffi
Echo 1 by L.u.c.a sets the ambience, flowing into the syncopated groove of Voiski’s Sound of Distance, seamlessly blended into the stripped back hypnotism of STFSHD's 1.5 - Steffi’s first track produced together with Shed. Rising Russian talent Unbalance floats spine tingling pads around an industrial drive, No Life on the Surface has Steffi and Martyn exchanging interplanetary melodies, jagged percussion and trembling bass frequencies. At this point the mood is stripped back, almost unnervingly, to signal a change of direction. Answer Code Request emerges with Forking Path as stuttered rhythms and otherworldly pads are pinned down by a faint 4/4 drum pattern. Dexter uses a broken groove as the framework for 66, a melodic head-spin setting the stage for the angle grinding bassline of 214’s Sound Moments. Finland’s Mesak delivers a twisted electro funk stepper full of disorienting arpeggios, a sentiment explored further with Duplex’s Voidfiller and Late Night Approach’s Poison Valley, both of which use drum machines to carry piercing synths through to other dimensions. For the last 20 minutes, Steffi bounces off the energy provided by each track before. Sharp, metallic textures are brandished in UAS' World Gets Crazy and Afik Naim's Saturniidae, followed by Off The Beat, a new collaboration by Dexter and Virginia with mangled harmonies treading the line between warm and unsettling. Privacy’s Broke unites many of the elements explored throughout the mix with a powerful blend of intricate drum patterns, emotive harmony and sharply chopped vocals.
“When fabric approached me to do a mix cd I wanted to do something special, so I approached my inner circle and some of my favourite producers to ask if they wanted to produce a track especially for this project with a certain mindset. I have always been a massive fan of Warp’s Artificial Intelligence CDs and this was a starting point in terms of atmosphere… My initial thought was to step away from beat mixing completely and let the atmosphere set the tone, but when the tracks started rolling in it naturally shaped up as a fully mixed CD.” – Steffi
1. Echo 1 – L.u.c.a. [Dolly Deluxe]
2. Sound Of Distance – Voiski [Dolly Deluxe]
3. 1.5 – STFSHD [Dolly Deluxe]
4. Freedom – Unbalance [Dolly Deluxe]
5. No Life On The Surface – Doms & Deykers [Dolly Deluxe]
6. Forking Path – Answer Code Request [Dolly Deluxe]
7. 66 – Dexter [Dolly Deluxe]
8. Sound Moments – 214 [Dolly Deluxe]
9. Commonaukko – Mesak [Dolly Deluxe]
10. Voidfiller – Duplex [Dolly Deluxe]
11. Poison Valley – Late Night Approach [Dolly Deluxe]
12. World Gets Crazy – UAS [Dolly Deluxe]
13. Saturniidae – Afik Naim [Dolly Deluxe]
14. Off The Beat – Dexter & Virginia [Dolly Deluxe]
15. Broke – Privacy [Dolly Deluxe]
fabric 94: Steffi will be released on 16th June.
Order your copy here.
Steffi will launch fabric 94 on 3rd June with Head High, Virginia and Dexter.
Tickets are available here.
Photo: Stephan Redel