Commix duo George Levings and Guy Brewer were famously raised in the historic English town of Cambridge. Of the Cambridge trinity - Nu:Tone, Logistics and Commix - it was Commix that were the last to take a firm grip on the D&B scene, yet when they did finally cement themselves it was in some style; their album ‘Call To Mind’ was the sound of 2007, and it’s tough to recall a drum & bass record that is quite so successful at marrying the beautifully listenable and the gloriously experimental. It’s the experimentalism of the boys’ approach to production, and of their attitude towards drum & bass - and music as a whole - that is their most fascinating trait. But how did they reach this point? Whilst George’s route into music had been through performance, playing saxophone, flute and piano, he developed a taste for hip hop which led him in to electronic music. Guy had gone from a broad canvas of taste that ranged from The Smiths to Dr. Dre, to receiving an education in drum & bass from a best friend’s older brother. Initially their records were very much in the vein of the likes of the more soulful, house and disco-influenced sounds of Marcus Intalex, Calibre and their ilk, but despite taking what they describe as “a long time to find our sound”, find it they did. Their development was rapid, and though many people would have expected them to naturally gravitate towards the Hospital camp, it was with Goldie’s legendary Metalheadz imprint that Commix found their natural habitat, a symbiotic relationship that eventually resulted in the release of their remarkable debut album, and the first ever artist album to be released on Metalheadz, ‘Call To Mind.’ The album was to some extent informed by their general dissatisfaction with the drum & bass scene as a whole.
"We're really influenced by tech housey stuff, and I suppose minimal stuff as well. On the minimal side of things Troy Pierce, Mathew Jonson; on the housier side of things- Steve Bug, obviously. Steve Bug can play for hours and he doesn't really do much, but it’s just so down the same line of funky techno. And we really aspire to that in drum & bass - not really narrow-minded or just one-levelled, but with a bit of experimentation in it." Commix
This way of thinking is demonstrated perfectly on FABRICLIVE 44; the mix ebbs and flows effortlessly, swerving unnecessary frills or gimmicks entirely, it is measured and precise. Commix have put together a selection of tracks that takes any listener - whether ardent drum & bass heads or curious techno enthusiasts with an adventurous streak – on a journey through the studios of the deepest and most innovative producers in D&B. From the enchanting keys in the opening bars of their own ‘Life We Live’ to the sublime closer - a downtempo Instra:mental piece ‘Photograph’ - there is beauty here, not an adjective often used to describe a drum & bass mix album, yet the music’s integrity and credibility could never be questioned. This album has basslines that will warm your stereo, intricate and lovingly crafted drum beats, apocalyptic stabs and heart-wrenching vocal snippets. It’s a complete mix that anyone with even a passing interest in any style of electronic music could take pleasure from. Magical and mystical. This is the sound of Commix putting nobility back into drum & bass.