Marco Carola - Fabric 31

Although it would be hard to argue that the Fabric CD series has been anything other than vastly important for underground techno reaching a wider audience - some of the recent artists have been able to showcase styles further a field than the origins of Fabric on a Saturday night (and especially the foundations of room 2). This is no bad thing of course, but the arrival of a Marco Carola session, his first commercial mix project, is a most welcome reiteration of Fabric's core. Carola has been a major player in the international techno scene, pushing high quality electronics through his various labels (such as Zenit and Question to name just two) since 1996.

His creative 3 deck DJ sets have secured him a near god like status in Europe, and especially his home country of Italy - although he hasn't had too much exposure in the UK. This will probably change however with the arrival of the latest Fabric instalment - where he crafts an impressive techno representation.

It has become a popular and rather predictable trend for techno DJ's to shift towards stripped back sounds. And on first inspection it would appear that Marco Carola has followed this path also. However, anyone who has collected his work as a producer will know that this style transition from loops to experimental grooves preceded the mast minimal transformation within the techno community. Carola's legendary Question series set the precedent for second generation loop techno, with '7th Question' still one of the finest records of the era. The release of the '11th Question' in 2004 proved to be the final instalment, and in a fitting farewell to the label redirected the Question concept via a shuffling and irresistible funky composition. It defied classification and became an instant classic in boxes of a wide selection of DJ's including Slam, Richie Hawtin and Ivan Smagghe. Since the closure of Question, Carola soon began his next project entitled Domino, a multi-release conception that has been the source of ground-breaking expansive techno, well before most other DJ's had even given Minus a second listen.

With such a solid past, expectations for this Fabric mix were high. And the early signs promised much. An expertly mixed intro, complete with skipping beats and bleeps from techno star Matt John blended nicely with the always-impressive French producer Chris Carrier. As the mix progressed the high standard of mixing became evident with each record seamlessly merged. To avoid monotony Carola selected varied records, with Gabriel Ananda supplying some chime-based techno with his mix of Marek Bois' 'You Got Good Ash' on the inescapable Trapez.

A heavy bass theme rolled into action with the marching 'I am... You!' by Fusiphorm before the mood was taken deeper thanks to the promising Frozen North label. Frozen North has been a solid source for experimental tech house over the last 12 months and Marco Carola was wise to include some of their pioneering sounds. Timo Anttila's 'Nakuta' finely combines the sub level drone of heavy minimalism with the traditional house swagger of Chicago. It would appear that a modern techno mix is not complete without a presentation from Patrick Skoog's ultra hip We Are series.

Marco Carola - Fabric 31
VERDICT
3.5

LABEL

Fabric Records

CATALOG NO

FABRIC 61

RELEASE DATE

November 13 2006

PUBLISHED

November 20, 2006 at 3:05 PM CET

WORDS

Paul Pritchard

Comments on this article: