“I wanted to create something lush that slowly moves into the realm of the unhinged.” Paul Woolford’s words on his mix for Fabric, which gets off to a really weird if not totally surprising start. Woolford is a master at creating foreboding atmospheres, but the first two tracks of this compilation begin right in the depths of the earth, with very slowly moving sounds from Aleksi Perälä and Special Request himself. Gradually the murky horizon comes into sharper focus, and as it does so the energy levels increase. Caustic Window’s ‘Cordialatron’ fires the starting gun and we’re off to a burst of energy that if anything builds the tension still further. The beats cover Woolford’s versatility, using raw drum ‘n’ bass but also techno in a fusion of powerful intensity. ‘Redrum’, the first of six new Special Request tracks on this mix, is brilliant, but then so is the bass on the remix of Dillinja’s ‘Deadly Deep Subs’. Prior to that we enjoy a nice bit of improvisation in the elevated time out that Stefan Vincent’s ‘Aquilae’ offers, and then after the inexorable build towards the finish we get the Max Dub of Carl Craig’s instantly recognisable ‘Technoloambient’. Paul Woolford is at it again, removing the need for boundaries or labels with a mix that simply captivates its listener from start to finish.

Ben Hogwood
5 out of 5