Pearson Sound/Ramadanman FabricLive 56
In 2010, no dance producer was as consistent as London’s David Kennedy, who released a fusillade of bass-heavy tracks under the names Ramadanman (“Don’t Change For Me,” “Work Them”) and Pearson Sound (a seething remix of M.I.A.’s “It Takes A Muscle”) that made hash of the borders between dubstep, house, and grime. That’s equally true of FabricLive 56, Kennedy’s installment of the London super-club’s never-ending DJ series. A third of these 34 tracks are by Kennedy, either as producer or remixer (a few of which, like “Project” and “Stifle,” are new), but it’s less a best-of (à la previous Fabric sets by Omar-S and Ricardo Villalobos) than a snapshot of the scene he comes from—which just happens to be the most exciting area of dance music over the past few years. Not everything here is dubstep-oriented: Kennedy begins with a handful of house tracks as menacing as the bassier stuff (such as Levon Vincent’s “Late Night Jam”) before winding around to dubstep favorites like Pinch’s “Qawwali” and Girl Unit’s “IRL.” The mixing is largely subtle—Kennedy neatly stacks tracks atop one another, sometimes just for a moment, other times for entire track lengths, such as a seamless blend of his own “Glut” with S-X’s “Woo Riddim.” Even when things get a little janky (South African producer Tiyiselani Vomaseve’s “Vanghoma” almost fits into Pearson Sound’s “Wad”), the set’s forward momentum is easy to get caught up in.