Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Fabric 34 (Ocrd)
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Pop
The feminine touch: Softly, softly...
LexAffection | Philadelphia, PA USA | 06/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fabric now has an extensive library of quality releases, and the 34th release, "manned" by the lovely Ellen Allien, certainly does not break this tradition. As one might expect, Fabric 34 is an album comprised primarily of cutting-edge minimal-tech house music, and at times I get the feeling I'm listening to a heavier, more avant-garde Fabric 29 (Tiefschwarz). Allien makes your mind work to appreciate her deft mixing skills and superb track selection, so if you're of the school of thought that aural pleasure should be spoon-fed, this album is simply not for you!
From the onset, sounds bounce erratically all about the musical landscape like rocks skipping across the surface of water; Allien's track selection captured my attention immediately because of this paradoxically inconsistent-consistent soundscape. The sound solidifies with "The Sun Can't Compare," driven by enjoyable male vocals alongside a simplistic yet frenetically tech-house background. As I have mentioned, I enjoy this album so much because of its duality and the paradoxes it presents our minds with, almost like aural puzzles. Ellen has mixed these sounds such that they simply work so well, and after looking at the track titles, I will say that the title "Orderly Kaos" pretty much sums up her style of mixing on this disc. The album starts to get really grinding and tech-house on "Tu Y Yo (Pilas Remix)," and "Sound Stealer," with brief excursions towards the levels of extreme minimalism. Up and down, left and right, side-to-side, this album moves and provokes the listener, prodding the ears in all the right places at precisely the right moments. I honestly believe she will continue this incredible ability at manipulating sound during her upcoming tours.
The only part I can say that I do not like is the mixing between "It Is Now Either" and "India In Me 2?" because it sounds choppy and overtly obvious that two tracks are being mixed into one. After about three minutes, "India In Me 2" finally evens itself out and is quite an enjoyable track - but for those first three minutes, too much is happening at once. Aside from this, there isn't really another sore spot on the album to point out - which is more than can be said for several prior Fabric and Fabriclive releases! Moving on - Thom Yorke's "Harrowdown Hill" eases the relentlessness of Ellen's visionary movement; it is a fantastic chill-out track, very sporadic regarding the beats and (again) utilizing non-intrusive male-vocals to keep the pace constant instead. The mild guitar riffs at the end are killer and close the track well. Consequently, this track mixes into one of Ellen's own productions, "Just A Woman." `Modesty,' anyone? Though she is indeed a woman, Ellen's haunting minimal track is simply perfect to follow Thom Yorke's, all-the-while segueing nicely into a cymbal-driven "Journey," by Ben Klock. Trust me, by this point, your brain waves are definitely out-of-whack, and this is not a bad thing. But "Baby Kate (Plastikman Remix)" drives a techy arrow straight through the heart of the last track, "Arcadia," whose ambient atmosphere is the perfect serum for returning your mind to equilibrium. And thus, we see, Ellen Allien is most obviously more than `just a woman.'
Organized Chaos. Intrigue. Avant-garde. Progressive. These are terms that I have decided adequately describe the personality of the 34th Fabric recording. Ellen Allien spins a musical journey that, for fans of the previous Fabric releases - especially twenty through thirty-three - will no doubt enthuse. Though "just a woman," Allien displays the sort of confidence and deck agility that the EDM community rarely sees from a female artist. In her own words, "It's the unknown that attracts my attention, and I want to know it! The mix... The mix is everything. I push myself to the absolute limit, sweating, and the thrill is that the room will become our room."
A multitude of things to learn and enjoy
Feminist Review blog | worldwide | 08/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I flipped on Ellen Allien's contribution to the Fabric series of DJ mixes while at the gym, hoping for an energy boost to get through my elliptical session. While it may not have been the best choice for the gym, Allien's choice of tracks and the emotions represented therein shines through the entire mix, making it a definite go-to for less active situations.
Allien herself has said that the mix is made up of memories, tracks she can remember playing in the club and that she loves. It's obvious in the way that the tracks are mixed together, almost entirely flawlessly, so that I was never sure where one song ended and another began, that Allien is incredibly passionate about this music. As in her solo work, as well as her recent collaboration with Apparat (whose track "Arcadia" sublimely closes out the album), the beats are often quiet, but nevertheless compelling, as in "Is It Now Either" by Artificial Latvamaki, which blends perfectly into the next track. This is micro-house at its best, but just when Allien seems like she might start to slip into more obscure tracks, she brings in Thom Yorke's "Harrowdown Hill," a song that, in concept, seems out of place, but Allien's expert DJ skills ensure that it fits right in.
The Fabric and FabricLive series have hosted many excellent mixes from world-renowned DJs, and Ellen Allien's Fabric 34 fits the bill perfectly. Whether you know a lot about techno and house music, or are just learning, there are a multitude of things to learn and enjoy from Allien's mix."
There's lots of melody within these clicks.
Doctor Trance | MA, United States | 06/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Allien, usually known for mixing up her mix cd's with some unique or sneaky twist in the musical style, goes straightforward this time with a sumptuous feast of techno. She takes a few dips in tempo here and there, but it's mostly a fast paced listen, with lots of great melodies in her track selections, and two very good vocal tracks.
She mixed this on vinyl, and the only real flaw, as another reviewer pointed out, is the rough transition between tracks 7 and 8. One very minor issue on an otherwise perfect minimal and techno set. Joins Adam Beyer's Fabric 22, Ivan Smagghe's Fabric 23, and Matthew Dear's Fabric 27 as top, 5-star techno entries in the Fabric series."