Another fine instalment in the vital mix series...
FabricLive 82: Ed Rush & Optical

First of all, answers on a postcard as to what the Fabric sleeve designers were on when coming up with a visual to declare that you can keep your Sigmas, your Rudimentals and your pop-skippy Amen breaks, and that you should man up with something armour-plated instead.

Darkside deities Ed Rush & Optical, surprisingly not so abundant when it comes to released mixes, have their Fabric playground running for its life as they skid all over your snotbox. Feeding an infinite ogre expressing hellish indigestion with an endless supply of twisted metal, scud missiles, major lasers, air-raid warnings (The Qemists' 'Stompbox', remixed by Spor, unleashes hell) and noxious fumes, it's an absolute rash of tech-stepped drum 'n' bass distortion and amplification keeping the 'Wormhole' turning.

For scaredy cats opining it's quite a blinkered vision of the apocalypse, they should instead laud the hyper fluency of engineering that shows the mix format some respect – 39 tracks in 68 minutes is nothing but commitment to the cage rage cause. It's hyped enough not to need vocals to move it along either - Audio's 'Heads Up' has the cheek to slip in some call and response business when the headbanger's ball is already past the speed limit.

Other minor anomalies include Calyx & TeeBee remix of Spor's 'Aztec' being rather impudently hired for breakdown and breath-catching duties, and Rush & Optical's own 'Watermelon' flattening out into deadweight near-minimalism, like a wrecking ball caught on its backswing. Perversely it's rare respite in the midst of a technological temper tantrum custom-made for anarchy in EC1. A whirlwind so good, you'll wanna slather a pig's head in something treacly.

8/10

Words: Matt Oliver

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