The latest addition to the Fabric mix series sees English techno artist, Call Super, shift focus away from the sweaty hedonism of peak club hours to the early morning. The time of night when the beats chime rather than thud. When rhythmic pulses give way to terse, hypnotic twitches. This is a mix for those still standing. Those early morning clubbers who want something to soundtrack the sun coming up and to score the discoveries and revelations of the early morning.
As an artist Call Super possesses a distinct vision, one that is recognizably techno but refuses to be bracketed in by any common definitions of the term. His work seems to be much more left-field and intricate, yet maintains a sense of fragility. His debut album, Suzi Ecto seemingly managed to inhabit its atmosphere. Hugely experimental, often absent of any beats at all. It felt new and exciting. It distinguished the work of a genuine maverick who was putting his stamp on the scene. It cried out for focus, for total and complete engagement from the listener. This is a feeling that has clearly carried over into this mix. At times this mix is intense. It highlights his encyclopedic knowledge of all forms of electronic music with genres spliced together with almost surgical precision. The sheer depth and breadth of his knowledge is astonishing with plenty for the aficionado but equally as much for the average early morning clubber.
The whole thing begins gently with the experimental jazz of Beatrice Dillion and Rupert Clervaux’s “The Same River Twice” evoking the feeling of an orchestra tuning up until muffled beats from M:I:5 ease themselves in. Jazz trumpets are allowed to swirl around the heady mix of random percussion and abstract sounds. As jazz is such a prominent influence on Call Super’s work, he makes it immediately clear that this mix mirrors his artistic characteristics. The early morning vibe continues with the gentle waves of Jan Jelinek’s “Tendency”. Gradually, Call Super eases forward on the throttle as he allows the beats to break through with his close friend Objekt and “The Stitch Up”. Here, closely packed beats are interrupted by jarring shards of noise which Super brings to the boil before simmering, allowing the deep-house of Two Full Minds “No Smoke” to calmly level things off.
Super, wisely keeps things on an even keel through Photek’s classic mid-‘90s drum ‘n’ bass before demonstrating his more eclectic and playful side. He expertly weaves in the experimental jazz-tinged electronica of Flanger’s “Spinner”, taking things in a more abstract direction. It’s a brave move, executed with real bravura especially when blended with the old skool, epic ambiance of Carl Craig’s “A Wonderful Life”. Super then gives the listener a pause for breath and a moment of contemplation before allowing himself the indulgence of splicing in two of his own cuts. In the past, Super has openly stated that he can find it difficult to find an appropriate place for his work in his mixes. However, here he blends them into the mix perfectly. Firstly, he mixes in the chiming, ringing sounds that dominate “Acephale” from his Suzi Ecto album before switching into the more ambient, warm blanket of sound of “Acephale II”. Rather than rest on his laurels, Super allows his unique inventiveness to take charge once more. The skittish IDM of Jega “ZX82” is followed by the all-out glitchiness of Shanti Celeste’s “Strung Up”. It’s a wonderful side-step, pulled together beautifully that in lesser hands could come across as a little incongruous.
The last leg of the mix is arguably the most inventive yet as Super returns to the more dance floor-ready groove of Bruce’s “Sweet” before a wonderfully judged pause signals the entry of ‘90s minimal techno in the form of Convextion. As the mix approaches the home straight, Super keeps things relaxed and free of tension with ambient techno expertly mixed with snippets of Walter Brown’s authentic blue’s vocals. It’s a clever move that perfectly demonstrates his ability to meld together seemingly disparate genres. The whole thing concludes with a jolt as police sirens signal the end in the form of Speng Bond’s dancehall, “Cutbacks”. It’s a mischievous ending which sees the mix conclude with a sense of fun and humor that can so often be absent from other more po-faced mixes.
For Super, techno should be wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary but never lose its sense of fun. That is a perfect summation of this mix. The whole thing is very neat and orderly never ostentatious or showy. There is a lot going on, but it never feels overstuffed or claustrophobic. Overall, it is a distinctive and enjoyable addition to the Fabric series.
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