fabric 53: SURGEON


These days, in the insulated world of electronic music, the cyclical journey from obscurity to oversaturation to insignificance (and, of course, back again) often happens in the space of a year. Its all too easy to get numbed by minutae or otherwise lead astray away by the fickle whirlwind of hype. Rummaging through the 15 year discography of the unrelenting, steadfast techno legend Surgeon – and tracing the vast odyssey of his creative exploration – breeds a rare feeling of discovery. And genuine artistry. Surgeon (a.k.a. Anthony Child) stands tall as a true individual in the leagues of electronic music history, with seminal, landmark releases bounded only by raw passion and a transcendentally deep imagination.

Flicking easily from the heavy, sheets of sound produced by his old school contemporaries, Surgeon fuses the old with the new on fabric 53, creating connections between the oppressing and the minimal that have never been as simply decoded. Honing in on the idea that a lot of modern bass music harks back to rave and constantly re-feeds on its memory for inspiration, (just this idea of the breakbeat, the broken beat; its got some echoes of rave, there are some elements of that somewhere in it), he includes music from a veritable liege of young producers. Instra:mentals rolling Forbidden is used early on and adds the kind of quickened bass texture that has been carefully incubated over their workings as they slow down from 175bpm drum & bass and Starkeys Spacecraft is used brilliantly to juxtapose the rolling pressure of what comes before it, eliminating the 4×4 pulse and adding thicker, more leading bass tones.

It really is a current snapshot, its changed even now. When I did the mix, I opened my current set and deleted a few things and this is what I was left with. This is the music that I am enjoying and I feel it represents me; and on the other side, there were some newer or lesser known artists that I really wanted to represent. Its about making people aware of different genres, to show the likeness. Its taking T-Polar, Subeena, Ital Tek, Ancient Methods – and putting that next to Orphx, DJ Overdose and Russ Gabriel, and mixing them all up together. Its kind of strange looking at the tracklist, but for me its very natural the way these things fit together. And really, to me, this is all techno. Thats the way I think of it; I dont subdivide genres, the beats are just slightly different places in the bar. They all have different feels and textures, but I dont differentiate, I just like all this music so I want to mix it together.

Its another example of what I was saying about being caught up in the detail, and detail is important, of course, but youve got to be able to shift from this bigger picture down to detail and back up again and not just be caught up on one level of it. Surgeon

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