Pangaea’s Fabriclive mix completes the trio of Hessle Audio founders who have now all taken their turn to steer this iconic mix series. Ben UFO’s mix was one of our highlights of last year and set a high standard to which this entry in the series will inevitably be compared.
The mix opens with the meandering waves of bass of an unrelseased Pangaea tune which is a clear indication of the direction the artist’s production has taken in recent years. The percussive work out and thundering bass of the Hodge track, ‘Resolve’, provides another early highlight.
Following not long after, the mix jumps up a gear with the introduction of ‘Romantic Self’ by Manni Dee as the piercing synth lead comes through the mix. The tune drives ahead into an intricate and evolving track with the gradual introduction of layers upon layers of drums. Towards the half way point, the building aggression of the mix is lifted with the light and airy pads and the groove of ‘SEA (The Time Gate)’ which was a ideally timed pallete cleanser.
One little spark that seems to be slightly missing in places is where once Pangaea may have reached for an off-kilter and genre defying piece of bass music, he now tends to opt for straight edged techno. This is not to belittle his selection though, as plenty of the tracks he works into the mix represent the true cutting edge of techno and it is particularly enjoyable to hear the mix travel through different lineages of the sound.
I’m also not saying that he purely opts for techno though. For example, the fantastic Mumdance and MAO collab ‘Truth’ is exactly the sort of energetic and hard to define bass music that I was hoping for. This is followed by waves of bass in ‘Refraction’ and the warped minimalism of Pearson Sound’s ‘Starburst’. I simply wish this strand of the mix had lasted for longer.
‘Osmium’ by rising German star Kobosil, works the mix up into a frenzy of noise and highs only for Pangaea to weave back in his UK roots with the shifting bass of ‘End Point’ by Livity Sound’s Pev & Kowton. The Exposure remix of ‘Something For Your Mind’ which follows not long after was an unexpected twist which had me grinning my enjoyment. It also signified the switch in flow of the mix, which after this point stayed firmly in the grounds of rugged and thumping techno to its conclusion.
As the least prominent of the Hessle Audio label heads, it is often easy to overlook Pangeae’s contribution to the UK underground music scene. Over the years though, he has been close to plenty of it; contributing to dubstep and the evolution of that sound and uniting strands of the scene under the flag of UK bass. This mix shows the direction his DJ sets have taken in recent years and shows that he has developed his sound, with the incorporation of a heavy techno influence. His control of suspense and release remains and his keen ear for musical selection remains however and this provides an enthralling and pulsing journey.
The mix is available for purchase here: http://boomkat.com/cds/886744-pangaea-fabriclive-73-pangaea
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Written by Andy Brennan