Patrick Sisson - Writer, Journalist, Cultural Documentarian, Music Lover

Fabric 36: Ricardo Villalobos

September 2007


Few mixes have arrived with as much mystery as Chilean/German showman Ricardo Villalobos’ entry into Fabric’s showcase series. Even its unique format — a seamlessly arranged slate of Villalobos’ original productions, all hitherto unreleased — has raised speculation as to just how game-changing it is. Rest assured, it’s a true time bomb in a steel tin. The quiet, textured ticks of opener “Groove 1880” melt into the jazzy hi-hat hiccups of “Perc and Drums” before building into tech-oriented rhythm patterns — a simple lesson in just how colorful minimal can be. Then the pressure boils over, and the sensory-deprivation tank timekeeping really gets interesting. The hypnotic “4 Wheel Drive” — which contains the fitting refrain, “Confusion is next to happiness” — leads into a disarming set of grand hallucinatory grooves, including “Andruic & Japan,” an unhinged vocal rant framed by booming, Japanese-style percussion. In the Ableton era, Villalobos has transformed the mix into something more organic — a more complete aesthetic statement than the standard curatorial exercise.

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