Release Date: Feb 14, 2012
Record label: Fabric Records
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Dubstep
When Bristol legend Pinch released the out-of-nowhere "Croydon House" in 2010-- on the London-based Swamp81 instead of his own foundational Tectonic imprint-- it felt like a sea change. One of dubstep's most influential pioneers, one of its diehard careerists, had made his own version of a house record (and this was before 2011 when it became the norm). In keeping with his usual heads-down dubstep, however, "Croydon House" was murky, dim-lit, and paranoid, not your standard garage-influenced thumper, and his tracks since have seen him navigate a no man's land of in-between tempos and experimental rhythms, culminating in the bewildering Pinch and Shackleton collaborative album at the end of last year.
The theory of "accent convergence" holds that, when two like minds meet, they subconsciously downplay the differences in their speech. Something similar seemed to be happening musically on last year's Pinch and Shackleton album. There, however, the process appeared slightly one-way, since the deep bass timbre that's been Pinch's defining trait—be it the reggae burr inherited from his Bristol hometown on 2007's Underwater Dancehall or the angrier growl of his recent 12-inches on Swamp 81—often seemed subsumed beneath the abstract percussive patterns more usually associated with Shackleton.Yet if Pinch and Shackleton arguably saw Pinch lose his own voice in the studio, he's clearly found it behind the decks for FabricLive.61.
For all that dubstep's essentially become the dominant worldwide club concern over the past couple of years, fabric's mix CD series has slightly shied away from featuring it too prominently. Even the dubstep-related producers and DJs they've enlisted to contribute have avoided straight-up dubstep sets, instead skirting slightly around the genre's margins: Martyn and Pearson Sound's respective CDs, which gave at least as much airtime to broken house variations now lumped under 'UK bass'; the polyrhythmic techno of Shackleton, who was always at best a genre outlier anyway. You'd have to cast backward to the heady days of 2007, and Caspa & Rusko's commercial dubstep missive Fabriclive.37, for a full CD's worth.