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Album Review: Digital Soundboy Soundsystem – FABRICLIVE 63 (Fabric Records)

A light-hearted soul voice emerges from a range of percussion instruments playing to a groovy beat that gives you no choice other than to move to the energetic rhythm.

This is the first official Digital Soundboy Soundsystem mix, due to be released 21.05.12 (USA: 19.06.12). FABRICLIVE 63 is a mix that takes a party to many places, a mix that crosses many genres and features a range of talent from Shy FX to Dizzee Rascal.

The mix starts light and track by track gets into a harder-groove. After a while these hard-groove wobs get a little repetitive before Baxta brings the bar up again with Do Without You. This track sounds much better production-wise than certain tracks before it. It features a great cut of many samples and a good use of synthesisers in addition to a solid bass-line.

It seems to be a common problem throughout this mix that certain sections get repetitive. This is a club album and that is taken into account, but still certain sections seem to last a little too long without any significant change.

This problem is always remedied soon enough though. With tracks like Wobble That Gut creating atmosphere whilst keeping those solid tones or Peace & Dub bringing in extremely groovy dub to the mix – FABRICLIVE 63 covers all of the dance music ground.

Surprisingly, lesser-known acts get coverage in this mix and really shine. Acts like Dismantle and Dark Sky bring the dubstep and a great mix of electronic sounds that give the dance-floor a new lease of life.

FABRICLIVE 63 is the first official mix from Digital Soundboy Soundsystem

The party continues and Shy FX ft.Kano, Donae’o & Roses Gabors Raver keeps a steady dub vibe. The variety in this mix is great, it covers much more upbeat tracks like Pass The Dutchie before dropping into some very well made drum ‘n’ bass & dub  fusion.

Near the end of the mix there is a more grime-like rap section. It’s pretty exciting but brings a really serious vibe, really bringing that gritty-city sound, which will no-doubt be very hit or miss with certain crowds.  Then again there is the crowd-pleasing fact that Dizzee Rascal makes an appearance here, which will no-doubt lure lots of listeners to this mix.

Better-known tracks like Benny Pages Turn Down The Lights and Gyptians Hold You make a huge impact when they come up in the mix, these well-known tracks bringing hit content with a new twist from Shy FX & Benny Page, once again bringing balance in the mix.

The transition from Hold You however, sounds awful. The filthy, dubstep-sounding wobs clashing heavily with Hold You - this is a low point of the mix.

The mix is rounded off in style, with the classic track Original Nuttah by Shy FX & UK Apachi, there could have been no better track to finish this party experience with. Proving that Digital Soundboy Soundsystem refuses to go out without style, the listener feels content finishing on such a good note.

This is a really well put together mix and has a range of styles to really suit the majority of tastes. There are low points in which things get a little similar or lifeless, but they are always bolstered by either great tracks or appearances within just a few songs. It is a real city mix and the sheer number of tracks, artists and featured artists should be enough to entice someone to listen to this release.

It’s going to be interesting to see more releases from Digital Soundboy Soundsystem, as this has shown great potential. It’s got high points and low points but overall this is a solid mix that has greatly overcome the majority of problems when putting together so many genres, which is a merit in itself.

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