It’s been a busy year for Marcel Dettmann, a few months on from his inaugural Essential Mix and roughly 12 months after his most recent LP Dettmann II comes his effort in the renowned Fabric mix series. If the mix is anything to go by, the year will only get busier for Dettmann with a lot of the material on the mix forthcoming on his own MDR label. Dettmann is now one of the most recognisable names in techno and with that, there’s little pressure to prove himself. The last couple of years may have seen a resurgence in the pummelling, harder techno that Dettmann’s emergence saw a move away from, but he continues to ply his trade and with Fabric 77 he comfortably provides a mix that will comfortably satisfy both newcomers and his most eager fans.
The names on the mix provide a combination of the familiar MDR names (Norman Nodge, Answer Code Request, Wincent Kunth and Dettmann himself) along with less familiar (Ryan James Ford, The Persuader, Vril). It goes without saying, being the veteran that he is, Dettmann’s mixing is flawless and he maintains a solid yet building dynamic throughout, rarely veering from the driving minimalism that you come to expect from him. Early on, a remix by Planetary Assault Systems of Dettmann’s own track ‘Apron’ injects some slick energy into the mix while Dario Zenker’s ‘Nearlin’ is a slightly rawer affair which stands out. Just about the halfway mark enters Rod’s ‘RSPCT’ which is where the mix really peaks. The track’s driving synth line is probably already burned into the minds of anyone who’s managed to catch Dettmann DJ in the last couple of years and will most likely continue to be heard on dancefloors across the world once it finally gets a proper release. ‘Country Boy Goes Dub (Marcel Dettmann Edit)’ by Carl Craig (under his Paperclip People alias) which follows is the closest thing to a curveball which provides, as the title might suggest, a relatively mellow dub techno offering in the midst of the dark dynamism of the rest of the mix. The back end of the mix has impressive acid from Norman Nodge and Wincent Kunth in ‘BB 1.0’ and ‘Carlre’ and a gorgeous, not-so-aptly-named remix by Dettmann of Joey Anderson’s ‘Repulsive’. Assuming these are, as Dettmann states, forthcoming on MDR, it’s an exciting time to be a fan.
Whilst the most prominent new DJs of the last few years have made their name through their ability to mix seemingly disparate styles, Dettmann sticks to what he knows best and in turn provides an expectedly cohesive and sleek mix. It’s not a classic, but as Dettmann continues to solidify his place in the annals of techno, it certainly showcases his ability both as a selector and curator of his label which whose presence will undoubtedly be felt on dancefloors and in clubs for years to come. Antoin Lindsay