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Best Of British: Best Compilation - Fabriclive 44 Commix

Climate Control: Fresh atmospheric d&b par excellence

If drum & bass had reached a crossroads at the start of 2009, then it was Commix who were leading the way into new territories rather than ploughing on blindly down the creative cul-de-sac that jump-up had become.

"It's now reached the point where drum & bass has now segregated to such a degree that the good music is now seen as something completely different that's more affiliated with dubstep or quality downtempo music than it is the harder dancefloor stuff," ponders Guy Brewer. "It's been a really positive development because even the more soulful end of things was beginning to sound a little stale, but the direction ourselves and people like Instra:Mental and Spectrasoul have been going in has given it a new lease of life."

Together with Commix partner George Levings, their contribution to the 'FabricLive' series plotted a new course, which freed drum & bass from the pursuit of the bass drop and plunged further into a more atmospheric place instead. Taking a more picturesque and less hurried route into the fresh textures currently being crafted by producers like Alix Perez, Breakage and Commix themselves, 'FabricLive 44' also glances backwards to acknowledge original pioneers such as Jonny L and Photek, whilst crucially retaining as much energy to excite the dancefloor as it does intelligence to engage the cerebellum.

"We'd wanted to do a compilation for ages and we felt we had a really good relationship with Fabric, who seemed to really like the music we were playing down there," Guy explains. "We took a long time over the mix and we wanted to push some of the new artists we're feeling at the moment alongside tracks which referenced how we first got into drum & bass.

"We had about 15 'classic' tracks we wanted to use, which we whittled down to two, and we didn't use the obvious ones - the Photek track is a B-side from one of the singles off his 'Modus Operandi' album, for example.

"We wanted to make sure it had a longer shelf-life than most of the other drum & bass compilations, which just seem to be the 12 biggest tracks around at that time."

And with the Best of British award for 'Best Compilation' now under their belt, a collection of remixes from 2007's critically-acclaimed 'Call To Mind' album and new releases on Metalheadz and the launch of their own Beaten Track label ready to go, taking the highbrow road was clearly the right choice for Commix.

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