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Future Fabric

DJ Mag checks out Critical at Tectonic Plates Vol.3 Launch, Fabric London

What a line-up! Not for those of closed minds, faint hearts, disregarding ears! Tonight is most certainly a line-up for the heads. Each and every room, inflated with the most innovative and forward-thinking artists from the dark and murky corners of bass music. 

As we enter the club, we partake in our usual ritual of popping upstairs to the room three bar and ordering our drinks but as DJ Mag takes a peek to our left we have to double take. “Why?” we ask ourselves , “is everyone facing the wrong way?” Poking our heads further into the room, it becomes clear; the raised area of room three has been laid out as a stage. Although the room feels more atmospheric with this layout, it’s also slightly more claustrophobic with the some space being lost to the DJ. Unlike the other bigger rooms at Fabric, room three had an intimate quality that we can’t help feel has been lost by raising the DJ’s above the crowed.

dBridge is playing his first set of the night, as the boss of Exit, he needs to set the standard for his room, and he’s doing just that, low tempo beats pour through the speakers, weaving in and around the bodies of subtle skankers before he leaves the decks to make way for Synkro

Heading for room two we barely push through the entrance, the room is absolutely rammed, it seems Critical is the place to dwell tonight. We’ve hit the room at the right moment, we manage to squeeze ourselves up onto the side platform just in time. At that very moment the entire room drops down in synchronized appreciation and steps in time to the sounds of Dub Phizix & Skeptical’s  mighty ‘Marker’. Kasra leaves the wheels of steel as MC Bassline introduces Phace and yet more dark, deep dubs follow. Phace is building the energy in the room to inconceivable high, like a tower of wobbling Jenga, we're sure there’s only so much this room can withstand. Sweat is dripping from the pipes above, and for the first time in our lifes we’re indifferent at being speckled with a complete stranger’s perspiration. This is an atmosphere at breaking point, and here’s the break, Phace drops his and Noisia’s killer mantra ‘Floating Zero’.

The immense line-up tonight is making it incredibly hard to decide which room to stay in, we continually wonder between the rooms completely spoilt for choice. We head to the main bar and can hear rumblings of that old skool garage DJ Wonder track ‘What’, we can’t stand for a second. Next, we run to consume every last vibration of Fabric’s famous room one floor. DJ Pinch flies the flag high and proud for his label Tectonic, which tonight is hosting room one.   

Leaving the sounds of future garage behind in room one we embark upon the sounds of future drum and bass in room three a la Dub Phizix. Every square millimeter of the room is filled, he’s unique sound cannot be missed. Living up to his name dub after dub after dub is dropped. Bloops and bleeps, twists and tweaks at levels and pitches not yet explored, flutter round the room people dance in ore as dnb’s newest asset proves there is still so much more to be reaped from a sound which has been harvesting the goods for way over a decade.      

Back in the Critical room the atmosphere continues bubble past boiling point, Break b2b Ed Rush bless the decks. What a combination! Two of the most respected names do what they do best, dropping the dark and deadly, they cram in current classics ‘Dreadnaught’ and for the second time of the night ‘Floating Zero’ murders the dance. It’s just before 4am and SP skulks across the rave with drink in hand to get to the booth in time for Total Science and Spy’s b2b set.   

The morning after the night before while nursing our throbbing feet we flick through favourite social spout Twitter to see Kasra proudly post: “There was a point this evening between Phace and Ed Rush b2b Break when I thought Fabric might crumble to the ground.” 

True dat.

WORDS: Nicola Elliott