Dusted Reviews

Levon Vincent - Fabric 63

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Levon Vincent

Album: Fabric 63

Label: Fabric

Review date: Jun. 6, 2012

New York deep house don Levon Vincent’s turn in the London institution’s mix series, Fabric 63, is dark. Cutting a clutch of his own new tracks with those of a small but brilliant group of associates, Vincent rolls through the CD at a stately pace, the tracks coming off so smooth you won’t notice how shadowy it is for many listens. Vincent now lives in Berlin, while his peers remain on the eastern seaboard — DJ Qu, Black Jazz Consortium, Joey Anderson, JM De Frias, Anthony Parasole are the others that show up in this mix. Despite being grouped under the New York deep house tag, their tracks could easily be taken as techno, owing as much to the 3 a.m. k-hole vibes as to Vincent’s fondness for Roland’s Space Echo delay. DJ Qu’s preference for “deep house” and Levon Vincent’s comments about the mysticism of the crew — both underline the fact that electronic music’s elective affinities can help reveal qualities we wouldn’t perceive from the music alone.

What the listener gets here is an overview of a geographically dispersed scene (with Jus-Ed in Connecticut, DJ Qu in New Jersey, and so forth) whose spiritual center is undoubtedly New York, though it’s more of an idea than a place of residence. With a mix like Fabric 63, context enables a deeper appreciation but can also get in the way of a more visceral one. The process of evaluating a mix is intensely dialectical anyway, and resolution is tantalizingly out of reach in Vincent’s case. On the one hand, an intense subjectivity is required — the vibe is either to your taste or it isn’t. On the other, there’s the fact that we listen to mixes in part to learn, and that suspending judgment is necessary to get a bigger picture of whatever the mix draws out of the selections. Sometimes it turns out the mix doesn’t have much to say in the first place, but in spite of its tight focus, that’s not the case here.

Fabric 63 requires patience; even though he’s the producer of seven of the mix’s fifteen tracks, the story Vincent is telling is an ambitious one, even if he’s sticking mostly to friends. You’ll find yourself more than halfway through the mix before a track really sticks out (the concluding run that starts with Vincent’s “The End” and goes through his gorgeous “Rainstorm II” is its most memorable), but the preliminary work Vincent’s done to get there makes it that much more rewarding. Still, the mix is more or less an extended plateau, with graceful and intelligent lateral moves and only a few rare peaks and valleys, but these, too, are foreshortened by cool shade, a shadowplay that levels everything to a mysterious, nocturnal feel.

Because Fabric 63 doesn’t build up and break down in familiar cycles, Vincent’s free to include two tracks — Joey Anderson’s "Earth Calls" and Vincent’s "Fear" —pretty much in their entirety, not that you’d necessarily notice. Wherever they live, this group of producers is feeding off of the same energy, rooted in the same past and refusing nostalgia for the New York that was — even if they were actually there and deeply shaped by it. What they create here, together, isn’t about restoring the present to past glory, it’s far more imaginative than that, something they’ve been hardwired to do but don’t take for granted. It’s a grower, not a shower. Given enough time, it’ll take you there.

By Brandon Bussolini

Read More

View all articles by Brandon Bussolini

Find out more about Fabric

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.