fabric Presents The Streets

An assured set from the urban dance titan...

All hail Mike Skinner, poet laureate of mouthy geezers. Not content with his borderline national treasure status, as both peerless spoken word artiste and rabble-rousing festival king. He’s also a damn fine DJ.

Consider this mix, released by him and Fabric London. You know that old song of his, “Lights are blinding my eyes / People pushing by”? In my head that’s always been set in Fabric – exactly the kind of brick-ceiling bass-heavy den where you lose yourself in tunes and smoke six tabs down to the nub. 

The mix –  a lean hour – is bookended with Skinner originals. Opener ‘No Better Than Chance’ is all Reebok Classics and raspy rap-and-response chorus. Honestly, how does he still do it? 

The tempo livens palpably through Cesco and Hamdi’s ‘Swing King’, a pacy broadside, a sweet as a nut drugs-and-wubs bop. An enfilade of midlands vowels. Then shiny disco-garage brightness of lau.ra’s ‘The Danger’.

Flowdan, what a ledge, is up soon, baritone bass in your face. Mustbejohn, on form and all over Tendendo’s ‘Motive’ is surely the 2020s heir apparent to king Skinner. If you haven’t come up by the time Oppidan’s ‘Mr. Sandman’ drops then perhaps politely have a word with yourself, love. 

Anyway, put it on it’s wicked. Loads of laconic The Streets deep cuts sprinkled judiciously amid the bangers – ‘Boxing In Slow Motion’ a personal highlight for what it’s worth, cascading with sumptuous Skinner imagery “baroque, rococo / florid, grotesque.”

Other highlights? Bruza feat. Logan Olm’s ‘Boiling Point’,a dirty little bassline banger, parked up on bricks at the grimier end of garage. Lively, chippy ‘LOYAL’ by 33 Below and DRIIA. 

The last word goes to Skinner’s mesmerising slow jam ‘End Of The Queue’ a paean, one suspects, to aging party people everywhere, the “Henry’s that grew into hedonism hoovers” – mischievously slowed down to a woozy dissociative tempo. Damn heady stuff. 

8/10

Words: Andy Hill

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