Paul Woolford’s ‘Soul Music’ album as Special Request played that bloody jungle music all night; a 2013 LP full of ridiculous roughneck rapture. A wilful servant to house and techno, the first half of his fabric takeover is dedicated to electro, the fluency of which is busy, intimidating, bass heavy, acid-washed and always on the front foot, like a videogamer securing different levels in a galaxy with an axe to grind.
This should come as no surprise, given that while Woolford has played fabric with the Metalheadz crew, he’s also played what feels right across the entire venue. Here, his timing is exemplary. Attacking hairs on the back of necks with his opening drop testing 4D capabilities, Polygon Window’s ‘Audax Power’ surges through the warehouse: those thinking electro was the preserve of windmilling b-boys will be hit with an exocet, with Woolford’s ‘Psychic Vampires’ and ‘Redrum’ gnawing into speakers and invading ambient space with haggard bass. And all the while you’re thinking the jungle must be, must be coming soon.
Lo and behold, a public service announcement found on a rebel frequency has Cristian Vogel’s ‘Atomic Layers’ opening the heavens and parting the seas. Even immediately after this precursor to hell’s kitchen opening for business, darkside incarnate, Shapednoise’s not-at-all ironically titled ‘Enlightenment’, takes devilish time with a harrowing bass serenade unto Dilinja’s ‘Deadly Deep Subs’, whose mutant jazz will send the place apeshit. Squarely back in ’94 and now playing a vicious game of steppers’ ping pong with Woolford’s ‘Stairfoot Lane Bunker’, the mood has transferred from where angels soar to where they plummet – a vibe that only somewhere like Fabric can handle.
DJ Trace & Nico’s ‘Monkeys’ is a Kong-sized apocalypse with remixers DJ Future & Eric Electric in charge of nuclear cattle prods, and the white hot clatter of pistons careering out of control while unholy voodoo swirls all around, is not the sound of Woolford repping Fendi for their 2017 collection. With more impeccable anticipation, a protracted widescreen outro involving Carl Craig douses the fire and surveys the aftermath, leaving punters to realign their spines and peel themselves off the walls they’ve been thrown into. Special Request – still the jungle VIP.
Words: Matt Oliver
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