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Review: Monki Fabriclive 81

Monki Fabriclive 81 on Cone magazine

Few DJ’s get the chance to enter into a position of reputable acknowledgement without first slogging the arduous trail of long working hours, for very little money and poor exposure of their talents.

Monki (born Lucy Monkman) into London’s hotbed of creative minds, had always had a strong affiliation towards pirate radio. Her passions became a a career path once she cemented herself a 3 year stint on Rinse FM.

Review of Monki Fabriclive 81 on Cone Magazine

Now mixing on the highly revered Fabriclive compilation series, where she also holds her frequent ‘Monki & friends’ night at Fabric, Monki mentions how…

“I bought a lot of the FABRICLIVE CDs, Toddla T’s one was playing in my car all the time as a yout. FABRICLIVE 81 definitely catches your breath. Everything has a groove.”

This is a mixtape not for the lazy heads. It feels more like a recording from a live set at DC-10. Packed with high energy floor-fillers made to shake the foundations of any sound system its playing through.

Starting things with a 90’s acid vibe, I really like the interception of Deapmash & Raito ‘Stop (Strip Steve remix), with it’s high vigour breaks, reminiscent of many nights bugging out in London warehouse raves.

Keeping the energy in her mixes, the cuts are quite short, only ranging from 16 to 32 bars in length, often leading straight into the main drops of a track. The Techno breaks seem to take a lot of precedence in this mix. It feels like a balearic Swamp 81 set, with Sly One – Cowbell using that punchy percussion to flirt with your senses.

Mele then swoops into the mix with an exclusive cameo shout-out to our disc jokey…

“Right about now, sounds of the original DJ Monki, Fabriclive, go tell your wife”.

This seems to be the pre-cursor to a more tech house, balearic direction within the mix, with drops like Floorplan – Baby Baby & DJ Haus – Helta Skelta.

One of my favourite records to feature on the mix though, was the Bristolian techno producer Kalyde, with ‘Infected Ear’. Monki and Kalyde have been close comrades in their music progressions. Cone Magazine recently had a conversation with Kalyde where he told us…

“The track was also another one i did which i half liked and was almost ready for the trash, but then went back to it, started over with the core elements and created something new which i instantly liked. Its a slightly different one from me, maybe verging more on the bass music side of Techno, but the general feedback was that it had character and it does damage in my sets. I don’t know a huge amount about the Zoo family but Monki is one of the sole reasons for the growth of Kalyde.”

Things certainly ramp up, with a heavy bass inflection towards the end of the mix, with another firm favourite of mine Mella Dee – Rude & deadly, featuring those iconic ‘Amon Breaks’ with a good contemporary polish up.

Once again, Monki seems to bridge the gap between tech/ balearic house and techno with the mix of Callahan’s monster ‘Fallacy’, and the samba flavours of ‘Zulu Carnival’ by Tony Quattro.

Another hyped dub-plate comes in the form of Sudanim‘s remix of  Gage‘s ‘Telo’, reaffirming her esteemed respect by producers and MC’s the world over.

Monki does a nice job of rounding out this mixtape with a euphoric number by remix agent Frank De Wulf’s on his re-work of Golden Girls – Kinetic. Again, I really admire her ability to chop and change genres, keeping the mixtape live, fresh and non-repetitive which can be oh so boring to listen too. It’s not an easy thing for DJs to do, and can often come off sound chaotic and exposed to criticism, but I think this is a compilation of contemporary records that reflects Monki’s strong roots in British rave culture. I wouldn’t say Its a timeless mix, nor would I say it’s up there with some of the best Fabriclive mixtape’s (ehem, John Peel 07), but It’s not going to fail in giving you a good soundtrack to your weekend, or that 6 hour drive down the M32 to your mothers house all the more interesting.

Monki Fabriclive 81 releases 18th May


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