The sound of speed
He was there at the start of the breaks in Britain, and FABIO is still pushing the boundaries of the deep drum 'n' bass sound. Words: Rory Weller
As the ‘decade of dance’ hype rolls on. there’s another lower-key occasion worth celebrating. lt’s ten years since a young insurance agent called Fitzroy l-leslop filled in for a friend at a pirate radio station called Phase I in London and began a new career as Fabio, dance innovator.
His name is now synonymous with the future funk sound of drum 'n‘ bass. from the weekly slot on Radio One with long time DJ partner Grooverider to his underground label Creative Source and a residency at Swerve. With the exception of producing (which we‘ll come to in a moment). his style. legacy and foresight make him one of the more respected figures in the dance music industry.
He has always been relied upon for his pioneering. experimental approach to DJing. As an acid house rave DJ in I989. Fabio would take the B-sides from house and hip hop records, use the looped breakbeats and accelerate them to double speed to create a new hardcore sound. Of these nights. Rage at Heaven became legendary for warped breakbeats and extreme musical intensity. Already the fans were getting obsessive, and one Rage regular even hung about the DJ box to collect Fahio’s empty water bottles as souvenirs.
As the jungle scene went from its embryonic period to full-on growth. adverse media attention came with it associating the sound with guns and crack. Rage closed .down and Fabio found himself in the wilderness. eschewing the ragga and darkcore jungle scenes.
He found inspiration in DATs he was being sent. Those with a jazzier. more overtly musical feel inspired him and LT] Bukem to start Speed, to see how far they could push the envelope ofjungle. Five people turned up for the first nightJThen word went round and the stars started to arrive — Goldie. Photek. Bjork — and the club exploded as interest picked up on this drum ’n’ bass sound.
at the other.
Fabio is coming from a background with soul at one end of the scale and techno
Fabio: still leads the way
The obvious thing missing from his musical CV is production credits. When every DJ in every interview says they’re either in the studio or planning to get there soon. Fabio has been noticeable by his absence. He makes shaded references to being ‘stung’ six years before and has been waiting for the right time to make his move.
Fabio is coming from a background with soul at one end of the scale and techno at the other. and he says he wants to make music that would entwine all these different flavours. He
considers the time is now right in the evolution of deep drum ’n’ bass to make him take the step of
going into the studio. He remixed a track for Optical on Sony which was released in Japan and he’s in discussion with Deep Dish about forthcoming collaborations. He also mentions work with Kym Mazelle. showing his genre-busting drive is still there.
Ten years on and Fabio is still exceeding expectations. You get the feeling. though. that the best is yet to come.
Fabio 01s at Manga, la Belle Angele on Fri 21 Aug.
The word from the leaflet-strewn streets of Edinburgh.
VIVA LA FESTIVAL . . . the boys at Wilkie House are giving their venue an upgrade. Expect work on the sound system, new toilets, fixed seating, and a paint job. Could it be true?
THEY SAID IT would never happen. Yogi Haughton is back in the Honeycomb to play at the Higher Ground-Homeless night on Thu 27 Aug. As if that wasn't enough, he will be taking up a residency at the relocated Homeless at, yes, the Honeycomb from 11 Sep. The shock of it all!
HERE'S ONE TO be proud of - Nick Warren pays tribute to Edinburgh club Sublime on the sleeve notes to his latest CD. ‘It's possibly the best crowd I've seen in the UK,’ he says. ’They just go absolutely bonkers and are really friendly.’ Sublime was the only British club to make the personal top ten list of events that he has played and it proves yet again that Scottish clubs are where it's at (which we knew already).
FANCY A QUIET one in? Grab a copy of ex-The Facer Sheryl Garratt's new book Adventures In Wonderland. Although it is yet
another book on the Ten Years Of Acid House, she knows her stuff and it makes for a good read. Published Thu 20 Aug by Headline Books
FANCY A QUIET one out? Check out Martin Wright taking a verbal trip down memory lane through the pickets and protests that he has been involved in over the past 30 years at City Cafe 2, Thu 13 Aug, 7-9.30pm.
THIS WEEK WE have been mostly displeased by: boys dribbling into our drinks and bitching about 'cliquey Edinburgh’ (all because we won't play pool); tourists throwing their rubbish onto our main doors; and the demands for tickets to our List party, which left the office switchboard red hot. Viva la Festival indeed.
Nick Warren: paying tribute to Sublime