Guy Gerber eschews expectations and takes Fabric 64 as an opportunity to make a compact, groove-based single artist album. He isn't the first to make his entry into the Fabric CD a single artists affair though - both Ricardo Villalobos and Omar S have produced Fabric albums that only consist of their own music. They are both, in fact, two of my favourite entries to the long-running series.
Gerber has declared Fabric 64 his 'break-up' album. Created in a short, two month period (as Fabric releases apparently have to be) shortly after the end of a relationship it is a snapshot of his emotional state during that period and it has a greater degree of focus than an album created over a longer period of time would be capable of. This is a generous album both emotionally and purely in terms of the music offered, for much of the 16 movements and 72-minutes contained could have been made into a 'proper' album, with all the associated press and attention that usually brings.
It also works well as a mix album though. This may not be a peak-of-the-night DJ set but Fabric 64 is no slouch either, taught electronic kicks propel the album onwards even when the music is introspective and forlorn, as on 'Shady Triangle'. Melancholic music can create a deep, emotional well to drown in but Gerber sidesteps this to create a soundtrack that trips and stumbles between sadness, resignation and apprehensive hope at different turns throughout its course.
The whole album locks together like a jigsaw to make a tight, continuous groove so whilst there are momentary highlights it also forms a cinematic whole. This just could be the progressive house answer to the Drive soundtrack and all that which the movie has touched - the music scrubbed and sanded down in an attempt to remove every touch of humanity, yet the emotion shines through as strong as ever.
It is there in the melodies that punch through the dark synths on 'A Blade Through My Piano' and again on the building opening track 'Store-House Consciousness'. And the vocals and wet synth of the Clarian North featuring 'Running Through The Night' betray nights spent with nowhere to go and no-one to see.
It is on the Deniz Kurtel collaboration that closes this album, 'Just Wanna See You Happy', that Gerber finds (and makes) his peace and yet it still feels like a conflicted moment - not marked out with the same tears that track much of the album but hardly at ease either. Fabric 69 doesn't just use the mix album to create a single artist album - Gerber has used it to make a concept album too (and a good one at that).
It is an album which says a lot about its maker. Put it on a pair of headphones and ride across the city, shutting out your surroundings and it just might say something about you too.