FabricLive 56: Pearson Sound/Ramadanman

It would be easy to reel off a list of superlatives to describe David Kennedy’s blistering success in 2011, but you’ve most likely read that elsewhere – and will continue to read it throughout the year as he continues his assault on our senses, even adding another pseudonym to his box of tricks for a 3 pronged attack on the merging and splitting, almost genre-less scene.

Rama had a good year. So it stands to reason that he was an inevitable choice for the esteemed mix series, and this edition, released on 21st March, gives a solid indication that he is no mood to rest on his laurels in 2012. Bounding effortlessly into the higher realms of some of the series’ most acclaimed outings, Kennedy has constructed a mix that will undoubtedly be in a lot of final year album choices come December.

A recent interview indicated that the Pearson Sound moniker is Kennedy’s new focus and it shows through the inclusion of no less than six Pearson productions and a truly sublime retake on Joy Orbison’s highly desired GR Etiquette – Pearson Sounds Symphonic Refix: a phrase I want to see far more of in 2012. The inclusion of the apparently unclearable Jamie Fox sample in the aforementioned beat will have the optimists amongst us rubbing our hands at signs of a much awaited release – or then the ‘glass half empty’ lot will notice the glaring omission of Joy Orbison’s heartfelt garage refix of Goapele – Milk and Honey, a regular crowd destroyer in Kennedy’s sets for over a year. Irrelevant really when the mix shines with so much meticulously crafted mixing, switching, cutting and blending.

With the many influences and changes in style that Ramadanman has incorporated in his live sets in the last year, there was a danger that the mix could fail to portray the excitement and skill of seeing him live – his DJ sets showing off abilities well beyond his years. The mix switches and swaps between scenes, with slightly less impact than his live sets, but with more subtlety and thought that means the mix never sounds disjointed. The care and attention shown to percussive elements, carefully layered bass and heartfelt vocals gives a perfect snapshot of how hugely diverse the current scene is, and how far ahead of the pack Ramadanman is. It could be described as a good introduction for beginners to the scene (and it is), were it not so packed full of tunes to please even the most pedantic beard-stroker.

Without trying to get too sycophantic, the mix is superb. There are the odd moments that didn’t quite sit right with me, the distorted African vocals of Tiyiselani Vomaseve – Vanghoma sounded a little contrived and the Joy Orbison and Ramadanman mashup of ‘Work Them’ and ‘J. Doe’ lacked much of the impact of the originals. However, both are only small gripes and the mix definitely sits high on my list of favourite mix albums.

For more info take a look at www.fabriclondon.com or find Pearson Sound on facebook.

Michael Mallett
Subverb Nottingham

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