Various - Fabriclive 41: Simian Mobile Disco (3 stars)

Simian Mobile Disco



By rights Simian Mobile Disco ought to be detestable. The production and remix team are responsible, after all, for the post-’We Are Your Friends’ decree that every NME-reading first-year university student to start an indie disco in their union over the last two years must claim the duo as their number one influence.

The name Fabric on the front of this compilation CD should be a mark of quality, but the SMD moniker inspires trepidation. That’s born out by the jingly, incessant intro of The Firebird’s ‘Infernal Dance of King Kastechi’, although the complementary but sublime Sisters of Transistors are right behind it with ‘The Don’. All the fan-pleasing and similarly vocal-heavy efforts are right there up the front, including the Serge Santiago mix of Hercules and Love Affair’s ‘Blind’ and SMD’s own ‘Simple’.

Then, believe it or not, it turns into an actual, proper mix CD, one that is aimed at the dancefloor rather than ticking names off the Cool List. The cut’n’paste ambience is somewhere between trance and acid, with a healthy dose of chill-out thrown in, and the finest tracks include Discodeine’s ‘Joystick’, Deadmau5 vs Jelo’s ‘The Reward is Cheese’ and Metro Area’s minor after-party classic ‘Miura’. Then the closing double of Green Velvet’s strident ‘Flash’ and The Walker Brothers’ charming ‘Night Flights’ is inspired.

It’s not perfect, but writing SMD off is certainly doing them a disservice. If only every militant young bedroom DJ who name-checks them could put together a set half as good as this one.

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