Pearson Sound / Ramadanman - FABRICLIVE 56 CD
Boasting a CV that would leave most aspiring artists weak at the knees, young North Londoner David Kennedy, who operates under several monikers including Pearson Sound and Ramadanman, has been steadily adding accomplishments to his already substantial list since hitting the scene in 2006. Kennedy has dropped a slew of 12"s on game-changing bass music labels like Swamp 81, Hemlock, Aus, Applepips and Soul Jazz, as well as on his very own Hessle Audio - which he runs alongside friends Ben UFO and Pangaea. The small imprint, which has so far left a very big mark, was started in the Hyde Park area of Leeds and has released singles from the likes of Joe, James Blake and Untold, also hosting various radio shows and a residency at FABRICLIVE. His prolific remix rate and dizzying tour schedule leaves one wondering where he found the time to produce the 56th FABRICLIVE mix.
"It's all very much live mixing, no time stretching or auto beat matching. It's a bit of a retrospective of some of my favourite music from 2010, and is representative of a set I would play in a club. Even though I don't play much stuff at 140bpm these days, I always like to end up at that tempo as that is the music that got me to where I am, and tracks like Sub Zero by D1 are very powerful for me because they remind me of spending time at FWD in 2006, which was so formative." David Kennedy
With such a varied output, the one string that has consistently united David's work is the care spent on the percussive elements of his drum programming and a love for rich textural sounds. With roughly a third of the tracks in the mix being his own productions, this is a perfect example of this very consistency and further evidence of the flawless nature of his DJing. It's also an extremely current selection, with many of the tunes being unreleased at the time of recording. Starting off with some Rush Hour type deep house and the Panoramabar anthem, Late Night Jam, things soon get a little more upbeat. This is where Kennedy excels, managing to temper the frenetic BPM of the Shangaan dance whilst isolating the yearning vocal chant, slotting it effortlessly into one of his Pearson Sound percussive workouts. While utilising the infectious basslines from tough UK funky numbers like Lil' Silva's Bad Girl remix, he manages to avoid the usual hyperactive nature of funky sets, allowing each groove adequate time to snake into the next, jumping between tempos but always keeping it deep with the haunting vocals of Joy Orbison phasing in and even a timely staccato verse from Wiley. It's the simplicity in which he gives nods towards all his influences, from the sub-bass heavy D1 classic Sub Zero to the dubbed-out ethereal garage of Burial, his own Detroit-influenced drums strewn throughout, that gives the mix such a pulsating intensity. The whole thing then winds down beautifully with an ambient number from Hotflush alumnus Sigha that leaves you with a teasing lone note slowly drifting just out of earshot.