Surgeon – onetime FACT mixer, former British Murder Boy and arguably the finest techno DJ in the world – is has compiled the 53rd Fabric mix CD.

Fabric 53 will be available on July 12 via Fabric Records, and it’s a typically heavy-duty selection, showcasing his uncommon ability to supply the necessary 4/4 jack-factor but also make nifty excursions into different genres, tempos and beat structures.

“For me personally, I don’t go for heavily publicising projects,” Surgeon, real name Tony Child, tells Fabric, “I just let things take their natural course and treat things with the longer term in mind. Over the years that I’ve been DJing I’ve seen the popularity of techno rise and fall many, many times but this doesn’t panic or concern me, I do what I do and if it’s more or less popular then that’s just the way the universe operates.

“But fortunately I’m still able to survive through DJing,” he continues, “So as long as that’s the case then that’s okay. So many times for so many years I’ve noticed people say, ‘Well everything’s been done that you can possibly do with dance music.’ It reminds of something I heard about how in Victorian times they decided that all scientific discoveries had been discovered and that was all there was to learn; it was as if science was a shut book. It’s a bizarre thing to say, and it’s the same with music. If your motivation is down or your inspiration is down, then maybe it’s just the case that you’re not looking in the right place. There’s always something there to discover or to motivate you.”

“I try to use techno as a carrier wave, or as a medium, to sort of transmit these more avant-garde elements in. I bring it in but make it more palatable and try to bring it to a wider audience.”

As fans of followers of the Birmingham-hailing producer already know, Surgeon has increasingly found inspiration in dubstep and the synthesizer-heavy post-hip-hop of Starkey, Rustie et al. Starkey crops up twice on Fabric 53, with his own production ‘Spacecraft’ and the Slugabed remix of ‘Stars’, while there are also tracks included from the Greena, Subeena, Scuba, Instra:mental and Ital Tek. For Surgeon, this kind of (ahem) “bass music” – so often looked down upon by “proper” techno fans – reminds him of early 90s dance musis. “It’s just this idea of the breakbeat, the broken beat. It’s got some echoes of rave, there are some elements of that somewhere in it…”

But as ever with Surgeon this isn’t just diversity for its own sake; he’s supernaturally adept and making these tracks sound totally natural together, of isolating and emphasizing their techno DNA.

“Really, to me, this is all techno. That’s the way I think of it; I don’t subdivide genres, the beats are just slightly different places in the bar. They all have different feels and textures, but I don’t differentiate, I just like all this music so I want to mix it together.”

However, the tracklist boasts plenty of techno with a capital ‘T’, including productions from Robert Hood, Substance, Ancient Methods, Luke Slater and Forward Strategy Group, not to mention five of his own Surgeon tracks.

“It’s having an awareness of what people’s expectations are,” he says, “And then stretching the boundaries of that, while trying to incorporate different styles into it. There have always been far more experimental and avant-garde electronic artists than anything that I do, but I like to work as a kind of breach between the fringes of the avant-garde and the experimental stuff – I try and bring an essence and a flavour of that in, but try to use techno as a carrier wave, or as a medium, to sort of transmit these more avant-garde elements in. I bring it in but make it more palatable and try to bring it to a wider audience. That’s my method and for me, it’s a more effective way of introducing these flavours and sounds. It’s like testing out boundaries and figuring out how far to go so you don’t completely lose people.”

Location recording from Kuramae Subway Station, Tokyo, Japan
Scuba – Glance [Hotflush]
Surgeon – Bad Hands (Drums Only) [Dynamic Tension]
Marco Bernardi – Giro (Exium Remix) [Dirty Planet]
Instra:mental – Forbidden [Apple Pips]
Forward Strategy Group – Applied Generics A [Forward Strategy Group]
Reeko – Agile Movement [Theory]
Surgeon – Bad Hands Part 2 (Drums Only) [Dynamic Tension]
Robert Hood – Superman [M-Plant]
Planetary Assault Systems – X Speaks To X (Al Tourettes & Appleblim Remix) [Ostgut Ton]
Ritzi Lee – Black Star Ritual (Ben Sims Remix) [Underground Liberation]
T-Polar – Crab People [Digital Distortions]
Ital Tek – Spectrum Falls [Atom River]
Surgeon – Klonk Part 1 (Drums Only) [Dynamic Tension]
Subeena – Picture [Opit]
Fran Hartnett – It Was Written In Vapour [unreleased]
Mark Broom & James Ruskin – Hostage [Blueprint]
Stephen Brown – Stress Free [Music Man]
Ancient Methods – AM04B1 [Ancient Methods]
Surgeon – Compliance Momentum [Dynamic Tension]
Greena – Tenzado [Apple Pips]
Starkey – Spacecraft [Planet Mu]
Starkey feat. Anneka – Stars (Slugabed Did A Remix) [Planet Mu]
Cari Lekebusch – Spindizzy (Luke Slater’s L.B. Dub Corp Remix) [Mote-Evolver]
Surgeon – The Crawling Frog Is Torn and Smiles [Dynamic Tension]
Orphx – Threshold (Substance Remix) [Sonic Groove]
Gatekeeper – Blip [If Symptoms Persist]
Mark Broom & James Ruskin – No Time Soon [Blueprint]
Russ Gabriel – El Juan [We Play House]
DJ Overdose – What [Lunar Disko Records]



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