When it comes to music there’s no such thing as a foregone conclusion, but, from the moment its existence was first disclosed, it was always exceedingly likely that Shackleton’s Fabric 55 would turn out to be among our favourite releases of 2010. And guess what? It is.

Out next week, the album – essentially a studio-locked live set of all-Shack material, including several previously unreleased cuts – is comparable to Omar-S’s Fabric 45, if only in the sense that it functions almost as a “best of” the artist’s recent work. Fabric 55 includes not only a wealth of brand new material, plus two cuts from his recently inaugurated Woe To The Septic Heart label, several from last year’s Perlon triple-pack Three EPs and a couple of numbers from his Skull Disco and Mordant Music days. But perhaps the most notable aspect of Fabric 55 is not content, but context: the way it captures the breakneck intensity of Shackleton’s live performances, his expert modulation of minimalist, ‘floor-friendly grooves and a level of textural density that verges on out-and-out delirium.

For one week only you can stream the first 30 minutes of Shackleton’s Fabric 55 here on FACT. The pace is hectic from the off, those trademark tribal rhythms sounding more brain-boxing and soul-scouring than ever; highlights to listen out for in this half-hour excerpt include the hoover-bass of ‘Moon Over Joseph’s Burial’, dread techno steppers ‘International Fires’ and ‘Visontele’ (both previously unreleased) and, on ‘Hypno Angel’, a bassline so itchy it’ll have you reaching for the E45.

The singularity – and sheer quality – of Shackleton’s vision is more evident than ever on Fabric 55. Most of you will already know how important and rewarding any offering from his Berlin studio is, let alone something this substantial, and you probably don’t need any further convincing from us. The rest of you – check out the stream below and, if (when) you like what you hear, buy the release here or here.

By the way, Shackleton will be playing live in Room 2 of Fabric in London on December 11, alongside Frequency 7 (Surgeon & Ben Sims) and Peverelist. If you fancy winning a pair of tickets for the night (Radio Slave, Guy Gerber and Craig Richards are taking care of Room 1) plus a copy of Shackleton’s Fabric 55 CD, then e-mail your name and the word ‘Shackleton’ to competitions@thevinylfactory.com. The winner will be notified on or before December 10.

1. Shackleton – Come Up [unreleased]
2. Shackleton – Moon Over Joseph’s Burial [Perlon]
3. Shackleton – Hypno Angel [Skull Disco]
4. Shackleton – Visontele [unreleased]
5. Shackleton – Interlude: Blood Rhythm With Wishy Drones [unreleased]
6. Shackleton – Operatic Waves [unreleased]
7. Shackleton – Closeness to Nature [unreleased]
8. Shackleton – Negative Thoughts [Perlon]
9. Shackleton feat. Vengeance Tenfold – Death Is Not Final [Skull Disco]
10. Shackleton – International Fires [unreleased]
11. Shackleton – Paper [Perlon]



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