Unearthed: Oneman: FabricLive.64
Posted in Unearthed
DJS ARE LIKE SNOWFLAKES (BUT NOT LIKE GOTYE)
Rinse FM DJ and party provocateur Oneman wrapped up a string of performances here in New York last night with a set at the recently-established Boiler Room studio in Manhattan. I decided against tuning in, mostly because I caught two of his sets last weekend and felt a little burned out on what Oneman had to offer. The first night I saw him spin, the Rinse host lived up to the high standard I had set for him, but I was slightly put off by his performance the following day at PS1. Oneman played hit after hit after hit, but far too many of them came from his FabricLive mix, which saw a release last week.
FabricLive.64 is beyond solid. Oneman is a keen selector with the ability to mix a set that slaps but doesn't go overboard with the energy, dip into cheesiness, or lose touch with tasteful grooves. Teeth-gritting and bass-facing enthusiasm doesn't overwhelm, even at the mix's most grating and tenuously bangerish moments, like the squealing sirens on MikeQ's "The Ha Dub Rewerk'd." The 24-song tracklist is positively bursting with Olympic-level talent from the likes of SBTRKT, Joy Orbison, Boddika, Mosca, and Burial, and the lesser-known bring some of the record's standouts, like Groove Connektion 2's 1997 release "Club Lonely" and Thefft's "Switch." It's no wonder that Oneman was tempted to play them live, and then play them live again, and then probably play them live again on the Boiler Room.
While I certainly don't blame Oneman for wanting to share Pearson Sound's crunk-to-the-floor cut "Untitled" at every chance he can get, seeing his sets and recognizing so many of the tunes got me thinking about what I value and what I expect from certain DJs. "The craziest crowd response that I get in my sets is when I play my own tracks," A-Trak wrote in his recent column for the Huffington Post. I get why: trainspotting is one of my favorite things to do at shows, and I definitely felt my heart rate spike when Oneman segued from Tuff Jam's Classic Garage remix of "Somebody Else's Guy" to Joy O's sublime "Ellipsis" (both of which are on FabricLive.64) at PS1. That's the reason Gotye waits until his encore to play "Somebody That I Used To Know"—everyone's waiting for the songs they recognize, which are the songs they have heard the most times, and which are the songs they love the most.
DJs are different than Gotye, thank God. Depending on which producer/DJ I'm going to see, I have different expectations for their sets. I don't want to recognize more than one song if I'm showing up to one of Marcel Dettmann or Maya Jane Coles' sets, probably because I conceive of them as club DJs in a more purist sense than I see other DJs: I expect them to have a lot of technical skill and a greater breadth and depth of knowledge—you know, like an old-school DJ. Oneman, on the other hand, is a radio host, so I value his ability to discover, identify, and play the best tunes, but hat takes away from how impressive I find his live skills the second or third time around.
And then there's A-Trak.
Listen to the radio mix of FabricLive.64 Oneman compiled, watch the preview video, and purchase the mix now here