Clash (magazine) - "Ilario Alicante's `Forward' and Operator's `Flat Rotation Curves' return to the techno aquarium of reverberating colours, and the finishing move of Fitzpatrick remixing DrewxHill asks whether all before was just a dream. It's a survival of the fittest when the Fitz hits the fan."
In a few short years, Southampton selector Alan Fitzpatrick has amassed a sizeable following as a DJ and producer. Now a fully-fledged Fabric resident, he gets the chance for the first time to put on disc a record of how his nights at the decks sound. While these Fabric mixes are a hit-and-miss affair, this is definitely one of the better sets in recent memory. The mixing is far from seamless, but it's adequate and never jars. The real genius here lies in the selection and sequencing. A smooth, ambient intro leads into Marcel Fengler's swinging "Zen," setting a precedent that continues throughout the mix. Fitzpatrick is as at home with house as with techno, and even at its toughest, the whole set has a swinging, funky edge, as on tracks like Roberto's jiggy, Latinate "Triage" and Scuba's grooving "Orbital 93" remix of Audion's "Mouth to Mouth." The highlights are many. Bjarki, the Icelandic wunderkind whose releases on Nina Kraviz's Trip label have made him a name to watch, contributes the slinky, hypnotic "Windy Cindy." Markus Suckut, better known for no-nonsense Teutonic techno, provides the lush, '90s throwback breakbeat track "Untitled #3." Mike Dehnert's tough, robotic "Wokabeat" and insistent, brain-tunneling "Meckwiki" are also standouts. Of course, no Fabric mix would be complete without the DJ dropping some of his own material right in the middle of the set. Fitzpatrick's selections give him nothing to be ashamed of, particularly the urgent Boxia VIP mix of his "1992." The mix's final third is home to a run of straight-ahead techno belters like Psyk's rubbery "Stigma," Ilario Alicante's shuffling "Forward," 2000 and One's snaking "Wrangel Calling," and Operator's "Flat Rotation Curves," an absolute monster that sadly doesn't get more than a couple of minutes' air time. At the end, the mix dissolves into white noise before, almost as an afterthought, Fitzpatrick throws in a post-club comedown with the whole seven minutes of his own "Lights Up" remix of "Bullets" by Drewxhill, a smooth house nugget with a soulful, melancholy female vocal. This is a great, high-energy mix that really gives a flavor of a night on the floor at Fabric, and presages a promising career indeed for Fitzpatrick. ~ John D. Buchanan