Saturday, July 11, 2009
Around the World 2
This week s around the world features the pioneering, unique and boundary breaking space of Fabric. With a capacity of over a 1000 it is easy to lose yourself inside its walls. Fabric s pioneering take on music is what separates it from the rest. Never once sacrificing even the smallest shred of music integrity, their lineups are a perfect alchemy with just about every genre represented. The real boundary breaker here is if a new sound rises then Fabric will stick their neck out to provide the platform.
The club was founded by Keith Reilly and Cameron Leslie and opened on 29 October 1999. Fabric occupies the renovated space of the Metropolitan Cold Stores. Smithfield Meat Market stands and operates from a site directly opposite and is the last of London’s great markets. Fabric has three separate rooms (two of which feature stages for live acts) with independent sound systems. A feature of the club is its vibrating floor in Room One: known as a "bodysonic" dancefloor, sections of the floors are attached to 400 bass transducers emitting bass frequencies of the music being played.
Following the clubs success with music, they decided that with such a niche following Fabric could expand in clever marketing via the Fabriclive cd range. A CD series was launched in 2001. Rotating monthly between fabric and FABRICLIVE. DJs, the series showcases established and emerging names. It is entirely independent and operated solely by fabric.
With a wide scope of sound, Richie Hawtin may provide an epic techno vortex while Digitalism live act provides a wild crowd surfing experience. There s no ethos, spreadsheets, no corporate rot with very little branding. "You'd think that after all these years the people running it would take the night off but they're all there every week, in the thick of it till 8am" confirms Claude Von stroke.
The sound is something else. For a city which has the most buzzing club culture by far in the world, it’s a shame that there’s not more quality through out the city. Many without the Funktion 1 sound try and build it like it. But we all know in the end that the real thing is what you need. As Sanjeev Bhardwaj, technical manager at Fabric explains, it’s not just about the hardware. ‘You can have the best equipment but if you’ve not got an engineer it’s not going to deliver. That’s why we always have two engineers at Fabric. We walk around EQing the system with hand-held computers all night. We change it because every record is pressed differently – we’re trying to get an average of the whole sound, but the sonic profile will be different for each style of music.’
The club even provide s it patrons with earplugs, available on request. On April 6, new ‘Control of Noise at Work’ regulations come into effect, making it compulsory for employers to provide suitable hearing protection to employees working in environments where the sound is consistently above acceptably safe levels (more than 85 decibels), which effectively means all clubs and DJ bars in London.
It’s the length of time that clubbers are exposed to loud music (particularly excessive high-end frequencies, aka the treble on your home stereo) that puts their hearing at risk, even though rock gigs may be louder than most clubs.
So if your in London on the weekend, visit the Fabric institution. With world class djs pushing the boundaries, while having full time sound engineers working on the system all night, this club is a sure thing when it comes to sound.
77a Charterhouse Street, Smithfield, London
Visit fabriclondon.com for all events. And buy tickets online to be safe as houses.