After the closing of London’s Fabric nightclub, I momentarily questioned the city’s dance music scene. Was this the first domino to fall? Scandals relating to drug abuse are sadly not rare, though shutting the venue down abruptly wasn’t the answer. Of course, looking back I was foolish to react with such pessimism; thanks to the fortitude of the community, Fabric has already been reopened–albeit under much stricter rules, but open and bouncing all the same. Its closing was not an indication of the weakness of the scene, but instead gave it a chance to prove itself. Now techno from London feels invigorated, though the city has always churned out some of the best beats in the world.
Panel is a new label based in London with their first full length compilation, titled Ample, out now. The company was founded two years ago by brothers Louis, Milo, and Innes, who have dipped their toes into many different sides of music promotion, from radio shows to live DJ sets. With every new addition to their roster, their family grows, and thus far they have released records by four artists and counting. The music varies across the future beats spectrum, where the only apt descriptors are mashed up adjectives that may only make sense in the moment. Ample exemplifies this, featuring new tracks from ten talented artists.
When initially organizing the compilation, the label had set out to give it some narrative direction, but coordinating collaboration became difficult. Instead, the songs were made entirely independently, and still, the direction of musical styles complement one another beautifully. With a Panel release already under his belt, Freud shares his groovy loungescape on Ample in the track “Aloof.” Chlorine’s signature is in an echoing PSA about the dangers of the element, heard on “See You” between twinkling keys and drum machine. Many artists use elements of ambience in their work, with Yuki Ame managing to channel the best of James Blake on his selection. And last but not least, Myles Jaeger closes out the release with “Cause I Want To,” a certified banger that one day could even be heard through the speakers at Fabric.
by: Zoë Elaine