Fabric 17

Akufen, Montreal's master of "microsampling," loves things that go bump in the night -- and click, and thunk, and skefiddle. As a producer, he's made his name chopping up fragments of fragments of other people's funk into finer and finer bits, until all that's left is a slip of a voice or a snip of a snare drum; he nudges his clipped constellations through empty space with house music's propulsive shove. On this mix CD, commissioned by London's Fabric club, Akufen finds plenty of artists who share his aesthetic, offering a 21-track salute to minimalism's boisterous side. Fellow Montrealers like Crackhaus, Stephen Beauré, and Mossa come closest to Akufen's fidgety swing -- which makes sense, since he mentored all of them. Looking across the Atlantic, Paris' Krikor, Berlin's Pantytec, and London's Herbert play connect-the-dots with pinpricks of radio static and pixels of white noise. It's far more fun than it sounds, especially when Akufen links these seldom-heard, mostly vinyl-only tracks into a banging chain reaction.

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