Foto: Jimmy Mould (Alan Fitzpatrick)
1. Various – Reactivate Volume 3 / 4 / 5 [1991 / 1992]
I am going to start by cheating a little bit. Sorry! My first choice is actually three separate compilations from the same series – Reactivate. The reason for my unruliness is that fact that it is impossible for me to pick just one CD from this series. Volumes 3, 4 and 5 were just equally important to me. To tell the story a little bit, React, the label behind the Reactivate series, were the real forefathers of DJ compilations in UK. From the very early 1990’s they were championing hardcore and rave music in such a way that they played a huge role in bringing the underground to the mainstream by enabling this music to be shared outside of the illegal raves and secret parties that were happening all over the UK and I have no doubt that in the process these Reactivate CDs helped inspire the next generation of fans, ravers, producers and DJ.
2. Sasha & John Digweed – Northern Exposure 
I was reminded recently that 2016 marks 20 years since Sasha & John Digweed’s first Northern Exposure mix CD. This was a particularly important CD for me as it played a key part in forming my understanding of what makes a great DJ mix compilation. Something I reflected on a lot when planning my Fabric 87 mix. Of course Northern Exposure went on to become a classic. A real seminal moment in the development of electronic music as a global scene thanks to how far and wide it reached and how profoundly the music touched those who embraced it. It is what every mix CD wants to be – timeless. How important that timeless quality is can be easily forgotten in these times of endless podcasts, recorded sets and clips of tracks recorded on camera phones. Everyone wants the next episode, the latest mix, an ID of the track they never heard before. All of this is of course natural and good, but if you can find the time to revisit these mixes and lose yourself in the 2.5 hours of ‘Northern Exposure’ then do so.
3. Tony De Vit – Global Underground Tokyo 
This is an incredible DJ mix from an equally incredible series of mixes that Global Underground released over the years. For me personally, this mix from Tony De Vit (RIP!) is my favourite from the series and I’d argue that it needs to be in any list of Top 5 Global Underground mixes. In fact I would go so far as to say that anyone who has an appreciation for DJing, track selection and mixing should check out this mix. Even if the music is not to your perfect taste you can’t deny the technical brilliance on display as the soundtrack moves through genres and styles with total ease. It is simply Tony De Vit at his brilliant best. Even now when I look back on this CD I get excited by some of the tracks that appear in the mix – Incisions ‘Beyond Motion’… Dave Randall ‘Bombay’… UK Gold ‘Nuclear Shower’… – and it makes me want to dust off my copy and listen.
4. Various – Ministry Of Sound Annual Volume 3 
This is another example of a mix compilation that holds a special place in my own personal music history. Looking back now at this double album, mixed by Pete Tong & Boy George, it is obvious that it was really at the commercial end of club culture, but to the 14 year old me this was a gateway into the incredible world of electronic music and nightclubs. I was totally fascinated with everything to do with club culture at this time. Reading all the magazines and absorbing the music from wherever I could. All that said there are some stone cold club classics on this tracklisting that at the time were actually pretty pioneering. Some special tracks included Double 99 ‘RIP Groove’, the Armand Van Helden ‘Dark Garage Mix’ of Sneaker Pimps ‘Spin Spin Sugar’, Basement Jaxx ‘Flylife’ (I actually played this track at the Hotflush party at BPM festival in January!), The Prodigy ‘Breathe’ and Olive ‘You’re Not Alone’, Ultra Nate ‘ Free’ .
5. Adam Beyer – Fabric 22 
The breadth of electronic music sounds covered by the fabric series has made it legendary. I certainly have many favourites from over the years, with offerings from Noisia, Wiggle, Evil Nine and Marco Carola getting repeated listens and maintaining a special place in my heart. But nothing tops Adam Beyer’s classic from 2005. I remember the mix being so refreshing because it saw Adam mix and blend deeper records at a time when the minimal hype was at fever pitch. Another aspect that set it apart was all the exclusives, such as Adam’s ‘Snuff & Noise Part 2’ – as far as I know this never got released. It’s the small things such as this that really set a mix apart and it’s something I tried to focus on with my fabric mix.
6. Various – Renaissance: The Classics 
Renaissance took the concept of DJ mix compilations and made them into an art form. Not only did they sound great but they looked incredible, too, and they would build these vast world tours around each album that made each release feel like a major event. This was something I really wanted to try and recreate for my Fabric 87 mix, especially because these days it is so common to find recordings of sets all over the Internet so it is important for these projects to standout. Renaissance understood this idea so well and for that reason they have always been a favourite of mine. The one CD that still gets the most plays from me is their three-disc The Classics collection, which was released in 2005. This is the ultimate collection of classic dance music with music from 1989 right through to the late 1990’s and across a range of styles from peak time Saturday night house of Alison Limerick and Robin S to the chilled out ambience of The Future Sound Of London and Lamb.
7. Various – 30 Years Of R&S Records 
OK… I am cheating again! This isn’t a mix compilation but when I come to think of the CDs from my collection that I regularly come back to then this one is high in the list. R&S is obviously a seminal label for any techno fan and it gives me a warm feeling inside that the label is still going strong today, well into their fourth decade. If there is anyone out there who was unsure of the role with which R7S has played in the development of techno and electronic music in general then they should just take a look and a listen to the track list of this compilation. Aphex Twin’s “Xtal”, Capricorn’s “20Hz”, Jam & Spoon’s “Stella”, Jaydee’s “Plastic Dreams”, Joey Beltram’s “Energy Flash”, Second Phase’s “Mentasm”… But it’s not just about heritage artists. There are tracks from contemporary artists such as Alex Smoke, Blawan, Space Dimension Controller and Tessela. Maybe one day I’ll get the chance to record for R&S then I can die a happy techno head!
8. Prince – Ultimate Prince 
Yes, more cheating… but I don’t care because it is my last selection and this is PRINCE! I am sure a lot of your readers were as saddened as I was by the news of his recent passing. A true music legend who along with David Bowie was been the inspiration for so much of my own work. Without any question one of music’s biggest ever talents and I seriously doubt we will see his like again. A sobering fact that makes me all the more grateful for the fact I have seen Prince perform live. It was and still is the best live performance I have witnessed to date. This collection of his greatest work is something that I have revisited countless times over the last decade. Every single track is a favourite of mine is some way and I am certain I will return to it forever. RIP Prince. You are like no other; you were one of The Beautiful Ones. We love you!
Stream: Alan Fitzpatrick – fabric 87 Promo Mix
Alan Fitzpatrick – fabric 87 (fabric)
02. Scuba – All I Think About Is Death (Radio Slave Atmos)
03. Marcel Fengler – Zen
04. Roberto – Triage
05. Truncate & Jimmy Edgar – Submission (Truncate Rework)
06. Mike Dehnert – Wokabeat
07. Reset Robot – Lolly Pop (4am Mix)
08. Audion – Mouth to Mouth (Scuba’s Orbital 93 Mix)
09. Bjarki – Windy Cindy
10. Markus Suckut – Untitled #3
11. Alan Fitzpatrick – Where Haus?
12. Alan Fitzpatrick – 1992 (Boxia VIP)
13. Mike Dehnert – Meckwiki
14. Monoloc – TrySome
15. Reset Robot – Pressure (Roman Lindau Remix)
16. Psyk – Stigma
17. Alan Fitzpatrick – Eyes Wide Open (Mark Broom Edit)
18. Ilario Alicante – Forward
19. Operator – Flat Rotation Curves
20. 2000 and One – Wrangel Calling
21. Session Restore – Speak Out
22. Alan Fitzpatrick – End Theme
23. Drewxhill – Bullets (Alan Fitzpatrick’s Lights Up Remix)
Format: CD, digital
Release: April 15th 2016