Fashiøn “Fabrique De Luxe” Ultrabox Hits The Streets [part 5]

Fashiøn (c) 1982 David Baileyi
Fashiøn ©1982 David Bailey

[…continued from last post]

There are occasions where songs can’t be bothered with small talk. “Do You Wanna Make Love” is one such time! A complex rhythm loop faded up as Dave Harris asked the music question of the moment just as a rhythmic cymbal fillip and the dry thump of the Simmons drum on a low BPM 4/4 beat began to move the song out of “park” and into “drive.” Then the orgamsic synth hook began its spherical journey from the lower to the upper chakras. Undulating outward and upward like the ripples on a pond’s surface, but in three dimensions. Wave after wave, coursing throughout the lengths of the entire song until the listener’s spine couldn’t help but tingle a llittle.

Meanwhile, Harris asked about all of the other activity that could be going down at that time; answering himself with a rhetorical “un uh.”

Do you wanna dance? Uh-uh

Do you wanna party? Uh-uh

I’ll walk you in the moonlight uh-uh

I take you to a movie uh-uh

I took you straight to the line

With a lotta space and a lotta time

Do you wanna make love?

It was slow burner with a lithe bass line and rushing synth chords power diving until Harris repeated the song’s title, repeating last word in the phrase five times until the track’s, …uh, climax. Then the coda movement with cymbal hits oscillating across the stereo spectrum brought everything back down to earth.

With that mood reached, it was time to conclude this album with a melancholy mood piece. “Slow Blue” was full of rich blues licks given a new, high tech setting with heavily reverberant piano and droning synths and light, deft percussion mixed with synthetic and acoustic drums. The mood suggested the night giving way to the next dawn as this was absolutely an album of night music, but the reflective mood was also down to Harris writing a lyric in memory of his late father, who died during the recording of the album. It marked a languid finish to an album that was largely concerned with being on the prowl.

The variety of technology throughout the album varied from track to track. Some tracks, like “It’s Alright” were almost traditional in their funk grounding. and could have happened on Cameo records from a few years earlier. Almost pointing to the late 70s. Others like “Streetplayer-Mechanik” and “Dressed To Kill” were audacious in their synthesis of sensuous funk carnality with the latest studio high technology. These reflected Cameo records yet to come. All filtered through the unique production sensibilities of producer Zeus B. Held. The analog richness of the instrumentation that sought to go head-to-head with some of the latest digital technology that had just dropped, suggested that this was an album of burnished oiled mahogany finish comfortable with mirrored chrome inlay to make it all pop in sharp relief to a neutral background.

The music itself was far too primal to exist as any backdrop to activity. “Fabrique” was foreground music. This was an album bristling with animal grace that invited us to embrace the panther within and go prowling in the night. To hear this music during daylight is almost an affront to my sensibilities. The combination of Harris’ love of R+B/Funk [clearly signified in his songs and performance], the band’s playing ability, and the singular production of Held showed that for “Fabrique,” Fashiøn was immaculately poised in time. Creating music at a standard that would never be matched again by this, or possibly any other band.

Next: …»Face 2«

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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5 Responses to Fashiøn “Fabrique De Luxe” Ultrabox Hits The Streets [part 5]

  1. brynstar says:

    Fantastic review of the album!


  2. Logan Sky says:

    I’m enjoying these reviews of such a striking and bold album. I love your observation “To hear this music during daylight is almost an affront to my sensibilities.”


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