TSHA – fabric presents mix
In the short span of the past three years, the UK’s TSHA has made a name for herself as one of the country’s brightest new voices in dance music. 2020’s Flowers would catapult her onto the radar of the global electronic scene, her blend of nostalgic UK dance styles with her innate sunniness a dose of doe-eyed euphoria at a time when the world needed it the most. It’s entirely impressive that a talent as fresh as her should be tapped to take on the next edition of fabric’s ongoing mix series, fabric presents. But there’s also something remarkably rewarding about it. TSHA’s rise coincided with the worst of lockdown, and for an artist so indebted to the dancefloor, this feels like a homecoming of sorts.
Unsurprisingly, her mix runs like a short and punchy history lesson on the origins of UK dance music. While the whole set leans toward acid house, she’s running through a myriad of styles and genres from the late 90’s peak of rave culture. She’s weaving together rave, UKG, bass, house, and grime with touches of disco and soul. It’s massive in scope, but handled with the scholarly prowess that affirms TSHA’s understanding of the music that made her. That’s not to say that the mix is a total old skool, throwback sort of set. In fact, the most satisfying parts of the set are where TSHA makes connections between the past and present. She opens with Soulful Behaviour’s 1996 standard, Get To Groove, blending the original mix with Ben Gomori’s recent remix. She connects the origin point of acid house with its subsequent lineage of contemporary iterations, from Posthuman’s acid tech to Trax Unit’s 2011 single, Get The Werk.
Canadian microhouse producer Jacques Greene swerves the expected course of TSHA’s roadmap early on, throwing us into another sphere of the house lineage altogether. It’s apparent from here that TSHA’s mix is not so much about purism per se, but identifying and connecting the shared ideas and feelings elicited from banging house music. It’s what allows her to bring in the breaks of UKG with WK7. It’s a smart choice, with WK7’s music exploring different styles within the scope of house. But it’s TSHA’s own BOYZ that really sums up the intent of her mix as a whole. A garage-house hybrid, like the majority of her selections BOYZ operates on a looped diva vocal hook, but throbs with a deep bass and surges through rhythmic patterns and ideas that shoot off from her four on the floor. Hooks are one of THSA’s strong suits, her own music mostly relying on pop structures and she displays undeniable skill in identifying, excavating, and using hooks to her advantage in scoring her set. Later, the smooth micro-breaks and melodic techno of Elkka’s Harmonic Frequencies surges through to WTCHCRAFT’s acrid bass, dipping into the ravey drill’n’bass of Protect Ryan.
Like TSHA’s own music, her fabric presents mix sounds classic, but is almost entirely contemporary. This is a vision of house music’s future classics, a selection of work that reveres the past but stays focussed on the future. She’s a formidable selector, this mix is literally tailor made for a peak time dancefloor. It’s outrageously fun. Aside from Overmono, she’s possibly given us one of the strongest editions of fabric presents of late, a window into the present and future of one of dance music’s most enduring genres.
Listen to BOYZ from fabric presents TSHA below.