Fabriclive 87 comes out from the long-standing duo Groove Armada as yet another testimony to what is house music. The album sets off on a straightforward linear path with real definitive sections to it. “The Soul Part II” kicks off the first section with a hard and fast textured intro that eases into the mellow groove that will carry through the entirety of the album. For the next handful of songs, each one effortlessly pours into the second. There are only a few changes between each song and always the same constant beat and melody that provides a firm grounding.
There is a small change when “Moments in House” comes up, a bit more texture than the previous mixes, but the real break from the first section to the second comes with “One More Time.” The change is much more definite as that constant beat is stopped for spoken messages and once those are through the beat comes down a lot harder. There is less continuity between the songs here and instead each one seems to be existing on its individual island.
Fabriclive 87 keeps up with that individual style up until the end, where there is still variation but the continuity comes back, especially with “Starfight” and the ending “On the Run.” “On the Run” has some of the heaviest basslines and possibly some of the most textured on the entire album. It feels like a missed opportunity that it was not put somewhere earlier in the album but at the same time acts a perfect closer.
Overall, Fabriclive 87 is not the most exciting house album. The beats and melodies are all clean and pretty basic. There are no textures or extreme highs and lows, with the exception of a few intros to a couple of the songs. Despite this, there is nothing inherently wrong on Fabriclive 87. This album provides a one-stop-shop intro to house music and becomes more of a necessity rather than something wanted. While it may not be a favorite, it needs to hold a place in the collection.