FABRIK @ Project Soundlounge - Town Hall 18.08.18 / Callum Lees

Words by Ed King / Live pics by Callum Lees

On Friday 2nd November, FABRIK release their latest single ‘Black Lake’ – taken from their 2017 debut album, City Islands.

Who said trip-hop was dead…

Well, no one really. Tricky might be bitching about never grabbing Gold again, James Lavelle’s probably scaled down the Mo’ Wax Christmas party budget since the mid 90’s, but the genre more morphed than disappeared – deep house picking up one side and anything with ‘breaks and beats’ picking up the other. And for everything else there’s Massive Attack.

FABRIK @ Project Soundlounge - Town Hall 18.08.18 / Callum LeesBut FABRIK’s collection of deep and searing guitar, angsty-yet-sultry-gravel-yet-honey vocals, and teased out rim tap brush percussion, (…©Ed King 2018) have kept a Birmingham based Bristol homage alive since their debut album came out in the tail end of summer 2017. And ‘Black Lake’, the latest single to be released from FABRIK’s 11 track debut, is a screaming example of how to hit the mark.

A simple and clear riff leads in, the beat slides behind, regiments itself, before Hayley Trower’s vocals stride confidently across them both – a little low, a little restrained, a little reminiscent of Skye Edwards. This is good stuff. And following The adage if it ‘aint broke don’t fix it’, we opiate haze through just over five minutes of blessed out ease. Job, done. Bring me the head of Andy Vowels.

FABRIK @ Project Soundlounge - Town Hall 18.08.18 / Callum LeesWritten whilst staring down the alcohol haze of a Ko (INSERT SOUTH THAILAND ISLAND) holiday from the self, Trower wrote the lyrics to ‘Black Lake’, “sat in a hut, looking out at dense jungle and fierce sea…. I was in awe at how tiny my life was in comparison to the infinite life cycles and continuous regeneration around me.”  

Musically the end result is not as introspective as you’d think, but the words blend an articulate journey into a rhythm that’s increasingly difficult to put down. Gold dust. And whilst I’m not sure where a solitary bathtub in the Eden Valley comes into it (…check out the video) I suspect budget had a hand to play.

But much less disco pop Vs deep house than FABRIK’s previous single, ‘Sunphonika’, the band’s latest release should do nothing if not remind us of their diversity – as well as sending some love back to a sterling debut album that deserves long lasting attention.

So check out ‘Black Lake’, then go and check out City Islands if you haven’t already. Then email FABRIK and ask them when we can expect the follow up LP. Then call me greedy. But lordy lordy, what’s a boy to do? And with Christmas around the corner an’ all…

‘Black Lake’ – FABRIK

On Friday 2nd November, FABRIK release ‘Black Lake’. For more on FABRIK, visit


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