Stacey Pullen / Various Fabric 14

On his first mix-CD since the 1997 session for DJ Kicks, Stacey Pullen does everything to turn over all of our stereotypical expectations of what Detroit techno should sound like, and in a way that's still loyal to the Motor City's tradition of pushing the envelope. Instead of cold, minimal beats, Pullen's tastes veer towards live, African percussion, hand-plucked bass lines and mad amounts of dub-delay — most of which is probably his own input. That might sound like 21st century jazz fusion on paper, but its still techno in the headphones. The tempo's locked at an ecstatic BPM and rushing through a stream of warped and otherworldly frequencies. Pullen sets it off with Cutlab's "Spacey Bongo" (one of two tracks from his own Black Flag imprint) and builds the groove up from an eerie synth-call straight out of Sun Ra to a conga-laden thump. The selections from Moodyman, Peace Division and BB Boogie go back to classic disco breaks, while those by Vibe Residents and Pure Science push forward to the future with digital stylings. DIY culls a sweet median of the extremes in the sound-clash of diva wails and Giorgio Moroder grind, and Men With Sticks goes completely ancient with the African chorus on "3rd." The disc closes off on a broken beat note with Solid Groove's "Flookin,'" exchanging sinister samples of noise with Afrobeat guitar riffs and soul-jazz flutes. Fabric 14 may not be the definitive statement on Detroit techno today, but it's a sound that's totally Pullen's and hard to resist. (Fabric)