Monday, February 06, 2006

Sabres Versus N.O.W.

For a while there in the '90s Sabres Of Paradise were instrumental in helping shape my taste in electronic music. Their skanked out grooves and general spookiness have always appealed to my leftfield sensibilites. The general quality of the music was high to boot - giant beats, huge bass riffs and loads of tasty studio trickery always emanated from the trio of Andrew Weatherall, Jagz Kooner & Gary Burns. With the blogosphere's recent interest in the whole "hauntology" thing I've been listening to a bit of Sabres lately - they get mentioned a lot in that context. In 1995 they released a wicked little EP of remixes of songs from their '94 LP Haunted Dancehall called Versus. The remix duties were tackled by the cream of the DJ crop of that year. Depth Charge bring gigantically crushing beats and industrial strength crustiness to two takes of Tow Truck. The Chemical Brothers remake that same song into a whiz-bang breakbeat dance party. LFO represent Warp bleepdom and In The Nursery turn Haunted Dancehall into a delicate orchestral piece. My fave track on it is the remix of Bubble & Slide by Nightmares On Wax. In a refreshing break from NOW's traditionally mellow, stoner beats, Bubble & Slide (Nightmares On Wax Remix) is a glorious stomper with big, uptempo beats coupled with the bassline from '70s Moog synth dude Claude Denjean's version of 'Na Na Hey Hey' and topped off with that gloriously catchy melody line. A fantastically grooving track from one of my fave Sabres records.

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