The Sabres Of Paradise - Haunted Dancehall - Review
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critics' view

An eccentric oddball of warpy alien wallpaper chimes, this is one of my favourite albums of all time. Very few dance albums have really fully cut the mustard in terms of having enough decent material and a proper structure too the tracks, this is one. The textured cover showing a red razor blade shows it all, these are clinical beats backed up by some of the most inventive use of synthesisers I have ever heard. The feel here is classic Wetherall; however the almost band like quality does shine through with contributions from all the members.

To be fair though this is an abstract album, the obviously dubbed up undertones mean that the tracks go on for quite a long time with only subtle alterations (not for everyones' short attention spans!). Some tracks don't even really go anywhere but just act as a build up to the preceeding track, drawing you in to a world of glitchy beats and then declining a resolution only to hit you with a further prolonged build up on the next track. In my world though this adds to the atmosphere as you're drawn down a dark street with only the sound of a distant scraping noise to reel you in until out of the next alley you see a multicolour rainbow of sound realisms (my personal interpretation of the brilliant 8minutes + soundscaping of the Ballad Of Nicky McGuire).

In my opinion this stays so true to dub, it offers the listener sometimes the most basic of sounds. Allowing the listener to draw imaginary connections and in essence 'read between the lines' of the beats. When the beats give way to a fully blown melody, as in dub, the melody is bought to the front and allowed full control of the track.

The classic Wilmot has one of the best rewinds in the history of music (as well as a huge low slung blissed up and spliffed up bassline), Tow Truck has a dark menace that hints at the big-beat future of the mid-90s and Haunted Dancehall is probably the darkest tune to ever make it on to an Ibiza Chill Out CD and a stunning closer to the album.

An album of a million and one possibilites; where the space between the music is often more important than the music itself.

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