Archive for January, 2012

Get it from: Amazon

With last year’s Tek Stream a killer release on Scythe Squadron, and 2424 on Scythe 09 none too shabby either, Ben Fraser’s been busy under his own name. But what of Sabretooth, his finely honed psytrance alias? The answer is the functionally named but totally superb Sabretooth 3, where the Sheffield dark destroyer brings out the big guns, displaying his well-earned reputation for exquisitely crafted, thrillingly hard tracks. A proper album in the good old-fashioned sense of the word, Sabretooth 3 is sequenced to build. If you’re plundering it for a mix there’s plenty of ammo here – with the exception of the punk track 20 Dollar Bill, there isn’t a track on the album that doesn’t flat-out rock – but it also rewards the complete run-through thanks to a constantly shifting palette of styles. Compared to what’s to come, the almost Goan opening of Mulu (145 BPM) is a gentle introduction; Confession Driver (143 BPM) uses a sample from American Psycho and tribal chants to add a creeping sense of dread then adds disorientating whirling, backwards sound effects, layering the lot into an epic, intense mid-album highlight. The rules change for Drive On (137 BPM), a tougher track with more emphasis on tribal drumming. 20 Dollar Bill is a punk track and – well, it is what it is, I suppose. It disrupts the mood – the mood being trippy, hard, banging psytrance – but it also acts as a palette cleanser for an outstanding run of three tracks: Manipulated Being (148 BPM), Hellfire (150 BPM) and Trak 2 (147 BPM). All of them shine but it’s Trak 2 that really brings the noise, layering riff upon riff towards a devastating breakdown that features a brilliantly placed sample of Withnail screaming, ‘My head’s gone numb!’. You and me both.

Some links:
Sabretooth Soundcloud
Sabretooth website

Cat no:
Acid Techno 005

The reasons to love Adam Derry – that he’s mercurial, uncompromising and makes noisy, challenging electronic music that isn’t fêted by Boomkat or Wire Magazine – can also sometimes be his downfall, meaning he can veer into unlistenable territory and has a tendency to produce overlong tracks. I Can’t Name Tunes (150 BPM), for example, would benefit from being a good three minutes shorter, despite the presence of a marvellously unwashed 303. Miles better is Threshold Driven (160 BPM), a sweaty, fidgety seizure of a track that uses waves of distorted acid-driven noise to punishing but undeniably awesome effect. Whether you’d like a second dose in I Don’t Use Sample Packs (155 BPM) may well depend on how much you want a repeat viewing of the fire extinguisher scene in Irréversible.

Remixed by Benji303, Jared Blyth’s Fucking Cocaine has an accordingly hollowed-out and distanced feel to it, while a treated animal-noise adds the requisite note of self-disgust. Only the 303 feels a little underdeveloped, lacking the darkness and bite elsewhere. Fil Devious’s Phat Pants, meanwhile, is a tremendous tune that absolutely rewards close and repeated listens, especially to the trippy, kaleidoscopic 303 that courses through all seven-and-a-half minutes, bouncing off a metallic melody, dipping and soaring and turning inside itself like a Möbius strip. Phil’s tracks always deliver, but this is one of those you feel can stand on its own outside of the mix.

Which leaves Nitronoise. Nitronoise is Injector Records’ head honcho Gabriel Stirbu, and his tracks invariably have a ravey, old skool quality that makes them a real joy to hear. Get ’Em Up The Fuck (145 BPM), for example, is the party right there, and like That’s My Shit (145 BPM) uses bouncy, good-time vocal samples and chord changes for funky, eminently mixable techno. Acid Junxion (145 BPM), meanwhile, employs cavernous echo-soaked drums for a harder, booming sound destined to sound ace on big rigs or headphones, whichever is your poison.

Cat no: Scythe 09
Get it from: Stay Up Forever

Tomei Kosoku  – Ant & K.N & DJ Nakahara
BPM: 142
Joined by record store owner DJ Nakahara and inspired by the Tomei Kosoku Toro expressway in Japan (probably), KN delivers a trancey, evocative tune underpinned by Powertools-friendly Ant music. The result is a perfect mix of techno power and hard trance melody, a Trans Europe Express for the harder generation, and the pick of the EP.

2424 – Ben Fraser
BPM: 144
Ben ‘Sabretooth’ Fraser returns with a ripsnorting hard trance track featuring multiple duelling acid lines that build and build to a series of peaks. As ever with Sabretooth tunes, it has a silky feel to it but rocks like a bastard, and that ascending 303 gives it an addictive quality.

Bang Your Bitch – Osmo
BPM: 145
A fat power riff kicks things off and sounds frankly stunning burbling away menacingly until the ‘Bang Your Bitch’ sample appears. The fact that it’s sampled from the Russell Brand film Get Him to the Greek slightly undoes the dark work done by that awesome riff in my opinion, but it’s still a welcome change of pace for the EP.