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Friday 16 June 2023

Weatherall Remix Friday Four

In 1992 Andrew Weatherall made the move from being the solo remixer and DJ, ably assisted by Hugo Nicolson on many of his genre- busting, name- making early remixes to becoming part of a group. In part this was a desire to head away from the light, away from the Balearic and indie- dance scenes and mine something darker and deeper and less obvious. Rumours in the NME (often placed there by his friend Sherman who edited the dance music page) suggested Weatherall was forming a new band- Sabres Of Paradise- with a record label of the same name and the similarly named Sabresonic club night under a railway arch at Crucifix Lane, London. Hugo had become a part of Primal Scream's onstage set up and Andrew had begun working with Gary Burns and Jagz Kooner. The trio would become Sabres Of Paradise, putting out several key singles- Smokebelch, Theme, Wilmot- and two albums- Sabresonic and Haunted Dancehall before Andrew shifted things around again and formed Two Lone Swordsmen with Keith Tenniswood. 

Somewhat overlooked in the Weatherall/ Sabres back catalogue of releases and remixes is the debut release on Andrew's Sabres Of Paradise label, the 12" known as listed as PT001 in the Sabres catalogue numbering system. Discogs has this listed as a 1993 release but several people online recently have said it came out in autumn '92 (at least in white label version). The first run of twelves was on red vinyl (rare) with a black vinyl run following (less rare). It seems that PT001 came out before both Secret Knowledge's Ooh Baby and Pleasure by SYT (I appreciate this is probably unimportant to most people, unless you are compiling a comprehensive, definitive discography of Andrew Weatherall releases- hi Martin).

PT001 is a remix, or total reconstruction, of Throbbing Gristle's United (a 7" single, 1978). There are two versions, the A-side eleven minutes of 1992 Weatherall, the perfect marriage of the newest sounds and styles spliced with his influences, in this case the music of Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. Repetitive bleeps, tribal drums, samples screeching, metallic cymbal crashes and then a crunching, thumping four- four kick.  Three and a half minutes in the TG synth riff surfaces, loops round and then the tribal thumping returns. A piano run appears at five minutes thirty, giving that hands- in- the- air moment and then a proto- Sabres bassline joins in. Everything begins to pile back in again for the run in, building in layers and intensity, tempos and noises colliding. Thirty years old and still capable of causing strobe light flashbacks and goose bumps.

United Mix 1

United Mix 2 is shorter, only brief five minutes and forty seven seconds, starting with the tsk tsk tsk of a hi- hat and then the drums, all about percussion and rhythm, harder and tougher. Eventually sirens arrive, wailing away on top, a techno alarm call from the early 90s.

United Mix 2

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