The Sabres of Paradise – Smokebelch II (Entry) (Sabres of Paradise)
Like a lot of other indie kids I discovered Andy Weatherall through his production and remix work on artists like Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine. By the time I was out clubbing every weekend in the early 90s Weatherall was a god to me and I eagerly snapped up all the releases on his own Sabres of Paradise label and his partner Nina Walsh’s Sabrettes imprint.
I fondly remember the man himself dropping this as his penultimate track at a set in Dublin’s Temple of Sound, a club which brought some of the top techno and hard-house DJs to the Ormond Hotel (mentioned in James Joyce’s Ulysses, by the way – wonder what Mr Joyce would have made of the shenanigans that went on there 70 years after he fled repressive Dublin). I’d bought this just days before and as that familiar eerie riff was dropped into the mix I was grinning from ear to ear through the dry ice and strobe lights.
From the very first squelchy notes this slice of esoteric electronica still sends shivers down my spine. A dreamy mix of acid basslines, tribalism, and horns this one just builds and builds in intensity and blows away dancefloors. But it’s equally subtle to enjoy on headphones or at a chill out session.
Down to the original painting by Richard Sen on the sleeve and the cheeky Sabres logo, I just loved everything about this little slab of vinyl which has been played to death over the years. Trivia fans may like to know that Weatherall’s co-conspirators in the Sabres, Jagz Kooner and Gary Burns went on to be central to The Aloof, an act I’ll also be featuring here in the future.
This is the 11-plus minute version pulled from the 12” release. Enjoy.
Download Smokebelch II (Entry)