Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Review: Sabre's A Wandering Journal

I'd been looking forward to this for months, and finally Sabre's long awaited and much hyped debut long player dropped into my inbox last week. It's the first solo LP to come out on Critical and the perfect way to start with an album from one of the scene's most highly regarded producers.

Some artists it has to be said find it difficult to master the concept of the LP, turning what should be a chance to open up and express yourself production-wise into a series of 12" singles. Sabre has clearly not found this an issue. To start with, the LP's title couldn't be more fitting. It genuinely appears that Sabre has gone off wandering and through this journey has built up a collection of awe inspiring tracks. The interludes, with names such as 'Day One, 'Day Four', 'Day Fourteen', using news clips and how each track has individual artwork of photos taken by Sabre himself further heighten the sense of this LP being a journey and adventure. There is also a real hypnotic element to this album, you can't be unmoved by the emotion in this project. It's almost tangible throughout the album.

There are collaborations on there with the likes of Alix Perez, Icicle, Noisia, as well as exclusive remixes of tracks from the LP from Critical labelmates Rockwell and Stray, two of the brightest names in the scene at the moment. And it's not the bare minimum in terms on quantity either, there are two discs to the album, boasting 27 tracks in total!

It's hard to pick favourites, and with so much variation the album caters to loads of different musical minds. Having said that, standout tracks have to include 'Marvel', the first tune I had heard from the album, and still my favourite. Sabre takes us down to the depths on this one with his signature rim shots in full swing, as well as some penetrating drums. Other favourites include both of the collaborations with Alix Perez that feature on the album entitled 'Javelin' and 'Have It Your Way', 'Levelling Out Pt. 2', which is a deep skanker, and 'Ash'. The aforementioned remixes are also stand outs, providing even more variation and showcasing some of the scene's latest talent.

The variation on the album only serves to highlight Sabre's production prowess, with so many styles and sounds coming together in harmony this is definitely an early contender for album of the year, whilst the way the long player is crafted and every detail considered serves as further testament to the Critical producer. It's been a long wait for a Sabre LP, was it worth it? Definitely!

Release date: 29th March 2010
Label: Critical

K-Mag are also running a Sabre remix competition at the moment after he made a track, entitled 'One Hundred Teeth' especially for the competition. The track is available for download below (just click on the download symbol on the right of the SoundCloud player) and you can get your hands on the parts next week if you're interested in entering the competition. Check K-Mag towards the end of the month for the remix brief and some tips on how to approach remixes from Sabre himself.

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