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Hellfish – One Man Sonic Attack Force

Label: Planet Mu Format: CD

One Man Sonic Attack Force - sleeveBringing together a selection of 12″ tracks and a scattering of remixes by DJ Hellfish, One Man Sonic Attack Force showcases his penchant for mashing together Hardcore Techno and Gabba with HipHop and making the results bleed. “U Don’t Quit”, with its rumbunctious MC extolling the vitues of party-busting breaks demonstrates just how much better the uptempo beats of chart-friendly acts like … could be when the right amount of weighty distortion is applied. Hellfish’s “Steelfinger” remix of “Iron Hand” does similar to the over-familiar trick of sampling “Kung-Fu Fighting”, so that those seminal “Woh hoh ho ho” quotations introduce a tune which proceeds to wreak havoc on The Speed Freak‘s original plundering. The BPMs rack up woozily against the fragmented vocal snippets, radio-chatter threats colliding with the tinkly faux Orientalism of the Disco smash hit, the whole eventually storming off into hyperspeed banging. The HipHop intro of “Gettin’ Paid 4or Doing Shit” is more self-consciously clever, showcasing just how a few samples and scratches can be rendered manic on a particularly grinding bass sound the likes of which has rarely been felt before – somewhere like a motocross bike being revved up and a detuned buzzsaw – before the dissolution of the beats is made complete in a welter of visceral cross-cut digital mangling.

The reason Hellfish isn’t just another Hardcore nutta bears comparison to Ultraviolence‘s approach, where the cheesy aspects of the genre, whether clicéd samples of doom and gloom or Soul diva wailing respectively are given a good going over by the music itself. Hellfish usually makes so many 90 degree turns during the space of one track that it’s an effort to keep up – whatever the drug of choice for this music is, it probably isn’t happy pills, and more likely involves significant doses of baking soda and strychnine cooked up in a low rent kitchen space as the gleeful accelerating dementia of “Pill Lesson” or the lupine scowl of “Wolfman” show succinctly. Everything about One Man Sonic Attack Force is grimy, from the unsettlingly biological photomontage artwork to the slithery effects slapped onto any particular individual beat. The sense of humour is grim and cinematic, as a thumping slew of rhythms gets interrupted by samples such as “Sit down and shut up you big bald fuck” (admittedly on the “Murder” remix of a Manu Le Malin track, so possibly present on the original too – no matter, it works), a genuine car crash of a remix as the coice of samples demonstrates. Equally grim in its arch title is the “Round Up Your Bunch Of Little Pitch Fiddling Cunts And Get The Fuck Out Of My Club” remix of Void Settler‘s “Gnomes Tinker With Time”, a reworking which makes a glitch-heavy going over of the original sound like some particularly malevolent radio interference is leaking through the speakers to a gunshot beat.

It’s not all breakneck breakbeats, as the queasy ambiences of “Rampage@218” and his own remix of a collaboration with Producer titled “Theme From Fuck Daddy” show, spreading darkness on the rising flicker of shivery keyboards and slightly less urgent rhythms, with some gutteral vocal scratch-work presaging the eventual return to intricately phased Gabba inflections on the former track. As for the turntablist wrecking spewed out on the remix of an Alcore tune as “Parisiens, Marseillaises And Some Cunt From Russia”, suffice it to say that the results are as over the top as anything Breakcore has to offer, and then some. Sparks fly audibly from the decks as distended beats combust against the comprehensively shredded vocal samples, and when some sampled B-movie dialogue is finally distinguishable the no doubt evil genius quoted states pointedly – and accurately perhaps – “I can’t believe it! No-one has ever survived the sonic device before!”. Not only a suitable way to finish the album, but something of a mission statement too perhaps.


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