Andrew Weatherall's Sabres of Paradise were one of the U.K.'s most celebrated experimental techno groups. A combined effort of Weatherall and collaborators Jagz Kooner and Gary Burns, the group released a flood of singles and EPs, many of which were collected on compilations released by Warp and Weatherall's other main focus: the Sabrettes label, with releases from Plod and Slab, among others. Born in Windsor, Berkshire, Weatherall considers himself a DJ first, and his exhausting schedule of deckwork has been arguably as influential as his records, inspiring scores of other DJs and anticipating trends in trance-techno, inelegant dance, and even trip-hop. Still, tracks such as "Smokebelch," "Theme," "Wilmott," and the expansive Haunted Dancehall did much in helping to push the post-techno envelope beyond the often staid conventions of the dance floor. Weatherall also gained visibility through remix and production work, working with Primal Scream and Scottish ambient-pop group One Dove, and reworking tracks for James, the Orb, Bjork, Therapy?, Happy Mondays, Future Sound of London, Bomb the Bass, Skylab, and Moody Boyz. His mixing skills can be sampled firsthand via the three-CD collection Cut the Crap, released by Six by 6 Records.
After dissolving his Sabres of Paradise project and label, Weatherall set up the tripartite Emissions label group and launched his latest, perhaps most prodigious musical venture, Two Lone Swordsmen. A collaboration with Emissions engineer Keith Tenniswood, 2LS was formed in early 1996. The group speaks the same language of warped, downtempo grooves as much previous Sabres work (particularly "Smokebelch" and "Wilmott"), but opts instead for a syntax of minimal electronics and taut, brittle electro-funk for structure and guidance. The group's first full-length release, 1996's The Fifth Mission, was a whopping double-CD/triple-LP, both preceded and followed by additional EPs of new material ("Tenth Mission" and "Third Mission"). A few months later, the group issued two additional LP-length releases (both remix albums under the title Swimming Not Skimming, although the CD and LP versions sported different tracks), and by the end of 1996 had racked up no less than a half-dozen remixes (including Slab, Alter Ego, Sneaker Pimps, and David Holmes). The heavy release schedule continued through the rest of the decade, with an assortment of LPs and mini-LPs recorded via a new deal with Warp. [See Also: Two Lone Swordsmen] ~ Sean Cooper