• Hellfish - One Man Sonic Attack Force

    Reviewed by Jim Siegel (The Brain)

    Hellfish - One Man Sonic Attack Force

    Any producer that samples dialogue from the film Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas scores big points in my book. The line in question, in which the journalist/protagonist Dr. Gonzo is ruminating on the joy and irony of "running a savage burn on one Las Vegas hotel and then just wheeling across town and checking into another" captures the spirit of Hellfish's hardcore techno perfectly. Hellfish has made a career out of wreaking havoc on classic rap tunes, often fusing entire vocal tracks with stomping, distorted four on the floor kick drums. A case in point is album opener "U Don't Quit," during which he presents an entirely unaltered old school hip-hop beat, only to transform it into a throbbing straight ahead 4/4 hardcore track at the 40 second mark. Transformations such as this are one of Hellfish's best tricks, as the sampled vocal that ties these two together makes the transition from early 80's to 2005 seem effortless, and ultimately places the music in a timeless dimension. One Man Sonic Attack Force benefits from being mostly comprised of new tracks and hard-to-find remixes, unlike his previous Planet Mu CDs which have been mostly made up of tracks released on his own Deathchant label. Any track that gets the Hellfish remix treatment, such as Manu Le Malin's "Big Bald Fuck" and The Speed Freak's "Iron Hand," instantly becomes of a piece with his original compositions, making the album a cohesive listen. While his tracks almost always feature sampled dialogue and other embellishments, his rapid-fire beat programming always remains the focus. The first minute of "Iron Hand" features a man recounting countless crimes over instantly recognizable chunks of Carl Douglas's "Kung Fu Fighting," but this is merely an intro. For the remaining four minutes Hellfish gets down to business, with bits of said disco hit used merely to accent beats that pound away at lightning speed. The samples are silly but his fierce, pummeling rhythms save the project from simply being an exercise in novelty. "Gettin' Paid 40r Doin' Shit" is brilliant in it's absurdity. Rumbling beats are interrupted by the voice of a man uttering the title in a way that sounds as if he is on the verge of falling asleep mid-sentence. The balance of ferociousness and fun is what makes this album such a pleasant listen. The rhythm-and-nonsense approach that Hellfish is an expert at is perfect for a futuristic dance party, albeit one at which the participants have boundless energy and are prepared to pogo all night at 180 BPM. - Jim Siegel