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Red Snapper

Along with Leftfield, Underworld, and Coldcut, Red Snapper is chiefly recognized for their explosive live performances. Sporting a sound that is impossible to pigeonhole, the band's three successful albums have added fuel to the fire of the live-versus-electronic argument that has permeated electronic music. Serious Snapper heads will know the trio of Richard Thair (drums, percussion, and turntables), Ali Friend (double bass), and David Ayres (guitars and programming) from their '93 releases on the now-defunct Flaw imprint. After just three single releases, the pioneering Sheffield label Warp took the bait and signed the Snappers for a multiple-album deal. (For anyone interested, Warp re-released the early singles on a compilation entitled Reeled and Skinned.)

Having pricked the ears of early '90s tastemakers such as Ashley Beadle and Andy Weatherall, the Snappers tested their live show on a U.K. club scene hungry for breakbeat with substance. After quickly establishing themselves on the live circuit, Red Snapper took refuge in the studio to record their debut album, Prince Blimey, which hit the streets in '96 to mass critical acclaim. Their sound successfully blended elements of dub, punk, funk, electro, and hip hop into one smooth groove. The band spent the rest of '96 and most of '97 touring with the likes of Bjork, Massive Attack, and The Fugees before delving back into the studio.

In '98 Red Snapper released Making Bones, an album which incorporated acclaimed trumpeter Byron Wallen, established junglist MC Det (S.O.U.R.), and Life's Addiction vocalist Alison David. To support the release, the Snappers again took to the road for a grueling tour that strengthened their position as the U.K.'s primo live/electronic act. This brings us up to their most recent album, We Aim To Satisfy Red Snapper. Produced by Hugo Nicholson (the man behind Primal Scream's Screamadelica), this is Red Snapper's most polished release to date. Sampling the David Essex classic "Rock On" (strangely enough!), "Some Kind Of Kink" is an oozy breakbeat track, full of dark tension and punk rock appeal.