originally appears in the CD insert of the Positiva Ambient Collection'

An excerpt from the forthcoming novel 'Sabres Rip Your Blinkers Off' by Andrew Weatherall

A jumbled office. I'm seated on a swivel chair. Large amounts of screwed up paper litter the floor. I have been asked to compliment this collection of ambient music with a brief definition of the genre. Hmmmm, simple sleeve notes will not do for the selection of compositions I have before me.

I needed help and there was only one thing to do. Consult Lord Sabre, the Revered Sage and mystic, to hopefully garner some sort of response that would in some small way help with the task in hand. Journeying for days I eventually reached the dark foreboding neo-gothic portals of Sabres Hall. Apprehension was tightening every fibre in my body as I approached the huge wooden front door. The lord was not the sort of person on e could just drop in on, and I had not managed to warn him that our monthly consultation would be several days early. My fears, however were totally unfounded as Witherspoon his trusted man servant and personal physician, greeted me with a look of total calm set into his malleable features. He spoke slowly and surely, "The master has sensed your troubled mind and awaits you in the Great Hall".

I entered into his presence and placed the audio cassette before him. Silently he reached out and with his skullring covered tattooed hand, picked it up. "Leave me now" he said softly and swept into thee listening chamber with a flurry of his velvet cape obediently following behind. Two hours passed slowly, interrupted at intervals by the foreboding chimes of the large clock further down the hall which mingled with the muffled sounds eminating from behind the chamber doors. Eventually the doors parted and my Lord stood silhouetted beneath the towering oak frame. Clouds of sweet smelling smoke billowed around him. I stood staring - expectancy and the need for enlightenment written large upon my face. Taking me by the arm he led me back into the listening chamber. The door shut automatically behind us causing the smoke to swirl around our feet. My nerves manifested themselves as I humbly stuttered forth my thoughts, "I-I-I, you-you see. Ambient m-music as a rec-recognisable form was initially espousd by B-Brian Eno, who saw it as a functional s-s-sort of muzak that could just as easily be ignored as listened to, en-environment m-m-music..." I babbled on for minutes... theorising, analysing, constructing then de-constructing arguments on what 'ambient' music was, is, or should be, until I had said more than enough.

Lord Sabres raised his finer to a set of pursed lips and after politely silencing me, spoke, "It's gone beyond that now".

Later, as I stretched out on the lower deck of one of the many bunkbed type constuctions which lined the Great Hall, I reflected on my mentor's lesson. The last thing I remember is hearing the sound of a tape rewinding and echoing around the listening chamber. It intertwined with the soothing tones of Lord Sabres postulationg to himself, "No easy definitions, dancefloor crossover, experience not quantifying". I began to drift......sage and mystic......sage and onion......

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