What is Sesto Sento? No, seriously. What is Sesto Sento? I don’t mean who they are (three blokes), where they’re from (it would have to be Israel), or what they had for breakfast (chances are it was white, foul-tasting and crystalline.)
They’re not one of the five biggest acts in the world, but they sound like they are. Their quirk and sense of humour mean that they’re not like normal fullon, but when you distance yourself from the music, that’s exactly what you’re listening to. Sesto Sento are, we can be certain, taking the piss.
The sheer ballsy catchability of Sesto Dance drops you into the album at an unapologetic 145bpm, a speed so desperately unfashionable these days that most self-respecting producers don’t even go near it. 144 is the thinking man’s 145; 142 is sophisticated. 141 is unheard of; 150 is Parvati. But 145 is the bpm of killa, the bpm of full power baba shanti shankar, the bpm of isratrance; and more to the point, Sesto are fully aware of this when they call it home.
They’re three energetic loons, taking over the dancefloor asylum with builds, peaks and drops that would make Eskimo utter an exuberantly English “steady on.” Sesto Sento are squeaky, they’re flirtatious, they want to make you fall over on your backside and, if it was possible through finding the right sonic frequency, it’s just what they’d do. Over and over. A hundred and forty-five times a minute.
I like Sesto Sento, which isn’t quite the same as saying that I like Sesto Sento’s music. I find it impossible to like, but also impossible to dislike. Come Together is an album I’ve listened to bits of at home, in the car, at friends’ houses, as well as (probably) at parties.
Sesto’s craft is in making Frisbees of psytrance, that are immense fun to hurl around down the park on a Sunday but that won’t break your heart if you lose one, because they only cost about three quid which is – what – about the cost of a pint and a packet of crisps? It’s sort of very bad music done very well; like Andre Previn conducting the New York Philharmonic through a sterling rendition of Betty Boo Just Doin’ The Do.
Come Together is bad music, but it’s good psytrance. Well… good fullon, anyway. There’s nothing clever about it, nothing groundbreaking about it, nothing new about and nothing with substance about it. But then, as it says on the cover, it’s Sesto Sento: why would it be any of those things?
At the end of the day these boys do what they do impeccably well. They know exactly what a dancefloor wants, and (perhaps more importantly) exactly when it wants it.
It is in this sense that it’s officially Bloody Good Dance Music. In almost every other sense it is utter crap.
I feel like giving this ten out of ten just for the creation of a paradox, but I shan’t. I’m not giving it a score at all.
No, hang on, I know – I’m going to give it a letter.