After eight years of the Sandwell District label being around, the delay of their first album as a collective, Feed Forward, by another torturous month (issues with the pressing plant were cited) may actually have brought some grown man somewhere to tears. With these two "Test Sessions" having been recorded live a mere couple of days before the original release date slated by some record shops, one wonders whether there was really anything still under test, but it doesn't matter because all the information you need is there: it's pretty similar to the higher-energy parts of the album, and no less transcendent.
There's not much apparent that's directly taken from Feed Forward, though: these aren't live versions of two of its tracks. The A side finishes with the same little arpeggio pattern as "Double Day" does, and the B contains the hollow log percussion track from "Hunting Lodge," but apart from that there's nothing obvious lifted as far as I can tell. There wouldn't be much point in this; there's no crowd noises or anything like that, it's obviously been recorded direct through the electronics. These test sessions, then, can be seen as two things, or more probably as both at once. The first is a Sandwell District single, ripe with churning rhythms and epic strings for your techno journeying, but with a few spontaneous features that could be worked well by a clever DJ. The second is a recording of SD onstage with their machines, dialling in sounds with extraordinary panache for flow. You can almost see the seriousness on their faces in front of you.
Buy Sandwell District - Feed Forward Test Session at
Tracklist: Sandwell District - Feed Forward Test Session A Feed Forward Test Session (Recorded Live In Berlin - 23/10/2010)
B Feed Forward Test Session (Recorded Live In Graz - 22/10/2010)