Since 1991, Tresor has provided a home for artists to germinate their ideas for advanced new sounds and broadcast them to the world. The pioneers that first traversed the Detroit-Berlin connection and were at the forefront of a new cultural movement gave to Tresor its original and continuing mission: community, resistance and reshaping the world to come. The Tresor 30 compilation represents a major land- mark in this continuing history of electronic music. This unique collection of music profiles some of the artists that gave the previous three decades of Tresor its sound and foundation, but it also casts its gaze forward. Writing new postcards from the future, this collection brings new artists who main- tain a connection to that original mission to the fore, charting ways in which this ethos can contin- ue to build bridges and break walls in the next 30 years. Bringing together 52 essential tracks – both clas- sics and exclusive commissions – each of the 12 records in this box-set charts a unique line of flight from those artists that helped define the shape of this new music to those who continue to pattern its landscape further.
Regis lets his rhythmic noise opus out into the world, a bruising and hauntingly absorbing album – his first since 2001 – dispatched on his pivotal label; Downwards. On a masterful twenty-year followup to ‘Penetration’, Karl O’Connor yields a definitive solo LP that distills his passions for sonic brutalism and bastardised Chicago tracks with syncopated UK swagger and reverberating warehouse ballistics. Its lip-bitingly gripping effect is testament to a resounding reputation as one of Industrial music’s most influential producers, and sees the artist bring his own influences – from Test Department to Jeff Mills – into line with his potent palette of narcotised tones. Recorded in Berlin with Einstürzende Neubauten’s producer/engineer Boris Wilsdorf, the album’s supple, spartan, and rhythmic gymnastics notably benefit from acres of icy room to roll around and lash out. Snagged around muscular bassline revs, and caressed with keys and vocals by postpunk catalyst Annie Hogan (whose recent turn for Downwards was a total revelation), the 9 tracks portray Regis at his leanest and most mesmerising, which is all the more impressive coming from an artist who’s deliberately held his line through club music’s mutations for more than 30 years.
21st anniversary edition of Regis’ sophomore album on Downwards in Silver Vinyl. Entirely remastered at D&M and cut with 3 bonus locked grooves not found on the 1998, 2003, or 2012 editions, Karl O’Connor’s banging Regis 1998 blueprint is back in circulation for the techno ultras. It hardly needs to be reiterated but this set includes some of the meanest examples of late ‘90s UK techno, and more specifically, the Birmingham sound that Regis forged so definitively with this album, alongside efforts by his peers, Surgeon, Female, and Mick Harris. If you weren’t party to the original pressing, this one stands out thanks to the remastering, which really highlights the pebbledash grain and clangorous industrial atmospheres of the original recordings, which surely set this record and sound apart from the crowd.
Some modern tool techno cuts from the Bare Hands Camp, including a remix from Regis.
Pivotal, peerless DJ/selector and Minimal Wave overse’er Veronica Vasicka serves her solo debut on Downwards. ‘From Here’, a dank industrial-pop workout recorded in 2004 and now issued for the first time, backed with sick remixes by Regis, Paul Kendall (Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb) and Robert Hampson (Loop, Main) in his lesser-spotted Chasm alias.
New two-track maxi from Regis, The Master Side.
The don of Birmingham techno Karl O’Connor serves up some live rarities courtesy of retroverts Cititrax. Features recently uncovered recordings of a Regis performance in NYC on January 4th, 1997 at the famed Film Academy. His unmistakeable sound and influence is integral to the DNA of the techno sound, blatantly copied but never matched. Some classics from the Downwards catalogue are contained on this EP in all their austere fashion. “We Said No” “Translation” and “Careless Pedestrian” from his seminal 1996 LP Gymnastics being highlights.
Founded 20 years ago, Blueprint Records has remained one of the true driving forces behind British techno. To celebrate this special anniversary label founder James Ruskin and Blueprint friends have created a compilation of brand new music to celebrate this landmark. These exclusive tracks are released here as the ‘20 Years Of Blueprint Compilation’ limited edition box-set, with a collection of four clear vinyl records as well as poster and sticker inserts.
Token are back with their very own Indigo Kennedy, and he’s brought along a squadron of remixers to transform his recent “Requiem” tune. First up is Dial’s Efdemin, who quickly adds his signature brand of freeform deep house – sinister pads all around – followed by Kangding Ray and his slo-mo version, a truly chuggy affair in all sense of the word. The flip sees Downwards master and UK techno legend Regis inject his deep and menacing style onto the framework, and Full Panda’s Dasha Rush takes the straight-ahead techno approach but proceeds to surround the beats with gorgeous swirls of instrumentation.
Downwards Records present a full circle label showcase featuring the noisier, leftfield end of Techno.
Cititrax presents remixes for The KVB by Regis, Shifted, Silent Servant, In Aeternam Vale and Worn.
Over the course of ten active years, Sandwell District were responsible for disarming and destabilizing the structures that gagged free-form expression, drawing upon tenets of DIY-post-punk culture to disrupt accepted ideas of exactly what it meant to be an artist, label, DJ or producer. During this time, the collective’s core members, Regis (Dave Sumner) and Regis (Karl O’Connor) (along with label partner, Silent Servant), played a key role in broadening the link between early electronic, post-punk, and noise; an influence which continues to resonate in the burgeoning, and shape-shifting, modern-day techno scene. With this mix, another genuine artefact has been added to the Sandwell legacy, a document of their skewed presence and existence, a treasure guaranteeing the kind of quality that electronic music compilations rarely achieve. In 1 hour 15 minutes, the pairing of Regis and Function succeed in presenting and executing some of the most potent flourishes in the Sandwell catalogue, distilling them into a coherent body of work that masterfully defines the current techno zeitgeist. Few contemporary producers have bettered the merciless techno blueprint laid down by this collective, and few ever will.
Finally we are at the last part of the 2012 review. In the first part of our review, the preferences of our followers are shown, according to the number of click and stars. Top 3 albums of the years, top 3 EPs, compilations and mixes loved by our followers can be seen here.
In the second part, I presented some of my favorite events and performances from last year. For more details go here.
Ahead of Haswell’s hugely anticipated album for Downwards, Regis, William Bennett (Whitehouse/Cut Hands) and Kevin Drumm set about his ‘Chua Rave’ and ‘Harshing’ cuts taken from a 5″ vinyl. Regis goes in first with a jagged, loopy rebuild of ‘Chua Rave’ revolving around a signature, numb hook crawling with insectoid, stereo-swarming textures and swung round a killer metallic clap. William Bennett meanwhile is back to his old tricks, refrying the same cut in a sweltering headfuck of disembowelled modular madness, but the star of the show is undoubtedly Kevin Drumm’s “GODDAMNIT!! 1,2,3” Remix. To ‘Harshing’ he applies cryptic, haptic processing, resulting a deeply rewarding noise punishment which subsides to cosmic splutter and elegiac microtonal drones reminding of his seminal ‘Imperial Distortion’ works. So damn good.
Raw banging techno racks by Regis. ” the tracks from the Death Head Sessions were originally dub-plates used for Regis Live Actions at the End of the 90’s. They were used to layer over live electronics and are all interlocking pieces that were constructed to be played back to back. They have now been reclaimed from the earlier decoy release * ,re- mastered and arranged in the order they appeared on the original dub plates.”
New release by Aiken on M_Rec Limited. Aiken kicks off with a pounding sequence of drum loops and eerie tones. “First Balance” is a smudgy mixture of muffled acid sounds and progressive melodies, while “Second Balance” introduces a heads-down beat laden with rainy chords and sparse hi-hats. The Regis remix sees the Birmingham techno king stamp his signature percussion style over a distant blend of melting pads and tripped-out atmospherics. “Third Balance” finishes things off with a more up-tempo arrangement of beats, tied together with a skipping, paranoid synth stab. Warehouse techno.