Vatican Shadow – Iraqi Praetorian Guard [BLACKEST008]

Blackest Ever Black presents a much needed vinyl pressing of two tracks from Vatican Shadow’s debut cassette release, backed with Regis remix. For anyone familiar with the original 2010 tape or mp3 release, we should say this record sounds radically different, thanks in no small part to a pedigree mastering to vinyl by Matt Colton at London’s Air facilities. The haunting synth washes, grinding bass distortion and chopper blades of ‘Cairo Sword Unsheathed’, and the subharmonic bass of ‘Gunmen With Silencer’ are illuminated with a cold hard light, while their physical shape feels viscerally intimated. Regis transforms ‘Church Of All Images’ from Vatican Shadow’s  ‘Kneel Before Religious Icons’ LP, adding another vividly compelling episode to his important cache.

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Vatican Shadow – Iraqi Praetorian Guard [BLACKEST008]

Ugandan Methods – Sixth Method [AM006]

Ugandan Methods = Ugandan Speed Trials (Regis) + Ancient Methods. ‘Sixth Method’ is their second collusion of Industrial Techno mechanics, following a razing session on Downwards’ DN label in 2009. A-side is the droning, ‘floor ploughing behemoth ‘Beneath The Black Arch’, spiking AM’s war funk rhythms with a seething tribalist madness to deadly impact. Flipside ‘Between A Sleep And A Sleep’ relies on a more subtle sense of swing and hypnotic layering to deliver the desired effect, before they gorge on bludgeoning kicks and skin-flailing noise with remorseless brutality on ‘She Belongs To An Eternity’.

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Ugandan Methods – Sixth Method [AM006]

Karl O’Connor – White Savage Dance [DN006]

Karl O’Connor digs into his sizeable archives for White Savage Dance, collating several key moments of his early experiments with industrially charged post-punk which surfaced during the early years of Downwards existence but were actually recorded long before. Sandwell District fans will find much to appreciate in the corrosive, metallic sounds that permeate throughout, not least the Anglo- Germanic versions of “Here & Now” that open and close the A Side. The jerking, spasmodic cold wave nature of the latter is a personal favourite here at Juno HQ. The B Side provides further intrigue as both tracks here see O’Connor step behind the mic, delivering some Robert Smith style vocals in his typical Brummie brogue atop sinewy guitars and drums that sound as if they’ve been carved from the hollow battering of caustic tin pans.

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Karl O’Connor – White Savage Dance [DN006]

Regis – In A Syrian Tongue [BLACKEST004]

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“I A Syrian Tongue” is Karl O’Connor’s first solo EP as Regis in ten years. Across these three tracks, Regis showcases a sound that delivers the industrial intensity of his vintage Downwards work, the elegance and swing of his Sandwell District contributions, and a seemingly new ingredient: something powerfully, irreducibly Blackest Ever Black.

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Regis – In A Syrian Tongue [BLACKEST004]

O/V/R – Post-Traumatic Son (Ben Klock Mixes) [BP030.1]

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O/V/R, the production collaboration of two of the leading lights in UK techno, James Ruskin & Regis, released the original version of ‘Post-Traumatic Son’ last year. Now they hand it over to Berlin’s Ben Klock for three new remixes.

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O/V/R – Post-Traumatic Son (Ben Klock Mixes) [BP030.1]

Sandwell District – Feed-Forward [SD2X1201]

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International techno collective and record label Sandwell District release their debut studio album. Feed-Forward, features previously unreleased techno cuts by the three central Sandwell artists – Dave Sumner as Function, Karl O’Connor as Regis and Juan Mendez as Silent Servant, with additional input from Female. A trademark, highly effective array of big industrial beats, off-kilter riffs and icy strings can be expected.

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Sandwell District – Feed-Forward [SD2X1201]

O/V/R – Post-Traumatic Son [BP030]

O/V/R - Post-Traumatic Son image

Regis and James Ruskin team up for a highly effective new O/V/R excursion. The title track is a lean and uncompromising pounder, layered with tension building synthlines and a relentless attitude. ‘Descending the Left Corner’ is a little trickier, set with a deadly bassline swing akin to the Kalon tracks meshed with simmering Basic Channel style synth modualtions. Finally, ‘Crippled Nurse (and Water)’ indulges their more esoteric inclinations with a screwed downbeat acid number nodding to classic A.I.-era ‘tronica.

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O/V/R – Post-Traumatic Son [BP030]

Sandwell District – Sampler Single One and Two [SDSMP1/SDSMP2]

Various Artists - Sandwell EP01 / EP02

The seven tracks spread across these 12″s apparently have nothing to do with the eagerly awaited Sandwell District album, which is due out later in summer, around the time the international collective is scheduled to headline the Sonar festival in Barcelona.

Sampler Single One tracklist:
A. Intro
AA. Function
B. Silent Servant (Regis Edit)

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Sampler Single Two tracklist:
A. Silent Servant
AA. Female (live extract)
B. Silent Servant
BB. Female (Regis Edit)

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Sandwell District – Sampler Single One and Two [SDSMP1/SDSMP2]