- Regis and Russell Haswell make such a good team that you wonder why Concrete Fence didn't happen sooner. The dark prince of UK techno and one of the country's most respected experimentalists make music that sounds like you'd expect: noisy, insular and unrelentingly dark, replete with a Throbbing Gristle-style title.
The only thing surprising about New Release (1) is that there isn't much techno, though Regis' signature trembling percussion is all over the EP. "Industrial Disease" has a surging beat that approximates dubstep's lurch, but its motion is writhing and irregular. After a few minutes, any vestiges of rhythm fall away, leaving a squirming mess of discordant noise. The sounds that Haswell and O'Connor conjure are impressively ugly, cutting without relying on noise clichès like piercing frequencies or serrated distortion. On "Caulk," it sounds like they're trying in vain to control a volatile core of noise with waves of rhythm. On "The Unabridged Truth" they finally broach techno, but the kick is smothered by the phlegmatic coughs that erupt around it.
New Release (1) definitely feels familiar, and it's impenetrable almost to a fault. But there's enough here to make us hope there's a (2)—not because this one's a masterpiece, but because you're left feeling that there's much more ground to be explored by these two.
A1 Industrial Disease
B The Unabridged Truth