- In recent months, Regis remixed his first album, Gymnastics, and released a live recording from 1997. Before that there was a compilation, a cassette and then a 7-inch featuring a track he made in 2001. All the EPs released since 2012's Death Head Said have centred on edits, live takes or old material, but no one seems to be complaining. The Master Side, however, appears to be new.
Given how much time Regis has spent revisiting his back catalogue, it's tempting to read The Master Side as a synthesis of Gymnastics' jaw-clenching loops and the broken-beat stylings of his Blackest Ever Black material. The mono synth lines powering both sides recall tracks like "Sand" or a "Cold Water," albeit slowed to a less urgent tempo. They act as rhythmic mainframes, steady yet shaping the flex of the groove. One of the quirks of Regis's catalogue is that, despite its sharp aesthetic, there's plenty of funk. This is what we get on both sides of this EP.
"Version 1" buckles under huge sheets of white noise while syncopated kicks and the snare's wooden timbre emphasise the synth line's serpentine swerve. There's even a drop. "Version 2" has less white noise, which makes it more compact and tracky. The first minute, however, is dedicated to rustling textures that bring to mind the loose but tense sound of a Nurse With Wound production. This abstract angle is explored further near the runout grooves. Both sides end with nuanced outros, one with disarmingly plangent strings and the other with isolated electronics. Tucked away like hidden bonus tracks, they're deep and detailed, perhaps a sign that more non-techno material is on the way.
A The Master Side (Version 1)
B The Master Side (Version 2)