- Even if the music fails to impress, it's difficult not to admire Sandwell District's bloody-minded approach. Having released some of 2008's best techno, and, faced with the prospect of wider recognition, the label's latest move is to put out a record by an anonymous producer. Maybe Sandwell is trying to reinforce its anti-branding stance—which of course could be construed as the most effective branding of all, a la Underground Resistance—which dictates that the music, irrespective of who produced it, is the only concern. While some labels may view such behaviour as commercial suicide or a badly missed opportunity, Sandwell's modus operandi is smarter. The label is steadily building up a buy-on-sight following, which won't be disappointed by its twelfth edition.
With no original tracks on offer, it's left up to Sandwell's mainstays to deliver "edits." Regis' offering is a throbbing, menacing groove, featuring an eerie organ sample that's just about audible in the background. It's hard to hear because the UK producer's all-consuming bass supersedes everything else, commanding the listener's attention until the track's abrupt end. Function's take is as repetitive but more teased out, the house-based, loopy rhythm underpinned by loose metallic percussive slivers that threaten to dissolve without ever actually doing so. And while the C/H Signal edit's stripped back, raw and noisy rhythms are reminiscent of the label's origins in '90s Birmingham techno, "12" proves that it's the future that's Sandwell's for the taking.
A N/A - Regis '08 Edit
B1 N/A - Function Edit
B2 N/A - C/H Signal Edit