- In keeping with its tendency towards anonymity, Sandwell District's latest missives are variations on tracks from the artist known as N/A. While information about N/A is "not available," the original versions of his or her tracks are also absent from the 13th and 14th releases on the label, with label stalwarts Function and then Regis—the latter joined by Berghain resident Marcel Dettmann—delivering interpretations or "edits."
Function's take on "Variance" is an ominous, affair, as a brooding bass leads the listener into an expansive, rumbling track, lent some propulsion by Sumner's trademark reverberated claps. Dettmann ups the ante on his edit of "Variance 3," with whiplash percussion and a bubbling bassline providing the necessary dance floor impetus and a succession of eerie, filtered riffs ensuring that the German DJ's interpretation is characterized by a sinister undercurrent. Last but not least is Regis's take on "Variance IV"; less dance floor friendly than the preceding edits, it's underpinned by off beats and a skewed, metallic rhythm. The echoing drums plot a path through a murky, textured soundscape.
"Variance" shows again that, like it or not, the people behind Sandwell have their own way of doing things—but this singular vision would mean nothing were it not for the alluringly mysterious music that accompanies it.
A Variance III (Marcel Dettmann Edit)
B Variance IV (Regis Edit)