Karl O’Connor returns this week with his first full solo release as Regis in a decade.
The British producer has hardly been quiet over the last 10 years, releasing music under different aliases, touring and contributing numerous edits as part of the Sandwell District label and collective, not to mention helming the Sandwell District LP, Feed-Forward, prolifically remixing other artists and continuing to run his own august Downwards imprint. Nonetheless, In A Syrian Tongue, officially out August 15 on Blackest Ever Black, is as far as we can tell his first “proper” Regis offering since 2001’s ‘Exercise For Institutions’ 12″.
It’s his second contribution to Blackest Ever Black, following last year’s remix of ‘This Foundry’ by moody industrial types Raime. Where that remix swelled to an oddly life-affirming and melodic climax, the three tracks on In A Syrian Tongue are rather more fearsome, unyielding beasts. A-side ‘Blood Witness’ is reminiscent of O’Connor’s work with Surgeon as British Murder Boys in the way it wrenches swing out of remorselessly jack-hammering techno rhythm; on the B-side he teams up with Mick Harris (aka Scorn) for a “live version” of ‘Blood Witness’, which drops the tempo and adds a noisier, grottier undertow to the relentless breakbeat roll, while ‘Blinding Horses’ is a true epic, an unlikely and revelatory synthesis of broken drums, punishing sub-bass and weeping, wailing guitar noise.
In A Syrian Tongue is the fourth 12″ release to date on Blackest Ever Black, a London-based label independently operated by FACT’s Kiran Sande, the last being Tropic of Cancer‘s darkwave pop gem The Sorrow Of Two Blooms. The first 500 copies come in a picture sleeve, all copies thereafter are housed simply in black paper inner with printed insert.
A1. Blood Witness
B1. Blood Witness (M.J. Harris / Karl O’Connor Live Version, 8.2.11)
B2. Blinding Horses