Record Label: Blackest Ever Black
Manbait is a survey of Regis’s 2010-15 productions and remixes for Blackest Ever Black.
As well as three originals (in several different versions) and his celebrated remixes of Raime, Vatican Shadow, Ike Yard and Dalhous, it features three previously unreleased tracks: a brand new Regis take on a lost song by his own teenage synth-punk group Family Sex, an alternate mix of Tropic of Cancer’s ‘Plant Lilies At My Head’, and a new edit of his own ‘Blinding Horses’
Regis - real name Karl O’Connor - requires little in the way of introduction. Founder of the Downwards label, lynchpin of the late Sandwell District collective, one half of British Murder Boys (with Surgeon), and instigator of numerous other solo and collaborative projects (among them Ugandan Methods, Concrete Fence, Kalon and Sandra Electronics), the eternally shape-shifting O’Connor is one of techno’s last true visionaries. We’d also say he’s one of the most important and galvanising figures in the past 25 years of underground music, but of course he’d scoff at that: “Just as Lead is a parody of Gold and Coitus is a parody of Crime - Regis is a parody of Underground."
O’Connor’s arrival on Blackest Ever Black in 2010 coincided with a radical recalibration, and heightening, of his production work, and the tracks collected on Manbait document nothing less than an imperial phase - an artist at the peak of his powers, drawing deftly on various strands of his musical history, and owning the future. Across Manbait’s duration you can hear elements of Sandwell District’s Berlin-incubated warehouse minimalism, the brutish dancefloor provocations of Regis’s ’90s Downwards material (what will always be known, against his wishes, as “The Birmingham Sound”), the DIY drone-pop and darkwave of Sandra Electronics, the high-torque breakbeat experiments of British Murder Boys. Throughout we’re treated to some of the most morbidly atmospheric sound design in all electronic music (the shadowplay of ‘80s goth and industrial made thrillingly contemporary), and to urgent, cyclical, ruthlessly avant-garde drum programming informed by jungle, dubstep and grime…but always unmistakably, irreducibly Regis.