Finally, Regis lets his rhythmic noise opus out into the world, a bruising and hauntingly absorbing album - his first since 2001 - dispatched on his pivotal label; Downwards. On a masterful twenty-year followup to ‘Penetration’, Karl O’Connor yields a definitive solo LP that distills his passions for sonic brutalism and bastardised Chicago tracks with syncopated UK swagger and reverberating warehouse ballistics. Its lip-bitingly gripping effect is testament to a resounding reputation as one of Industrial music’s most influential producers, and sees the artist bring his own influences - from Test Department to Jeff Mills - into line with his potent palette of narcotised tones.
Recorded in Berlin with Einstürzende Neubauten’s producer/engineer Boris Wilsdorf, the album’s supple, spartan, and rhythmic gymnastics notably benefit from acres of icy room to roll around and lash out. Snagged around muscular bassline revs, and caressed with keys and vocals by postpunk catalyst Annie Hogan (whose recent turn for Downwards was a total revelation), the 9 tracks portray Regis at his leanest and most mesmerising, which is all the more impressive coming from an artist who’s deliberately held his line through club music’s mutations for more than 30 years.
Between the razor-sharp electro of ‘Everything is Ahead of Us’, and the pure voodoo of ‘Calling Down A Curse’, he sharply carves a uniquely UK and shark-eyed style that lets on to influence from tech-step D&B and dark garage rolige as much as Test Department’s seminal ‘Beating The Retreat’ or 23 Skidoo and ‘Crackdown’-era Cabaret Voltaire.