Even before the gradually explosion of the Internet, which played the most crucial role in facilitating the access to music for wider audiences, electronic music producers were frequently out of sync one from another. The lack of information from anywhere from the comfort zone of the mainstream media made the process of sharing music, ideas and beliefs to be a difficult one. There were very few producers that could stand side by side, as real partners in crime.
Fast-forward a few decades later and you could see that the situation didn’t actually change that much. If you’ve been following what’s happening in the electronic music scene for long enough, you could easily notice this predictable and even necessary need of certain producers to work only in certain groups and only with certain people, to release music only on certain record labels.
Carl O'Connor is a producer of many names and many different projects, solo or within collaboration with other talents. He started the (now famous) Downwards record label together with his label partner Peter Sutton (aka Female) in 1993 and found it increasingly difficult to find artists to share their vision. To this day, they still work with the same core artists.
O'Connor began making music in the early 1990s, discretely becoming one of the originators of the Birmingham techno school, alongside label partner Surgeon (named Anthony Child). Carl proclaimed an own, futuristic and uncommon vision of techno and electronic music throughout many different solo projects, such as Regis, Cub, Kalon, Karl And The Curbcrawlers, Karl O'Connor, Public Information Film, Ugandan Speed Trials, Your Health, but also within different groups, such as British Murder Boys, Sandwell District, Healthplan, Portion Reform, Sandra Electronics and others. A prolific producer for almost two decades, Regis is still in control of the ever-flourishing Downwards label.
The new album in discussion, Manbait - freshly released by the Blackest Ever Black imprint - is actually a compilation of different remixes signed by Regis and a handful of original productions made over years. The LP starts off with a solid remix to the track ‘Loss’ of NY based minimal synth/experimental group Ike Yard. This modern reinterpretation of the legendary track - originally released in ’82 - stands out as a perfect piece reflecting the nowadays aesthetics of electronic music and the multiple (say it infinite) ways of expression. He Was Human And Belonged With Humans by the Blackest Ever Black group Dalhouse gets a darker silhouette in Regis’ version, whilst Vatican Shadow’s Church Of All Images is transformed into an accurate industrial techno experience.
Regis also revisits his earlier alias Family Sex and delivers Manbait, probably the most dynamic track from the compilation and the one which also titles the entire material. Blood Witness travels through percussive dark techno corners and goes hand in hand with the next track, C U 1, extorted from O’Connor’s 2010 side-project Cub. In order to give a more concrete perspective of the current Regis sound, it becomes easily to guess the sudden appearance of Regis’ own version of the track This Foundry, coming from London based producer duo Raime and originally released in 2010. The final piece is an ambient lush adaptation (called alternate version) of Tropic of Cancer’s song Plant Lilies At My Head.
Whether you’re new to Regis (and this compilation would be a good introductory listening material) or you’ve been a long time follower of his work, Manbait will equally delight different tastes, as it comprises very fine and modern reinterpretations of what we call today electronic music with forward thinking vision, substance and soul.
Tracklist:01. Ike Yard - Loss (Regis Version)
02. Dalhous - He Was Human And Belonged With Humans (Regis Version)
03. Regis - Blood Witness (Original 12-Inch Mix)
04. Vatican Shadow - Church Of All Images (Regis Version)
05. Family Sex - Manbait (Regis Version)
06. Regis - Blinding Horses (Original 12-Inch Mix)
07. CUB - C U 1
08. Regis - Blood Witness (Downwards Extended Version)
09. Tropic of Cancer - Plant Lilies At My Head (Alternate Version)
10. Regis - Blinding Horses (Turin Version)
11. Raime - This Foundry (Regis Version)
12. Regis - Blinding Horses (Stableboy Version)