Sandwell District – Where Next? (Sampler Part Two) review

Here lies the second and final sampler from the Sandwell District collective ahead of an album slated for some time soon (sorry the very nature of mysterious techno labels means we can’t be any clearer than that). This 12” – which looks splendid in clear blue vinyl – kicks off with an untitled effort from Silent Servant aka Juan Mendez, who apart from being one of the label’s production stalwarts also takes care of the artwork. It’s fascinating, moody stuff, with a ghostly hiss hiding behind a relatively unobtrusive bassline, which allows the abrasive synth melody to come to the fore. The a-side then closes with a short, but richly textured ambient piece from Female (aka Peter Sutton).

Flip over and you’ll find another effort from Silent Servant, this time with a truly subterranean kick drum, frantic shuffling high-hats, radar bleeps and the odd spooky sweep. To close, Regis (known to the HMRC as Karl O’Connor) lends his hand to some Female steppy business. O’Connor’s recent output has shown a tendency to lean towards to more dubstep/techno crossover, a slight but noticeable departure from a history of purist techno output. And then it’s all over. Thankfully there’s more than enough meat on the bones of these two samplers to keep you occupied until the SD album finally drops. Still, here’s hoping we don’t have to wait too long.

Review: Aaron Coultate