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Reality Or Nothing – Reality Or Nothing 1 & 2 review

Reality Or Nothing is the surreptitious (and now defunct) side project of UK techno dons Regis (Karl O’Connor) and Female (Peter Sutton). The duo slyly released their material through Chicago’s mysterious Housewerk Records in the late 90s, and here a piece of previously unreleased material sees the light of day, both in its original form and remixed by the current Sandwell District stable. Sprawled across the A Side here is a fantastic stepping reshape of “Reality Or Nothing” by Female, whilst the opening B-Side cut is a remix of “Kalon 08” by the Sandwell District collective, which boasts wonderfully raw drum pads that shift in and out of focus as the track progresses. The 1998 original version of the title track is included for good measure, and arguably still stands as the best of the lot – it’s moody and tough as hell, with a soft analogue crunch chugging along beneath the distinctive bleeps so loved by the Sandwell stable.

The second 12” comes replete with three new remixes of the title track, plus a demo version of the original which is steeped in melodic atmospherics. Function, CH-Signal and Silent Servant all chip in with remixes in what serves as a must-have for Sandwell District completists – the Function version in particular brings the big room vibe to the table. The Silent Servant remix is probably the most hypnotic, with frantic ping-pong percussion sitting alongside a mildly thunderous looped kick drum. These 12”s have been released at an opportune time, and serve as a mouth whetting appetiser for the debut Sandwell album, due to hit the shelves this month.

Aaron Coultate