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Concrete Fence is a collaborative project between Regis and Russell Haswell whose visceral, malignant strain of techno was issued on the EP New Release (1) via PAN.
Techno agitator Regis aka Karl O’Connor and his label Downwards have played a crucial role in reshaping industrial techno. In an interview with The Quietus, O’Connor describes his preference for provocation in sound: “Interference and disturbance is exactly what I'm into. I like disruption.... If it sticks out like a sore thumb, if it's on its own, if it occupies its own space - that's the interference that I like.”
O’Connor founded Downward Records with Peter Sutton aka Female in 1993 in Birmingham, UK. The label, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and launched a US offshoot, names artists such as Surgeon among its veterans, as well as younger bands like Tropic of Cancer and Berlin Current duo OAKE. O’Connor’s other notable projects have included the British Murder Boys (BMB), initiated together with Surgeon in 2002, and the Sandwell District techno collective and label, formed by Silent Servant, Female, and Function (Dave Sumner). O’Connor’s own prolific output has been released via Downwards and, more recently, the Blackest Ever Black label – a stylistic descendent of Downwards. He has collaborated with Juan Mendez (Silent Servant/Tropic of Cancer) as Sandra Electronics, with Sumner as Portion Reform, and with former Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris as Ugandan Speed Trials. He has also released records under the pseudonyms Kalon and CUB.
O’Connor’s most recent venture, the Jealous God label, was launched in 2013 with Mendez aka Silent Servant serving as visual director and James Ruskin as music director.
Russell Haswell is a relentlessly forward-thinking multi-disciplinary artist, performer, and curator whose background in computer music, black metal, noise, techno, freestyle, and solo improvisation feeds into his renown for assailing the outer bounds of visual and sonic arts.
Born in Coventry and currently based in Suffolk, England, his collaborations include performances with Aphex Twin, Gescom, and Masami Akita (Merzbow), among others. Haswell collaborates with Florian Hecker on Iannis Xenakis’ UPIC system in their Haswell & Hecker duo, whose Blackest Ever Black (Warner Classics) LP is widely considered a milestone of modern electronic music composition. He has further collaborated live with fellow CTM 2014 featured artists Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Peter Rehberg, Yasunao Tone, and Mika Vanio with Ilpo Vãisãnen as Pan-Sonic.
Haswell’s work has been released via myriad esteemed imprints, including Warp, Downwards, and his own OR label. Notably, his 8-track Live Salvage 1997 – 2000 (Editions Mego) received an Honourable Mention in Digital Musics at the Prix Ars Electronica. Other releases for the venerated Mego label include Factual (2012), In It (Immersive Live Salvage) and Acid No!se Synthesis (2011). Forthcoming is a release for Powell’s Diagonal Records, and a “hyper edit” collaboration with PAIN JERK.
His visual artwork has been exhibited at TN Probe, Tokyo, Kunsthalle, Vienna, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, to name a few. He has also given solo audio presentations at major art and music festivals and events and in art galleries concert venues across Europe and the U.S.