Following his remix of Raime’s ‘This Foundry’ (BLACKEST002), Regis released an EP of original material on Blackest Ever Black in August 2011 – his first proper solo offering under that name since 2001’s Exercise For Institutions. The modernism of his finest Sandwell District and Downwards productions imbued with a new freedom and energy derived in part from jungle, post-punk, dub and, on ‘Blinding Horses’, heavy psych/shoegaze. An extraordinary record, and one that has proved extremely influential.
Original press release (2011):
“Blackest Ever Black is proud to present In A Syrian Tongue: Karl O Connors first solo EP as Regis in ten years. On the A-side is ‘Blood Witness’ – sleek, predatory techno for sex workers and serial killers; on the B-side a slower, noisier live edit of the same track by O’Connor and Mick Harris (aka Scorn) that accentuates its rugged breakbeat architecture; and then ‘Blinding Horses’, a suitably pummelling, punishing hymn to desert conflict ancient and modern. Across these three tracks, Regis showcases a sound that contains the industrial intensity of his vintage Downwards work, the elegance and swing of his Sandwell District contributions, and a seemingly new ingredient: something powerfully, irreducibly Blackest Ever Black. Blackest Ever Black is a London-based label home to releases from Raime, Regis and Tropic of Cancer. This is Regis’s second contribution to its catalogue, following his remix of Raime’s ‘This Foundry’.”
The first limited edition (500) of the 12″ was housed in a full picture sleeve; the subsequent two re-presses were housed in paper inner only, with a printed card insert featuring different imagery and a short quotation from Anthony Frewin’s novel London Blues.
Re-edits of ‘Blood Witness’ and ‘Blinding Horses’ appeared in 2013 on the Turin Versions 12″ (BLACKEST013). ‘Blood Witness’ was also revisited on Blood Witness Versions (Downwards, 2014).
The BLACKEST004 versions of both ‘Blood Witness’ and ‘Blinding Horses’ are expected to feature on Manbait, a forthcoming (Summer 2015) compilation of Regis’s production work for Blackest Ever Black.