Release Date: Apr 22, 2013
Record label: Fabric
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
Sandwell DistrictFabric 69[Fabric; 2013]By Josh Becker; April 24, 2013Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetLike Jay-Z or Michael Jordan, the dudes comprising Sandwell District have retired several times now. Back in 2011, they informed the world that "regular audio communications" were to immediately "cease." Then in February of this year, they let us know that "Sandwell District is dead." Shortly thereafter, it was announced that the murky collective/label/brand/cult had produced a mix for London's venerable techno institution known as Fabric, whose monthly series has been on a hot streak lately with impressive releases from the likes of Levon Vincent and Thomas Franzmann. So we've been getting mixed messages.
"Sandwell District is dead." That's the message that sits at the top of the techno collective's Tumblr page. It's typically ominous, and maddeningly ambiguous. If they are dead, they've had quite a life. For a newer generation of fans, Sandwell District are techno deities. It's not hard to see why ….
Sandwell District scratch a very specific itch for techno fans whose tastes veer towards the darker side of things. During the collective's decade-long run, its releases often siphoned key elements and moods from other genres-- dub techno's hollowed-out sprawl, post-punk's stark seriousness, the grim purposefulness of industrial-- to develop its own identity separate from the minimal overload that swept techno in the 2000s. There are a few flashes of gray-toned color to be found in SD's catalog, but ultimately darkness reigns supreme, as uncredited releases and stark as the DIY packaging that drove home the music's ominousness and severity.