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Sandwell District Label Ends
Rory Gibb , January 3rd, 2012 06:47

Techno label's release schedule comes to a close

Sad news indeed. Fantastic techno label Sandwell District have announced they are to stop releasing new music as of now. In a message posted on their blog, the enigmatic collective announced that the label's release schedule has ceased as of December 31st 2011.

"All vinyl artifacts have been decommissioned," the post states. "There is a possibility of future, albeit irregular, print communications with audio accompaniment. However, details -- and indeed content -- is uncertain at this moment in time."

However, it also states that the group will continue to operate through live performances. The Sandwell collective - consisting of Regis, Silent Servant and Function - have a reputation for devastating live sets of greyscale, wind-tunnel techno.

"The Sandwell experiment will exist through live actions," says the post, "which will continue to expand into new sonic territory -- in addition to audio/print installations as previously witnessed in New York, Los Angeles, Gdansk, Bialystok, Berlin and London."

Sandwell District have been responsible for some stunning music over the near decade of their existence, though it took until the cusp of 2011 for their debut full-length - the ultra-limited Feed Forward - to be released. One of our favourite techno albums of recent times, it reached a very respectable position indeed in our albums of last year (qualifying by virtue of being released after our 2010 list was already collated).

We'd strongly urge you to check out the label's most recent, closing releases. Silent Servant's appropriately titled Hypnosis In The Modern Age EP and Rrose's Merchant Of Salt are both fantastic, and Function's glorious Ember operates in the liminal zone where Selected Ambient Works-era Aphex meets the label's distinct take on techno. A new EP from Rrose, Artificial Light (1969-1909) is due out soon, and presumably marks the final Sandwell District transmission.

A new mix was posted onto the blog the same day, featuring music by Sandwell District as well as by contemporaries and predecessors like Cabaret Voltaire, Young Hunting, Vatican Shadow and Powell. You can listen here.

"Stasis is death," the statement finishes.

"See you on the other side."