On the occasion of its new Fabric mix, techno artists select their top tracks from the seminal label.
At the very beginning of 2012, record label Sandwell District announced its "glorious death." Over the course of 10 years, head honchos Regis, Function, Silent Servant, and Female had garnered a strong identity and cult following for the outpost with a series of dark, noise-tinged techno releases accompanied by bleak, grayscale artwork. Still, they felt the project had run its course, at least for the time being.
This week, over a year later, the prodigal sons have returned to techno with a mix for the prolific Fabric series, “Fabric 69.” The hour-plus set showcases the most iconic elements of Sandwell District's sonic aesthetic: deep, dark, hypnotizing beats that kick up an introspective and brooding energy with minimal clutter. It's precisely mixed, shifting between post-punk, noise, and techno at barely perceptible intervals. Although the mix displays the label's recognizable vibe and sound, there are no Sandwell District tunes on the tracklist; instead, it explores the landscape of austere techno that took inspiration from the label's catalog.
Sandwell District's influence on underground techno can hardly be overstated. We reached out to a few of the artists who have carried the torch since it closed up shop, and asked them to mine the label's history in order to identify some of the its most esteemed releases: Check out picks from Jerome Sydenham, Sigha, Cosmin TRG, and more, below.