For the 21st anniversary of Regis’ pivotal debut album,”Gymnastics” the Brum techno overlord has remade the scene of the crime from original stems and salvaged 8-tracks tapes. The unyielding results effectively present a doctored version of his seminal – some may say game-changing – record, featuring new studio versions and unreleased sequences. It’s basically a stronger, fitter version of his most prized LP, loaded with sounds as brutally functional as the city which birthed them.
When “Gymnastics” first hit the ‘floor it was considered shocking anathema to the swell of manicured, proggy arrangements which were by then dominating the spotlight of British dance in clubs and the media. It was loopy, stripped to the bone and shark-eyed, always moving forward and without the faintest recourse to melody or harmony – simply revelling in the gnashing tension and swerve of raw, clattering drum machines and monophonic synth jabs. 21 years later its lip-biting force is now felt stronger than ever. From the grumbling refusal of “We Said No” and the austere wall-banger “Allies” that boot off the album, thru the 16th note nag of “Translation” to the rictus jag of “Sand” and “The Black Freighter’s” metallic bite, this is timeless, primal dance music that still causes friction wherever it’s deployed.