‘Penetration’ practically defined this type of loopy, gnashing techno before a gradated phase shift into sleeker forms of minimalism came to pass during the following decade. It would be nearly 20 years before Regis issued his solo follow-up, ‘Hidden In This Is The Light That You Miss’, with time well spent on developing his roles in British Murder Boys and Sandwell District, among many other things, but ‘Penetration’ stands as a paradigm of Techno’s gothic-toned, gnashing wing in its purest, deadliest form.
Bolstered by Simon Shreeve’s airy remaster, ‘Penetration’ kicks like a thoroughbred. From the stentorian, Latinate drum friction of ‘Get On Your Knees’ to the monotone drone tension of ‘Aftertaste of Guilt’ and ‘It’s A Man’s World’, or the stealth ratchet of ‘Thirst’, it’s not hard to hear hallmarks of Regis’ sound that would inform his run of seminal British Murder Boys productions with Surgeon a couple of years later. Yet cuts such as the shark-eyed drive ‘White Stains’ and the sleazy dark room afterthoughts of ‘Slave to the Inevitable’ distinguish the album as sole property of Regis in his prime, before taking on the mantle of UK industrial music’s renaissance man over the past decade. With 20 years hindsight, it remains a tough, adrenalised energy-rush for the ages - here sounding heavier than ever.