Sandra Plays Electronics

Sandra Plays Electronics

  • 1988 -

  • United Kingdom

  • Karl O’Connor

Sandra Plays Electronics is the esteemed D.I.Y. electronic project of Karl O’Connor. O’Connor, mostly known for his pioneering work in the techno field (as Regis, Sandwell District, British Murder Boys, and various other entities) began playing and recording his own music in Birmingham, England when he was 16 years old. He collaborated with friends performing in short-lived bands such as Family Sex and also recorded on his own as Sandra Plays Electronics. In 1993, he launched the Downwards label along with Peter Sutton, mainly as a vehicle for their hard, industrial techno output. It became massive in the world of independent music and has become increasingly more relevant beyond that, especially in regards to its position in modern instrumental electronic music. Since it’s inception and due to key influences outside of blatant dance music, the label has included releases that blur the boundaries of techno.

In 1997, O’Connor met Robert Görl and produced his LP ‘Sex Drops’. A year later, he met Chrislo Haas and remixed what would be the last 12” he would do before his death. Another key collaboration occurred in 1999 when O’Connor met Juan Mendez (Silent Servant). Mendez soon became instrumental to the evolution of Downwards. Aside from this, the duo teamed up to produce material on their now defunct Sandwell District label as well as collaborating on a spin off 10” release as Sandra Electronics, released in 2010. Most recently O’Connor produced Mendez’ first full length, the stunning “Negative Fascination”. He also released as Ugandan Methods and O/V/R/, amongst countless other pseudonyms. It’s this type of techno that we’re interested in, that isn’t afraid to expose its post-punk, no wave and raw D.I.Y. electronic roots. To hear O’Connor’s early productions and trace the lineage that eventually led to his fully realized modern techno productions, is what is ultimately most fascinating.