■ REGIS ■ It’s a bold move to describe an artist as essential, but when discussing the work of Karl O’Connor, aka Regis, is there really any other way? The Downwards label founder has been responsible for some of techno’s most enduring and singular works as a solo artist, in collaboration with Surgeon (British Murder Boys), Funtion & Silent Servant (Sandwell District) and as a curator. His most recent releases, like last year’s “Hidden In This Is The Light That You Miss,” show a development of craft and scope that rival his most revered tracks.
■ HEADLESS HORSEMAN ■ After a four-year absence, Headless Horseman returned in 2019 with a new EP and “Inhibited Shadows,” an album of thick, gasping techno. Known for the quality of their sound design and the intensity of their all-hardware live show, the anonymous artist’s new work introduces another level of dimensionality and grandeur to an already remarkable discography. Hammering yet lush, epic but light-on-its-feet, the Horseman’s sets are some of the most masterful in techno today.
■ BECKA DIAMOND ■ Becka Diamond’s work as part of Hospital Records has helped bring the label to international prominence. Her DJ sets, rooted in goth and industrial music, push into slithering, white-hot techno.