THE BLACK DOG: Radio Scarecrow (Soma Quality Recordings)


Posted on Mar 6th 2008 12:48 am

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (0)

The Black Dog: Radio Scarecrow

Radio Scarecrow
Soma Quality Recordings 2008
17 Tracks. 68mins57secs

Since The Black Dog has become a fully functioning tri-headed cell again, it has delivered new and reconditioned material with insistent regularity, sourcing in the beast’s rich past the necessary fuel to move forward and adapt its visionary electronica to a different era through a series of classic EPs and the underrated 2005 Silenced album, while some of the long unavailable back catalogue dating back from the original Black Dog days got dusted off and polished to once again spread their wings and regain their .

Radio Scarecrow is a much more ambitious and confident affair than its predecessor as Ken Downie and brothers Richard and Martin Dust move away from the introvert ambient textures of Silenced and venture into more substantial terrains. Inspired by the band’s interest in Magick, numbers stations and electronic voice phenomenon, Radio Scarecrow is said to harbour messages and codes hidden deep within the music, which only occasionally come up close enough to be perceptible but are dotted substantially across the album.

On the surface, the seventeen tracks, spread over nearly seventy minutes, are classic blissful electronica with hints of Detroit techno scattered throughout. Partly built around linear beat formations, clean cut soundscapes and themes that often develop over the course of a few consecutive tracks, Radio Scarecrow is extremely fluid and lush. The vast sonic core that serves as a back bone for the first part of the Train By The Autobahn diptych, which sets the album on its way once the ethereal ambience of opening piece Transmission Start has died down, morphs into a much lighter and ephemeral sound in its second part. Later, textural elements bounce from …Short Wave Lies to Siiipher and Digital Poacher, which itself echoes down Coda. All four tracks are clearly informed by classic early nineties electronic dance music, applied in various forms and concepts, yet all seemingly held together by a common spirit, which cascades down further later on.

As the mood retreats to gentler grounds on Set To Receive, distant voices float furtively amongst radio signals for a moment before being swallowed by shimmering electronics and a pulsating bass line, while, from below the surface of the splendid Witches Ov rises a dreamy melody which, once released from the grip of a tight drum pattern, rapidly disappears in the distance. Elsewhere, the trio delve into heavier grounds, especially on EVP Echoes and Floods V3.9, where more complex rhythmic structures are put in place to give the two tracks a firmer structure, before wrapping up the album with the haunting Eno-esque piano-led Ghost Vexations and the Dial & Dialers Pts. 1 & 2 interludes.

With Radio Scarecrow, The Black Dog continue to develop the sound they have showcased in recent EPs and affirm their relevance in today’s electronic scene. With this beautifully produced collection, Ken Downie, Richard Dust and Martin Dust create a truly engaging and contemporary record.


Icon: arrow The Black Dog | Radio Scarecrow microsite | Soma Quality Recordings

Filed in Albums | Tags: ,
Comments (0)

Comments are closed.