THE BLACK DOG: Liber Dogma (Soma Recordings)

themilkman on Oct 18th 2011 01:27 am

The Black Dog: Liber Dogma

Liber Dogma
Soma Recordings 2011
13 Tracks. 58mins05secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD

In recent years, The Black Dog have tipped the balance which had defined pretty much all their work in the last decade, progressively abandoning the dance floor to focus increasingly on atmospheric and ambient forms. While Further Vexations (2009) still bore a healthy dose of techno influences, the trio of Ken Downie and Martin and Richard Dust had devoted the last three tracks of the album to much more atmospheric, beat-less, pieces. It is however with its follow-up, Music For Real Airports (2010), which aimed at creating a sonic environment from sounds sourced in and around various airports, and their recent series of collaborative efforts with former member of Dutch entity Psychic Warriors Ov Gaia as Dadavistic Orchestra, that they fully immersed themselves into deeply ambient and textural recordings, leaving any trace of danceable groove far behind them.

Compared to the rich soundscapes which formed most of the ambient structures of Further Vexation, Music For Real Airports and Dokument.01 and .02, Liber Dogma represents a radical shift toward dry minimalism, where the beat is pushed to the fore, served by pulsating bass lines and only a sprinkle of additional sounds for each piece. Continue Reading »

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DADAVISTIC ORCHESTRA: Dokument.02 (Dust Science Recordings)

themilkman on Jun 28th 2011 01:17 am

Dadavistic Orchestra: Dokument.02

Dust Science 2011
06 Tracks. 65mins35secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD Boomkat: CD | DLD

The meeting of two legendary techno acts, who have contributed to shape the European techno scene of the last twenty years, Dadavistic Orchestra has everything of a heavyweight entity, with on one side Sheffield-based The Black Dog and on the other three former members of Dutch outfit Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia. While their respective techno credentials have been widely documented, both formations have always balanced this with extensive incursions into much more ambient territories, and this is very much the angle they have adopted for this common project.

Six months on from their debut release, Dokument.02 investigates once again sprawling ambient soundscapes, from the Machinefabriek-infused progressive granular guitar drones  of opening piece Deep Old Mu, to the heavy textures of Teh Meh, Teh Meh and De Neerstorting Van De Mening Van De Kathderaal or the much more delicate dreamy sequences of Unconcerned, But Not Indifferent. Continue Reading »

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DADAVISTIC ORCHESTRA: Dokument.01 (Dust Science Recordings)

themilkman on Feb 17th 2011 01:27 am

Dadavistic Orchestra: Dokument.01

Dust Science Recordings 2011
02 Tracks. 22mins12secs

Format: 12″

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: 12″ | DLD iTunes: DLD

From the Dust Science labs comes this slice of breathtaking ambient, concocted by members of two of the most intriguing and refined techno acts of the last twenty years. Formed of Ken Downie and brothers Martin and Richard Dust, known collectively as The Black Dog, and former members of seminal Dutch outfit Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia Tim Freeman, Arbe and Robbert Heijnen, Dadavistic Orchestra became an entity over the last year, but The Black Dog and PWOG have long shared a similar vision by blending together elements of techno and ambient.

For their first output, the six-headed Dadaist ensemble has collected two stunning ambient pieces, each clocking at around eleven minutes. Continue Reading »

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THE BLACK DOG: Music For Real Airports (Soma Recordings)

themilkman on Apr 7th 2010 09:34 pm

The Black Dog: Music For Real Airports

Music For Real Airports
Soma Recordings 2010
14 Tracks. 58mins51secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD

Airports are funny places; hubs of intense activity, their cold and chaotic order is bound by contradicting sentiments of excitement, frustration, boredom, joy, exhaustion, anticipation, sadness; passengers caught in endless security queues, rushing through duty free shops or perpetually awaiting in concourses and lounges. All this forms the basis for Music For Real Airports, a collaborative project for art galleries soundtracked by The Black Dog, with visual media created by design studio Human, due to be premiered at La Sensoria festival in Sheffield later on this month. The Black Dog collected over two hundred hours of field recordings in various airports while on tour. These were then incorporated into lush atmospheric constructions to render the experience of passing through these thoroughly inhuman bustling nests of modern life.

Unlike Brian Eno’s seminal 1978 work Music For Airports, which was conceived as a soothing four part textural ambient piece destined to be used by airport authorities, the music collected here by Ken Downie and brothers Martin and Richard Dust, although ambient in nature, doesn’t seek to be used in airports, but rather brings a multitude of sonic elements of airport life into the work. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jan 4th 2010 12:17 am

10 years in 20 records

The noughties have seen probably the most radical changes in the music industries since the advent of the record. Consumption habits have dramatically moved from traditional to digital formats, music has been increasingly seen as something to steal rather than to buy, and listening habits means that nowadays, the album is becoming increasingly redundant. Or is it? Whereas it had, at least in some circles, become totally acceptable to fill records with substandard music, it is now essential for artists to create consistent pieces of work if they want to retain the attention of their audience. The last ten years have delivered their fair share of hits and misses, and this list doesn’t pretend to be in any way shape or form exhaustive. This is just, in no particular order, the definitive list of the 20 albums that have defined the noughties at themilkfactory.

Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: In The North EP (Dust Science Recordings)

themilkman on Nov 20th 2009 12:54 am

Various Artists: In The North EP

In The North EP
Dust Science Recordings 2009
04 Tracks. 20mins08secs
Format: Digital

Icon: arrow Dubstore Digital: DLD | Amazon UK: DLD Boomkat: DLD iTunes: DLD

After a hiatus of a few months, Dust Science, the label ran by Black Dog current members Martin and Richard Dust, is back with a collective EP featuring tracks by The Black Dog, Grievous Angel, The Bass Soldier and Carl Taylor, each contributing one slice of mighty fine electronic music.

Opening the proceedings are the legendary Black Dog, who have, since the Dust brothers joined force with Ken Downie, wandered freely between classic Detroit-infused techno and more subtle and refined atmospheric electronica. With Tesco (Dark House), they are found on supremely minimal form, invoking the spirit of Perlon more than that of Plus 8 Record, especially in the first half of this rather moody, robust piece. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Warp20 (Box Set) / Warp20 (Recreated) / Warp20 (Chosen) (Warp Records)

themilkman on Sep 17th 2009 07:20 pm

Various Artists: Warp20 (Box Set) Various Artists: Warp20 (Recreated) Various Artists: Warp20 (Chosen)

Warp20 (Box Set) / Warp20 (Recreated) / Warp20 (Chosen)
WARP20.0 / WARP201 / WARP 202
Warp Records 2009
– / 21 Tracks / 24 Tracks. – / 99mins13secs / 127mins18secs

Warp20 (Box Set)
Icon: arrow Boomkat: BX

Warp20 (Recreated)
Icon: arrow Amazon UK: CD Amazon US: CD Boomkat: CD iTunes: DLD

Warp20 (Chosen)
Icon: arrow Amazon UK: CD Amazon US: CD Boomkat: CD iTunes: DLD

LFO. Three metallic blue letters, straddled by a ghostly shape, set on a black background. Three letters that changed things forever. The year was 1991, I was browsing through the new arrivals in my local records store, and the Designers Republic artwork of LFO’s Frequencies was standing out from the blur, calling out for my attention. An hour or so later, I was left baffled by a record which I was struggling to understand. On one side, the lush flow and shattering bass of LFO or Simon From Sydney irresistibly titillated my appetite for crisp evocative electronics, on the other, I had never experienced anything quite as bare as Mentok 1 or We Are Back. This album bore its influences on its sleeve, literally, and it took a few listens to ‘get it’. But ‘get it’ I did. More than I could have ever wished for. I was hooked. Not only on LFO, but also on Warp.

The brainchild of Steve Beckett and the late Rob Mitchell, who founded the label twenty years ago in the former metallurgic city of Sheffield, Warp found itself at a crossroad between the dying acid scene and the nascent UK techno/electronica movements Continue Reading »

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THE BLACK DOG: Further Vexations (Soma Quality Recordings)

themilkman on Apr 7th 2009 08:49 pm

The Black Dog: Further Vexations

Further Vexations
Soma Quality Recordings 2009
15 Tracks. 68mins26secs

Icon: arrow Buy: CD

Almost a year to the day after the release of the rather impressive Radio Scarecrow, and twenty years on from Downie’s first ever release, The Black Dog is back, tail wagging, with another slice of dense and moody electronica, fuelled with classic Detroit flavours and self-styled Northern electronic soul attitude.

While Radio Scarecrow represented quite a departure from its predecessor, Further Vexations appears in many ways as a more in-depth exploration of a particular groove, as if the stones turned on Radio Scarecrow had, with times, brought to the surface much more subterranean life than originally found. Continue Reading »

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THE BLACK DOG: Vexing EP (Soma Quality Recordings)

themilkman on Mar 4th 2009 02:02 am

The Black Dog: Vexing EP

Vexing EP
Soma Quality Recordings 2009
03 Tracks. 17mins36secs
Format: 12″/Digital

In recent years, The Black Dog have appeared rejuvenated and has found a new energy and dimension in brother Martin and Richard Dust, delivering albums and EPs with the confidence Ken Downie demonstrated in the early nineties. With a new album, Further Vexations, ready to be unleashed, the trio launch a first missive with this three track EP comprising of two tracks (0093 and You’re Only SQL) lifted from the album and beefed up to dance floor musculature, plus a third exclusive ambient piece, Plinth. Continue Reading »

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THE BLACK DOG: Radio Scarecrow (Soma Quality Recordings)

themilkman on Mar 6th 2008 12:48 am

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. Continue Reading »

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THE BLACK DOG: Temple Of Transparent Balls (Soma Quality Recordings)

themilkman on Oct 16th 2007 02:40 pm

The Black Dog: Temple Of Transparent Balls

Temple Of Transparent Balls
GPR 1993 / Soma Quality Recordings 2007
11 Tracks. 62mins09secs

Temple Of Transparent Balls was originally released on General Production Recordings (GPR) a few months after the seminal Bytes (1993, Warp), and was followed a couple of years later by Parallel, which collected three of the band’s early EPs. Following the demise of the label in 1996, original copies of both albums became very difficult to track down. They were both reissued in 2002, but the poor quality of the artwork likened them to cheap bootlegs, making this a long awaited re-release.

Earlier this year, Scottish imprint Soma Quality Recordings released Book Of Dogma, a double album collecting Parallel and a handful of other early EPs, all in full remastered glory. Now, Temple Of Transparent Balls gets the same treatment. Continue Reading »

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THE BLACK DOG: Remixes 2 (Dust Science)

themilkman on Jun 1st 2007 12:55 pm

The Black Dog: Remixes 2

Remixes 2
Dust Science 2007
03 Tracks. 21mins33secs
Format: 12”

While they are currently said to be working on a new album, The Black Dog continues to show impeccable form with this second collection of remixes of tracks taken from their excellent Silenced LP released in 2005, courtesy of Orlando Voorn, Derailleur and Vector Lovers, all three taking the superbly crafted original Black Dog template for a spin on the dance floor. Continue Reading »

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