You are at the core of the mechanistic heart of the world. You are surrounded by an orb of pulsing, undulating machinery. Innumerable pistons and cogs jut out and crank the wheels of time. This is the soul of everything, ever since the last bit of life was stomped out many years ago, and you are at the center of it. It’s dark, but your sight adjusts, and you soon see the red wires connecting all the moving pieces. Are they filled with blood?
What occurs when a long-established group, known for their polished upbeat liveliness, turn off the lights and adapt to the impenetrable darkness? Neither/Neither is the newest full-length by British electronic music pioneers The Black Dog, made up of Ken Downie, Martin Dust, and Richard Dust. The trio continue to innovate here, and navigate through dense shadows by way of pulsing industrial techno and ghostly, bottomless ambience.
The album is divided into two varying halves, the groovier, down-tempo first side wonderfully complimenting and transitioning into the record’s second, clubbier side. Permeated throughout the album’s progression are elements of hallucinatory trip-hop a la Boards Of Canada, and interspersed between all of the rhythmic tracks are brief ambient interludes that enhance the magnitude of the listening experience.
This evolution from one energy to the next is what this exhilarating record is all about. An endless blackness casts a deep shroud over the group’s progressively vigorous sounds and, just like patrons of the warehouse raves of yore, they press on through the darkness with enthusiasm. The Black Dog have successfully altered their formula. If you’re seeking cavernous, industrial techno/ambient/house, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)