Neither / Neither is the brand new album from The Black Dog, legends of UK techno. There is a strong political, anti-establishment bent to this record, as highlighted by some of the track titles (‘The Frequency Ov Thee Truthers’ for example). The sound is dark, low and reverby, but also pounding when necessary. CD or triple LP on Dust Science.
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- Neither / Neither by The Black Dog
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 12 August 2015
Ken Downie’s Black Dog cronies are doing well for themselves aren’t they? They’ve been on a techno domination mission since ‘05, but this time they shed the limelight on the domination of the masses in a highly politically motivated CD/whopping 3xLP of beat clusters.
A press release that begins as a conspiratorial cliche (‘we are blinded by control vectors that separate us from reality’) actually spills a few truths about the state of things in our modern times of saturated information. Some seriously relatable insight there, though this is hard to represent in music, and even harder to subvert once established. Neither / Neither consists of cloudy, rumbling synthscapes that lead to pounding, dense ambient techno that’s constantly on the edge of paranoia, as if being itched by the possibility that someone is watching. I guess that’s a successful translation of the message into music, the broken beats and malformed hi-hat sounds presenting everything as mean and twisted, and ulterior motive lying underneath each rhythmic pulse. It’s quite similar to Lakker’s most recent ‘Tundra’ with more of an ambient take on things, think the Warp sound colliding with AnD. It could almost have been released on Apollo were it not so abrasive at times. Tracks 8 + 9 present some nice, mournful collages of relatively clean synth to break the tension, before sliding right back into techno banger mode on ‘Self Organising Sealed Systems’.
Neither / Neither offers no solutions to the political problems it highlights, but lets you take a trip out from the enormity of it all, and a really great trip at that.
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