Dec 31, 2015

Best electronic albums of 2015: nine


– The Black Dog – Neither/Neither (Dust Science)

There’s sometimes an air of portent to The Black Dog’s work. They’ll chug along all frowny – business as normal for these Sheffield techno gods – then a lonesome chord will unsettle the living daylights out of you. And the best thing is, when that happens, you can feel the weight of this band's incredible history.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of that on Neither/Neither. The title track feels airy but check that Boards of Canada feel with its shaking cymbals and the thrilling drop after the two-minute mark. The thumping Commodification holds all its power in its gasping bass end.

The vocals add welcome personality here too, sporadic as they are: the conversational samples in the short filler tracks (mostly variations on the name “Phil”) or the hypnotic female voice loop on Platform Lvl 6.

There is much beauty too: the building tension of Control Needs Time, the rising strings of Them (Everyone Is A Liar But), the twinkling melancholy of The Frequency Ov Thee Truthers. Welcome back to my top ten, doggies. You belong here.

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