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The Black Dog - Liber Dogma


After some welcome, and some might say less welcome, diversions into ambient, beatless soundscapes and experimentation, trio Ken Downie and the Dust brothers, Martin & Richard, return to their techno roots with ‘Liber Dogma’ and what a return it is. Dogma is the fourth in a line of ‘Liber’ releases, coming hot on the heels of three EPs in the past couple of months. Devoid of many of the sonic tricks of said recent work, this is a back to basics album covering the full gamut of techno but not without taking in some modern influences.

‘Dark Wave Creeping’ kicks off the album in a melodic fashion with the echoing snares resonant of their nineties work before ‘The Death ov the Black Sun’ brings a halt to the tunefulness of the previous track with a juddering bassline and tech-house feel. Sub-bass and jarringly loud drum beats permeate through the tracks here akin to Instra:mental’s album from earlier this year, culminating with ‘Drop Kick Kali’s relentless drone.

From here, ‘Eden 353’ brings back a tunefulness that brings to mind some of the tracks Hessle Audio & Lucky Me have been releasing before ‘The Black Maria’ brings back the dark 4/4 edge. The band say that “this album is about surrendering to hypnotic, physical music played loud in big, dark rooms” and its live-show feel is further accentuated through the use of blended & cut transitions between tracks. The juxtaposition of uncompromisingly dark tracks like ‘Silent Escape’ & the aptly titled ‘Worship the Drum’ with more harmonious ones like ‘Hype Knot 7’ & ‘Feeder Rub Out’ keeps a positive ebb and flow to the album and prevents it being an hour long exercise in how loud a kick drum can be recorded.

These venerable elder statesmen of techno could easily have taken the lazy approach but this album conveys a still-strong desire for music. It borrows just the right amount from contemporary techno like Sandwell District but still provides something of a comforting undertone of classic Black Dog. This album is certainly hypnotic and whilst you mightn’t need to play it loud in a big, dark room to enjoy it, it would certainly help.

Paul Fanning


Reader Comments (1)

Big room stuff indeed, but it's also the BEST big room stuff ! (Well, along with Slater's new PAS release). The two tracks on the 2nd / ltd ed CD Liber 353 (Book Ov Law) are amazing.
Brilliant stuff from the boys & highly recommended.

November 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSrdic

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