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The Black Dog Further Vexations

  • Words: Rob Geary
  • Label: Soma
  • XLR8R Rating: 8/10

Here, The Black Dog—Ken Downie and Richard and Martin Dust—contrast the worldwide thrill of festival tours with a paranoid response to Britain’s surveillance culture. “Dada Mindstab” accelerates on ratcheting percussion and wobbly bass while sonar beeps and dimly heard chants evoke authorities at the door. The leaping major keys and 909 hi-hats of “CCTV Nation” urge fist-in-the-air dancing, even as the title insists that the physical freedom of rave culture is as long gone as the days of boarding airplanes without doffing one’s shoes. The three-part “Northern Electronic Soul” moves from icy arpeggios to soaring, interlocked pads and back down again in a lament for hopes yet to be dashed.

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