The Black Dog – Book Of Dogma

The Black Dog
Book Of Dogma

The trio of Ken Downie, Ed Handley and Andy Turner formed The Black Dog in 1989 and did not actually emerge from the UK techno scene, but rather defined it. This double CD release is a collection of digitally re-mastered classics and rarities, some long out of print, by these forefathers of techno.

The music heard on Book Of Dogma was so new and indescribable that it spawned a new generation of delineative genre names like ambient-techno and IDM (Intelligent Dance Music), although breakbeat trance is an equally apt description. This collection shows how The Black Dog’s forward-looking, new sound evolved from the early days of their first release “Virtual”, where dub and ambient elements were integrated into the techno/house/electronica sound, through the 90’s when the band introduced dark, atmospheric synths swirling around the beats and electronically manipulated found sounds criss-crossing in and out of the mix.

High-BPM programmed beats, thick bass and quick snare snaps are coupled with odd time signatures to form a relentless sonic assault in which most of the dancing takes place in your head. There are a few scattered interruptions where sweeping synthesizers add some spacey interludes and some much needed melody while sampled voices, squeaky sound effects and scratchy blips and bleeps work to keep the listener’s attention.

Ultimately though, any real captivating melodies prove too elusive and the BPMs too demanding as the basic rhythmic beat running through each song is played out without enough variation; which can be exasperating for those of us not intelligent enough to dance to this trance. Although fans of this genre will be sure to revel in this piece of history.