Out this week is a new full-length from The Black Dog. The Sheffield, England-based trio – Ken Downie, Martin Dust, Richard Dust – have been making smart, non-boring electronic music for ages. (Let’s not utter “IDM” – but “smart” fits.) From Warp to Ostgut Ton, they’ve been an indelible and irreplaceable part of the creative landscape.
What strikes me about Tranklements is its effusive economy and clarity. In a time when music is regularly dripping with reverb or smothered in gauzy effects and nostalgia, this is a record that stands apart from any particular time, dry and direct and witty. Each track is a separate “object” according to the band, but what makes that work is a forward sense of personality in each. The highlights above are almost a work on their own; the full release is rather a must-have this year, I think.
(Tomorrow, you can watch a live broadcast on Electronic Supper Club celebrating the release.)
There’s also a spookily-beautiful video with collaborator Shaun Bloodworth:
The notion of “objects” comes from their own description of the record:
The Black Dog have been gathering their thoughts, passions and anger, reflecting it into their music, sometimes as part of a larger picture or concept, sometimes just focusing on one subject.
“Tranklements is such a great Sheffield word, it means a collection of objects, often precious to the owner. Everyone has a collection of Tranklements somewhere! These are ours.
Tranklements is a body of work created as 16 unique and individual tracks. Each one is its own little object, something we’ve created to externalise, explain and express the world we find ourselves in. It encompasses many thoughts, emotions and desires from the last eighteen months. There is an individual story and internal message behind each. They’ve all been discussed and fought for. However, we really don’t want to explain them, we don’t expect those personal rationals to translate to others. We’d rather you gazed upon the objects yourself and come to your own conclusions. Nobody likes to be told what to think.
In many ways our work with the eSC (www.electronicsupperclub.tv) project has helped us to reconnect with many things and each other. The creative talent and desires of the younger generation have never gone away. The real underground is still as vibrant as ever, not lost to false values, over-sized egos and ladder climbing brands. We’ve always respected that energy and individuality that exists beyond the bland compliant mainstream.
The truth is we’ve always felt like the awkward outsiders.”
Available to pre-order now at DustStore.com:
* Limited edition, only 300 units
* 3 x 12″ on heavy weight 180gsm vinyl
* Free digital download of the album from DustStoreDigital.com
* Two free bonus tracks as digital downloads exclusive to DustStore.com
But if you want still more to hear after the release, their Dark Wave mixes are a must. The latest includes two artists we’ve admired here in Berlin – friend of the site Noah Pred and (on his way through town) Ital Tek – among many others. Full listing, nicely tracing some of the connections in the scene right now:
The Black Dog – Dark Wave 10
00. Coil – Teenage Lightning (Surgeon remix) – CDR
01. Function – Voiceprint – Ostgut Ton
02. The Black Dog – Broken Mind – Dust Science
03. Benjamin Damage – Delirium Tremens (tBd Headkicker Remix) – 50 Weapons
04. Noah Pred – Loss For Words (Hrdvsion Boomboom Mix) – Thoughtless Music
05. Lucy – Finnegan (Pariah Remix) – Curle Recordings
06. The Black Dog – Cracked – Dust Science
07. Tripeo – Untitled #4 – Tripeo
08. Trade – Half Nelson – Works The Long Nights
09. Shape Worship- Quilt 2 – Exotic Plylon Records
10. Ital Tek- Hyper Real – Civil Music
11. Tripeo – Untitled #3 – Tripeo
12. Shifted – Trouble – Mote Evolver
13. Inigo Kennedy – Chamber – Token Records
14. The Black Dog – Council Flat Emptiness (LB Dub Corp) – Unterton
Who said music was stagnating? Listen.
Yes, sirs. Thanks.